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Literary Devices

Of Mice and Men

TermDefinition
analogy A comparison between two things. They function to describe or explain one thing by examining its similarities with another thing.
antagonist A character, group of characters, or other force that presents an obstacle or is in direct conflict with the protagonist.
antithesis A person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else.
external conflict A struggle that takes place between the main character and some outside force.
internal conflict Occurs when the main character struggles within himself or herself. A mental struggle arising from opposing demands or impulse.
man vs. man A situation in which two characters have opposing desires or interests. The typical scenario is a conflict between the protagonist and antagonist.
man vs. self This conflict develops from a protagonist’s inner struggles, and may depend on a character trying to decide between good and evil or overcome self-doubts.
man vs. society In this type of conflict, a character must take on society itself, and not a single person. The character stands at odds with societal norms and realizes the necessity to work against these norms.
man vs. nature In this type of conflict, a character is tormented by natural forces such as storms or animals.
connotation An idea or feeling that a word invokes rather than its literal or primary meaning.
dialect The variety of a language that a group of people speak, separated either by geography, class, or ethnicity. It is most often applied to the different speech patterns of people from different regions.
euphemism A polite or mild word or expression used to refer to something embarrassing, taboo, or unpleasant.
foreshadowing A literary device in which the author gives clues about events that will happen later in the story. Often these clues are fairly subtle so that they can only be noticed or fully understood upon a second reading.
irony A contrast between expectations for a situation and what is reality.
motif A narrative element with symbolic meaning that repeats throughout a work of literature and often contributes to mood and/or theme. They may come in the form of reoccurring imagery, language, structure, or contrasts.
protagonist The main character of a work of literature, theater, or cinema.
symbolism The practice or art of using an object or a word to represent an abstract idea.
Created by: msbrooks