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Literary Terminology

English I - Literary Terminology

TermDefinition
Exposition The Pattern or Sequence of Events that make up a story
Rising Action Adds complications and more difficulties to the story conflict or Problem
Plot The Pattern or sequence of events that make up a story
Climax The highest point of interest in the story; moment of great emotional intensity or suspense.
Falling Action The part of the story that follows the climax; what happens after the climax.
Resolution Shows or suggests the outcome of the problem
Setting The time, place, and general environment in which the story takes place.
Foreshadowing Clues about events that will happen later in the story
Flashback An interruption in the action of the story to show something that happened in the past. It provides necessary information to better understand the plot.
Conflict Catches the reader's ttention by presenting an interesting problem or situation
External Conflict A Struggle with something outside of the person - Man vs Man (human vs. Human) - Man vs. Society Man vs Nature
Internal Conflict A struggle that takes place inside a human's head
Protagonist The main character in the story (usualy seen as the "hero" or "Heroine"
Antagonist One that contends with or opposes another; usually seen as the villain
Characterization A Technique the author uses to acquaint the reader with characters in the story (there are two techniques)
Direct Characterization the author bluntly describes the character
Indirect Characterization the author has the reader discover the character's personality by: 1) letting us hear the character speak 2) describing their looks and dress 3) revealing their inner thoughts and feelings.
Round Dynamic Character Shows a variety of personality traits; Changes in some way during the story.
Flat, Static Character Shows only one personality trait; Acts the same way throughout the story.
Dialogue Conversation between characters that is indicated with quotation marks.
Point of View The author's choice of narrator for the story that determines how much information the reader can be given - First Person - Third Person Limited Third Person Omniscient
First Person The narrator is a character in the story who can only reveal his own thoughts and feelings of one character.
Third Person Limited The narrator is NOT the character in the story and zooms in on the thoughts and feelings; uses "I"
Third Person Omniscient The "All Knowing" point of view; this narrator is NOT a character in the story. They can reveal thoughts and feelings of ALL Characters.
Theme A message to the world or an idea about life that the author expresses through his writing. - Usually suggested rather than stated directly Symbols are often used to help express a Theme.
Symbol A Person, Place, event , or Object that is used to represent something else.
Irony A contrast between expectations and reality.
Situational Irony A Contrast between what we expected to happen and what actually happen
Verbal Irony When a person says one thing, but means something else.
Dramatic Irony When the reader knows something that a character does not
Diction The author's choice of words; often a strong indication of the author's tone or attitude.
Tone Suggest the author's attitude toward his/her subject
Denotation The literal or dictionary definition of a word.
Connotation The attitudes , beliefs, or feelings associated with a word
Metaphor A figure of speech. A comparison of two unlike things
Simile A comparison of two UNLIKE things using the key words "LIKE" or "AS"
Personification Giving human characteristics to Non - Human things
Allusion Reference to a very well known person, Place event or literary work
Imagery The use of descriptive language that appeals to all of the senses, usually forming vivid pictures in the reader's mind
Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning (pop, tick-tock, swish)
Hyperbole Using exaggeration or overstatement to make a point
Alliteration A poetic term using repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of a series of words.
Assonance A poetic technique using repetition of the same vowel sound throughout a series of words.
Stanza The division of a poem (a paragraph for a poem)
Rhyme Repetition of sounds within a poem
Internal Rhyme Occurs when the rhyming words appear within the same line of poetry
Rhyme Scheme The patter of rhyme words appear within the same line of poetry
Meter The particular rhythm of a poem; pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables
Iambic Pentameter Line of Poetry rhythm of a poem; Pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.
Sonnet A fourteen line poem with iambic pentameter that focuses on a single theme.
Lyric Poem A melodic poem that expresses strong feelings about a subject.
Epic Poem A long poem describing the adventures of a hero
Narrative Poem A poem that tells a story
Oxymoron A phrase that combines two contradictory terms
Paradox A statement that seems self contradictory, but is actually true
Apostrophe A figure of speech that directly addresses an absent person or personified abstraction.
Pun A play on the double meaning of a word.
Repetition Using the same word or phrase continuously to create an effect.
Parallelism Structural similarity of words, sentences, or paragraphs based on similar grammar or language.
Inference A logical guess or conclusion based on facts
Assertion To state or declare your position (Thesis statement for a persuasive paper)
Commentary An explanation of how textural evidence proves the assertion.
Ethos Making your audience trust YOU
Pathos Appealing to the EMOTIONAL state of the of the audience
Logos Using Evidence that seems reasonable and will make sense to your audience
Created by: spotsville2