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Literary Elements

Top 22 Literary Elements for Regents Prep

TermDefinition
Allegory A story where things stand for something else. Ex. Little Red Riding Hood=innocence
Alliteration The repetition of initial consonant sounds. Ex. Six slimy snakes
Characterization The way an author develops a character. Direct Characterization: the narrator tells you about the character. Indirect Characterization: you find out about a character through dialogue or other characters.
Flashback A scene inserted in a story to tell what happened earlier.
Foreshadowing A hint at future events in a story.
Hyperbole An extreme exaggeration for effect. Ex. I was so hungry, I could have eaten a horse.
Imagery Words that create a picture in your mind, and help you imagine it for yourself.
Irony The difference between what you think will happen, and what actually happens.
Metaphor A comparison between two unlike things that helps you to better understand what the author is saying. Ex. His eyes were daggers.
Mood The feeling, or atmosphere, you get from a literary work. Usually the result of the setting.
Onomatopoeia Words that imitate sounds. Ex. buzz, slap
Oxymoron Two words that don't seem to make sense, but do. Ex. jumbo shrimp
Personification When an author gives human characteristics to a non-human object. Ex. The sun smiled down on us.
Point of View The vantage point from which a story is told. First person, second person, third person.
Repetition Repeating a word or phrase for emphasis on what the author thinks is important.
Rhetorical Question A question asked by the author that is not meant to be answered, but is meant to make the reader think.
Satire A literary work that deals with a societal issue by making fun of it to bring it to people's attention and improve the issue.
Simile A comparison using like or as. Ex. Her eyes are like the stars.
Symbolism When something stands for itself, and something else. Ex. A heart stands for a heart, and also love.
Theme The main message an author wants you to get from a literary work.
Tone The author's attitude toward his or her literary work.
Epiphany A sudden realization of something important.
Created by: mrsgluszak