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WGU-LCC1: Lit Terms

Literary Terms

QuestionAnswer
Alliteration Succession of similar sounds; occurs in the repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of successive words (cool, cats)
Assonance Repeating the sound of a vowel; slows the reader down & focuses attention (all, awful)
Connotation An association or additional meaning that a word, image, or phrase may carry, apart from its literal dictionary definition
Denotation The literal, dictionary meaning of a word
Epic Long narratives tracing the adventures of popular heroes
Epiphany Moment of insight, discovery, or revelation by which a character's life, or view of life is greatly altered
Genre Conventional combination of literary form & subject matter; implies a preexisting understanding between the artist and the reader about the purpose & rules of the work
Lyric Short poem expressing the thoughts & feelings of a single speaker (first person)
Monologue Extended speech made by a single character
Motivation What a character in a story or drama wants; the reasons an author provides for a character's actions
Motif Element that recurs significantly throughout a narrative; can be an image, idea, theme, situation, or action
Narrative Telling of true or fictitious events by a narrator;can be either verse or prose and focus on the depiction of events or happenings
Onomatopoeia Attempt to represent a thing or action by a word that imitates the sound associated with it (crash, bang, pitter-patter)
Persona Latin for mask; fictitious character created by author to always be the narrator
Setting Time & place of literary work; includes climate, social, psychological, or spiritual state of the participants
Novel An extended work of fictional prose narrative; more characters, more varied scenes, and broader coverage of time
Fiction Name for stories not entirely factual, but least partially shaped, made up, imagined
Nonfiction Author presents actual people and events in story form
Apprenticeship Novel Genre depicting a youth who struggles toward maturity, forming a worldview or philosophy of life
Epistolary Novel Contains letters by only one character; often they contained letters by several of the characters in the book
Picaresque Novel Presents the life of a likable scoundrel who is at odds with respectable society; rarely has a tight plot, loose chronological order
Novella Short novel; mainly describes the size of a narrative
Subplot Secondary arrangement of incidents, involving not the protagonist but someone less important
Plot Unique arrangement of events that the author has made
Exposition Opening portion of a narrative or drama; scene set, protagonist introduced, author discloses background information
Foreshadowing Suggestions of what is to come later; created through imagery, dialogue, diction, events or actions
Conflict Central struggle between two or more forces in a story;some person or thing that prevents the protagonist from reaching their goals
Recognition Occurs when ignorance gives way to knowledge; revelation of some fact not known before or a person's true identity
Rising Action Part of play or narrative, including the exposition, in which events start moving toward a climax
Crisis Point when crucial action, decision, or realization must be made marking the turning point or reversal of the protagonist's fortune
Climax Moment of greatest intensity in a story which occurs toward the end; often takes form of a decisive confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist
Falling Action Events in a narrative that follow the climax & bring the story to it's conclusion, or denouement
Denouement Resolution or conclusion of a literary work as plot complications are unraveled after climax
Protagonist Central character who is not especially brave or virtuous
Antagonist Most significant character or force that opposes the protagonist
Hero Central character in a narrative
Antihero Protagonist who is lacking in one or more of conventional qualities attributed to a hero
Foil Character whose qualities or actions are in stark contrast to those of another character, usually the protagonists; used to convey or develop protagonist's character
Stock Character Known by some outstanding trait or traits, require little detailed portraiture
Flat Character Character with only one outstanding trait; rarely central and based on stock character
Round Character Complex character who is presented in depth & detail in a narrative; change significantly during course of narrative
Style All the distinctive ways in which an author, genre, movement, or historical period uses language to create a literary work; depends on characteristic use of diction, imagery, tone, syntax, & figurative language
Created by: baft on 2010-04-12



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