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Literary Terms 7

50+ literary terms to know

TermDefinition
exposition characters, setting, conflict are exposed
inciting moment conflict begins; first rising action
rising action conflict increases
climax the most intense/emotional part of the story
falling action 1 or 2 events after the climax where the conflict is working out
resolution conflict is solved; story is closed
5 characterization traits appearance, behavior, speech, reactions of others, inner thoughts
appearance how the character looks
backdrop setting time and place are not important to the story
integral setting time and place are important to the story
setting types backdrop and integral
setting components time, place, mood
speech how a character talks
behavior how a character acts
episodic plot each chapter is a separate story; Frog and Toad, Winnie the Pooh, Encyclopedia Brown
plot the chain of events in a story
conflict a struggle between opposing forces (need not be human)
protagonist person who moves the story forward and wants to solve the conflict
static character that stays the same; no change/growth
flat few details, more of stereotype
inner thoughts what the character is thinking
antagonist force working against the protagonist; creates a conflict
internal conflict problem inside a character's mind; man vs self
man vs self a character is struggling with a personal issue, such as guilt, illness, or addiction
external conflict a character has a problem with some outside force; man vs society, man, nature, supernatural
man vs man 2 characters have a conflict with each other
man vs nature a character has a conflict with weather or an animal
man vs society a character is the victim of prejudice or discrimination or a problem created by the government
dynamic character changes and grows/learns
imaginary setting a made up place but realistic
linear plot continuous story; uses chronological order for the most part
reactions of others what other characters think or how they respond to the main character
setting time and place of the action in a story
man vs supernatural character is in conflict with any unexplained phenomena (magic, ghosts, aliens, etc)
round well-developed, true to life, many personality details
suspense details that create feelings of fear, anxiety, or uncertainty about the plot
foreshadowing clues/hints about what will happen in the plot
theme author's message about life and people
theme questions 1. who is the main character? 2. what happened in the story? 3. what did the character learn by going through the story?
irony unexpected outcome; twist of fate
symbolism an object has meaning itself and also represents a bigger idea; a heart symbolizes love
hyperbole overexaggeration
personification giving human characteristics to a non-human object
flashback looking back on past events
simile a comparison using like or as
alliteration repetition of same/similar consonant sounds in a line
metaphor a comparison of 2 unlike objects where one becomes the other; love is a battlefield
imagery using any of the 5 senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing
oxymoron a contradiction in terms; jumbo shrimp, a fine mess, peaceful protest
open-ended plot cliff hanger; choose your own adventure
character person/animal that takes part in the plot
third person omniscient outside narrator tells the story and knows the emotions/thoughts of many characters
third person limited outside narrator tells the story and concentrates on the emotions/thoughts of only the main character
first person a character in the story is the narrator
point of view how the story is told; narration style
Created by: Pollard8
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