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Literary Terms

Definitions of tools used by writers to convey meaning

TermDefinition
Alliteration a stylistic device in which a number of words, having the same first consonant sound, occur close together in a series
Flashback interruptions that writers do to insert past events in order to provide background or context to the current events of a narrative
Imagery to use figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses
Irony a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words or a situation that may end up in quite a different way than what is generally anticipated
Simile a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things with the help of the words “like” or “as”.
Metaphor when you portray a person, place, thing, or an action as being something else, even though it is not actually that “something else"
Diction the style of speaking or writing determined by the choice of words by a speaker or a writer
Hyperbole an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis
Juxtaposition a literary technique in which two or more ideas, places, characters and their actions are placed side by side in a narrative or a poem for the purpose of developing comparisons and contrasts
Motif an object or idea that repeats itself throughout a literary work
Figurative Language language in which figures of speech are used to make it effective, persuasive and impactful
Personification a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes
Symbolism one object representing another to give it an entirely different meaning that is much deeper and more significant
Tone an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience
Foreshadowing a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story
Allusion a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance
Mood a literary element that evokes certain feelings or vibes in readers through words and descriptions
Theme a main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work that may be stated directly or indirectly
Point of View who is telling the story
Allegory when abstract ideas and principles are described in terms of characters, figures and events
Created by: eluma