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Literary Elements

TermDefinition
Allegory A story that has a deeper or more general meaning in addition to its surface meaning.
Alliteration The repetition of the same sounds at the beginning of words.
Allusion A reference to a famous person, place, thing, or part of another work of literature. It is assumed that the reader understands the reference that is being made.
Characterization The method in which an author reveals information (personality, traits, appearance, values) about characters.
Protagonist this is the main character in the story whose decisions move the plot along
Antagonist this is the character or force that opposes the protagonist
Conflict The struggle or problem between opposing forces within the story.
Dialect a variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammar or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region
Dialogue A conversation between two or more characters. One of the ways in which plot, character, action, etc. are developed.
Foreshadowing A clue given to the reader about an action that will happen in the future.
Hyperbole A figure of speech in which an overstatement or exaggeration occurs.
Imagery The collection of images within a literary work. The use of words that help readers see, hear, feel, taste and smell the things being described. In other words, the painting of a mental picture, using the senses.
Irony A contrast between what is expected and what actually exists or happens.
Metaphor The comparison of one thing to another without the use of like or as.
Mood a literary element that evokes certain feelings or vibes in readers through words and descriptions.
Onomatopoeia A word that imitates the sound it represents
Oxymoron Putting two contradictory words together.
Point of View Refers to the narrative method used in a literary work.
Personification Giving human qualities or characteristics to non-human things (animals or objects).
Plot Refers to the chain of related events that take place in a story.
Setting The time and place in which the story takes place.
Simile The comparison of one thing to another using like or as
Symbol A person, place or object that represents something beyond itself.
Theme The general idea or insight about life that a writer wishes to express.
Tone Suggests an attitude toward the subject which is communicated by the words the author chooses.
Created by: ldiament