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English Vocab

Literary Terms

TermDefinition
Plot the order of events in a narrative or any other type of story.
Setting place, environment, and time (period) of a story.
Theme central message or lesson about life in a story that can be applied to other stories.
Conflict struggle between 2 opposing forces in a story. Two types: Internal and External.
Characterization the methods used to present the personality of a character.
Foreshadowing the use of clues in a story to hint at a later event or outcome.
Flashback an interruption in a story where earlier events from the story are presented.
Point of View (POV) the perspective from which a story is told.
Omniscient Narrator the narrator is NOT a character in the story. Reveals the thoughts and experiences of all of the characters.
Irony an event that occurs which contradicts the expectations of the readers and characters (a twist).
Mood a feeling that a literary work gives the reader.
Symbolism the use of a person, place, object or action to stand for something beyond itself. A flag can symbolize a country, the feeling of patriotism or the idea of freedom.
Allusion a reference to a famous person, place, event or work of literature.
Alliteration repetition of the first syllable sound of words.
Hyperbole figurative language that uses extreme exaggeration to make a point.
Imagery pictures created in the mind from vivid text descriptions that appeal to the 5 senses.
Onomatopoeia the use of words who sounds suggests their meaning.
Personification figurative language that gives inanimate (non living) objects human qualities.
Metaphor figurative language that compares 2 unlike things WITHOUT using 'like' or 'as.'
Simile figurative language that compares 2 unlike things USING the words 'like' or 'as'.
Stage Directions instructions to the actors and director within the script of a play. Usually written in italics and are not meant to be read out loud.
Climax the most intense or highest point of the story. Possibly a dramatic discovery or confrontation of the main conflict.
Created by: Jessica Murphy