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Literary Terms

TermDefinition
Adventure novel A novel where exciting events are more important than character development and sometimes theme. Adventure novels are sometimes described as "fiction" rather than "literature" in order to distinguish books designed for mere entertainment rather than thema
Allegory A figurative work in which a surface narrative carries a secondary, symbolic or metaphorical meaning.
Apologue A moral fable, usually featuring personified animals or inanimate objects which act like people to allow the author to comment on the human condition.
Autobiographical novel A novel based on the author's life experience.
Blank Verse Unrhymed iambic pentameter. Shakespeare's plays are largely blank verse, as are other Renaissance plays. Blank verse was the most popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in England.
Burlesque A work designed to ridicule a style, literary form, or subject matter either by treating the exalted in a trivial way or by discussing the trivial in exalted terms (that is, with mock dignity).
Caesura A pause, metrical or rhetorical, occurring somewhere in a line of poetry. The pause may or may not be typographically indicated (usually with a comma)
Canon those works in anthologies that have come to be considered standard or traditionally included in the classroom and published textbooks.
Children's nove A novel written for children and discerned by one or more of these: (1) a child character or a character a child can identify with, (2) a theme or themes (often didactic) aimed at children, (3) vocabulary and sentence structure available to a young reader
Coming-of-age story A type of novel where the protagonist is initiated into adulthood through knowledge, experience, or both, often by a process of disillusionment. Understanding comes after the dropping of preconceptions, a destruction of a false sense of security.
Conceit An elaborate, usually intellectually ingenious poetic comparison or image, such as an analogy or metaphor in which, say a beloved is compared to a ship, planet, etc.
Dystopian novel An anti-utopian novel where, instead of a paradise, everything has gone wrong in the attempt to create a perfect society
End-stopped A line that has a natural pause at the end (period, comma, etc.).
Enjambed The running over of a sentence or thought into the next couplet or line without a pause at the end of the line; a run-on line.
Epic An extended narrative poem recounting actions, travels, adventures, and heroic episodes and written in a high style. It may be written in hexameter verse, especially dactylic hexameter, and it may have twelve books or twenty four books.
Epistolary novel A novel consisting of letters written by a character or several characters. The form allows for the use of multiple points of view toward the story and the ability to dispense with an omniscient narrator.
Euphemism The substitution of a mild or less negative word or phrase for a harsh or blunt one, as in the use of "pass away" instead of "die."
Existentialist novel A novel written from the viewpoint that often points out the absurdity and meaninglessness of existence
Fantasy novel Any novel that is disengaged from reality
Created by: mamaafreeka
 

 



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