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When Reading Terms

Terms to know when reading a novel

Protagonist The leading character or one of the major characters in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text.
Antgaonist a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary.
Plot the events of a story or narrative with a variety of sequencing patterns. The plot is what happens in the story.
Exposition the background information of a story, the story before the story.
Conflict the struggle between two forces, one generally being the protagonist of the story. The antagonist can be the self, another person, animal, nature, technology/machine, society, or the supernatural
Climax the point in the story where the conflict is at its peak, when the conflict has reached its crisis and one of the two forces "wins."
Resolution the conclusion of the story, the unfolding of the theme, the "happy ending," the tying together; what occurs in the resolution depends on the kind of story and the author's purpose.
Foreshadowing clues in the writing that lead the reader to predict what will happen later in the story.
Flashback a strategy of plot sequencing where the author takes the reader back to events that occurred before the present time in the story.
Foil a foil character is either one who is in most ways opposite to the main character or nearly the same as the main character. The purpose of the foil character is to emphasize the traits of the main character by comparison or contrast.
Dynamic Character a dynamic character is one who changes by the end of the story, learning something that changes him or her in a permanent way.
Static Character A static character does not change; he or she is the same person at the end of the story as he was at the beginning.
First person point of view the narrator, usually the protagonist, tells the story from his/her perspective using I, me, we, etc.
Second person point of view a story told using "you," which places the reader immediately and personally into the story
Third person point of view the narrator uses third person pronouns (he/she/they etc.) and is God-like: all knowing (omniscient). This type of narrator is not limited by time or space.
Tone The author or poet's attitude or feeling toward a person, a thing, a place, event or situation. It is also the emotional feeling in the poem/story.
Theme The theme is what the author wants us to know about the general truth of the story.
Imagery Imagery is language that appeals to the senses. It is description that makes the reader feel he or she is "in the setting."
Metaphor a comparison of two generally unlike things meant to illuminate truth. Direct metaphors use "is" to make the comparison explicit. Implied metaphors suggest the comparison.
Simile a metaphor using like, as, than, or similar comparative words to make the connection between two generally unlike things. The intent of a simile is to illuminate truth.
Allegory an extended metaphor wherein the characters, events, and situations of the story can be taken on two levels: the literal level and the metaphoric/symbolic level, each thing representing something else. Ex: Animal Farm
Verbal Irony a discrepancy between what is said and what is meant
Situational Irony a discrepancy between what is expected, as in action, or as regards the situation/setting, and what one would expect to happen
Dramatic Irony a discrepancy between what the character knows and what the reader knows to be true; it's when the reader knows something the character does not know
Created by: kyakich