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Fiction

Terms for the UNCA Literature and Language Comprehensive Exams

TermDefinition
Bildungsroman "formation novel". The German term for a coming-of-age story
Episodic plot a long string of short, individual scenes, or stories. No focus on the sustained development of a single plot. These episodes may be unrelated to each other directly, or they may be loosely connected together in terms of overall events. EX.Arabian Night
Epistolary Novel takes the form of a series of letters. Written by one character or several. EX.Pamela by Samuel Richardson
First Person a character, "I", who tells the story and necessarily has a limited point of view; may also be an unreliable narrator
Flat a fictional character, often but not always minor, who is relatively simple, presented as having few- though dominant- traits, does not change much in the course of a story
Focalizing / Focalizer (see Point of View) the point from which people, events, and other details in a story are viewed
Frame Tale inserting one or more small stories within the body of a larger story that encompasses the smaller ones. EX.Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
Free Indirect Style / Discourse style of third-person narration that mingles within it traits from first-person narration, often shifting pronouns, adverbs, tense, and grammatical mode
Gothic Novel type of romance wildly popular between 1760 - 1820s. Influenced the ghost story and horror story. Emphasis on nature and supernatural
Interior Monologue type of stream of consciousness in which the author depicts the interior thoughts of a single individual in the same order these thoughts occur inside that character's head EX.James Joyce's Ulysses
Metafiction the subject of the story is the act or art of storytelling of itself, especially when such material breaks up the illusion of "reality" in a work
Narrator the character who "tells" the story
Novel of Manners describes in detail the customs, behaviors, habits, and expectations of a certain social group at a specific time and place. Usually these conventions shape the behavior of the main characters, and sometimes even stifle or repress them EX.Jane Austen
Omniscient also called "unlimited point of view". A perspective that can be seen from one character's view, then another's, etc. Can be moved in or out of any character's mind at any time. The reader has access to the perceptions and thoughts of all the characters
Picaresque Novel humorous, satiric, comical story depicting a young knave's misadventures and escapades. The roguish protagonist- called a picaro -makes his way through cunning and trickery rather than through virtue or industry
Plot the arrangement of the action
Point of View (see focalizing) also called "focus" or "voice". The point which people, events, and details in a story are viewed.
Polyglossia polygenesis?
Romance (narrative)
Round Character complex characters, often major, can grow and change. They act in a way that reader did not expect from previous actions, but accept as possible even probable or realistic
Stream of Consciousness a character's perceptions, thoughts, and memories are presented in a random form, without regard for logical sequence, chronology, or syntax. No distinction between various levels of reality such as dreams, memories, imaginative thoughts EX.Virginia Wool
Third Person a character "he/she", who tells the story. May have limited or omniscient point of view. May be unreliable
Unreliable Narrator speaker or voice whose version of details are deceiving. May be consciously or not. Facts within or outside the story may prove them such
Created by: schwee