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Literary Terms Vocab


Exposition introductory material; setting, tone, characters, and other facts
Rising Action a series of events that builds from the conflict
Climax the result of the crisis; high point of the story; moment of highest interest and greatest emotion
Falling Action events after the climax which closes the story
Resolution (Denouement) rounds out and concludes the action
Conflict dramatic struggle between two forces in a story; it creates the plot
Conflict: Character vs. Character protagonist vs. antagonist; good guy vs. bad guy
Conflict: Character vs. Self struggle takes place inside his or her mind; choosing between right and wrong
Conflict: Character vs. Nature struggle with the forces of nature; struggle for survival
Conflict: Character vs. Society struggle against social traditions or rules (fight for freedom, rights, or a cause)
External conflict character vs. an outside source
Internal conflict Character vs. self
Flat character two-dimensional; uncomplicated; do not change during the course of a work
Round character complex; undergo development sometimes to the surprise of the reader
Static character undergoes little or no change; does not grow or develop
Dynamic character undergoes an important inner change, sometimes in personality or attitude
Direct characterization process by which the character is revealed by the use of descriptive adjectives or phrases
Indirect characterization process by which the character is revealed through speech, actions, or appearance
Protagonist the leading character, hero, or heroine
Antagonist the adversary (opponent) of the hero
Author's Point of view the angle of considering things which shows us the opinion or feelings of the individuals involved in a situation
First person point of view involves the use of either of the two pronouns "I "or "we"; narrator is character in the story who can reveal only personal thoughts and feelings; can't tell us thoughts of other characters
Third-person objective narrator is an "outsider" who can report only what he or she sees and hears; can't tell us the thoughts of other characters
Third-person limited narrator is an "outsider" who sees into the minds of one of the characters
Third-person Omniscient narrator is an all-knowing "outsider" who can enter the minds of more than one of the characters
Irony the contrast between what is expected and what actually is
Verbal irony the contrast between what is said and what is actually meant
Situational irony a happening that is the opposite of what is expected
Dramatic irony when the audience or reader knows more than the characters know
Symbolism a person, place, or thing which has a meaning in itself but suggests other meanings as well; suggesting a meaning beyond the obvious
Theme the main idea or underlying meaning of a literary work; may be stated or implied; expresses some opinion on the main topic
Created by: gmottola



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