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Lit Comp 138

Short Story Terms

Fable A short story that usually is about animals and is intended to teach a lesson
Fairytale A type of short story that has magic and good vs. evil characters
Tall Tale An exaggerated, unreliable story told for entertainment
Trickster Tale A tale that includes a trickster – a clever animal or person who plays tricks on other characters
Legend A traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but can’t be proven
Myths A made up story that explains the existence of a natural phenomenon
Wisdom Literature Literature that teaches how to live properly
Moral A message or lesson to be learned from a story or play
Motif A recurring image, idea, or symbol
Archetype A universally known or understood character, situation, or theme
Villain An evil character in the story
Hero A character admired for good acts
Setting The time and place in which a story takes place
Plot The series of events that make up a story
Characters A person in a novel, story, play, or movie
Indirect Characterization When the narrator shows the reader something about the character through the character’s actions, things the character says, or things other characters say
Direct Characterization When the author specifically reveals traits about the character in a direct, straightforward manner.
Flat Character A character whose personality can be described as having one or two personality traits and who does not have a lot of importance or depth
Round Character A complex character with many personality traits and who does have many characteristics, high importance, and much depth
Static Character A character who does not undergo any type of inner change (personality/attitude) throughout the text
Dynamic Character A character who does undergo a type of inner change (personality/attitude) throughout the text
Foil Characters A character who creates a contrast to a different character in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character (good appears more “good” when evil is present)
Point of View The perspective from which a story is told
Theme The main idea of a piece of writing or work of literature that an author is trying to express to the reader about life or human nature
Internal Conflict The psychological or mental struggle within the mind of a literary or dramatic character
External Conflict The struggle between a literary or dramatic character and an outside force such as nature or another character
Protagonist The main character of a literary work
Antagonist A character or force against which another character struggles
Mood The attitude the reader has from a text or work of literature
Tone The attitude the writer gives off toward a subject
Symbolism The use of one object or idea to represent another object or idea
Created by: allinone



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