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literary terms

Alliteration -the repetition of the same or very similar consonant sounds in words that are close together
Allusion -a reference to a statement, a person, a place,or an event from literature, history, religion, mythology, politics, sports, or science
Atmosphere -the overall mood or emotion of a work of literature
Autobiography -the story of a person's life, written or told by that person
Biography -the story of a real person's life, written or told by another person
Character -a person or animal who takes part in the action of a story, play, or other literary work
Conflict -a struggle or clash between opposing characters or opposing forces
Connotation -the feelings and associations that a word suggests
Denotation -the literal, dictionary definition of a word
Description -the kind of writing that creates a clear image of something, usually by using details that appeal to one or more of the senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch
Dialect -a way of speaking that is characteristic of a particular region or group of people
Dialogue -a conversation between two or more characters
Drama -a story written to be acted for an audience
Essay -a short piece of nonfiction prose that examines a single subject
Fable -a brief story in prose or verse that teaches a moral or gives practical lesson about how to get along in life
Fiction -a prose account that is made up rather than true
Figure of Speech -a word or phrase that describes one thing in terms of something else and is not literally true.
Flashback -an interruption in the action of a plot to tell what happened at an earlier time
Folk Tale -a story with no known author that originally was passed on from one generation to the another by word of mouth
Foreshadowing -the use of clues to suggest events that will happen later in the plot
Free Verse -poetry without a regular meter or a rhyme scheme
Imagery -language that appeals to the senses
Irony -in general a contrast between expectation and reality
Main Idea -the most important idea expressed in a paragraph or in an entire essay
Metamorphosis -a marvelous change from one shape to the other
Metaphor -an imaginative comparison between two unlike things in which one thing is said to be another thing
Mood -the overall emotion created by a work of literature
Motivation -a person or animal that takes part in the action of a story, play, or other literary work
Myth -A story that explains something about the world and typically involves gods or other superhuman beings
Nonfiction -prose writing that deals with real people, events, and places without changing any facts.
Novel -a fictional story that is usually more than one hundred book pages long
Onomatopoeia -the use of words whose sounds echo their sense
Personification -a figure of speech in which a nonhuman or nonliving thing or quality is talked about as if it were human or alive
Plot -the series of related events that make up a story
Poetry -a kind of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery designed to appeal to emotion and imagination
Point Of View -the vantage point from which a story is told
Refrain -a group of words repeated at intervals in a poem, song, or speech
Rhyme -the repetition of accented vowel sounds and all sounds following them in words close together in a poem
Rhythm -a musical quality produced by the repetition of stressed or unstressed syllables or by the repetition of certain other sound patterns
Setting -the time and place in which the events of a work of literature take place
Short Story -a fictional prose narrative that is usually ten to twenty book pages long
Simile -a comparison between two unlike things using a word such as like, as, than, or resembles
Speaker -the voice talking in a poem
Stanza -in a poem a group of consecutive lines that form a single unit
Suspense -the uncertainty or anxiety you feel about what will happen next in a story
Symbol -a person, a place, a thing, or an event that has its own meaning and stands for something beyond itself as well
Tall Tale -an exaggerated, fanciful story that gets "taller and taller," more and more far fetched, the more it is told and retold.
Theme -the truth about life revealed in a work of literature
Tone -the attitude that a writer takes toward the audience, a subject, or a character
Created by: Maclock