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AP Lit Term examples

Examples of literary terms for AP English 11 students

QuestionAnswer
The wizard of oz in which many of the ideas derived from political references Allegory
"I'll give you a ring tomorrow" "Duck!" Ambiguity
Just before his execution, the murderer was asked if he had a last request and he replied, "Yes, I'd like a bullet-proof vest." Anecdote
If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. Aphorism
The evil stepmother; a fairy godmother; the kind and loving motherly figure Archetype
"It was a dark, rainy night in April..." Atmosphere
"You're easy on the eyes. Hard on the heart." "One small step for a man, one giant leap for all mankind." Antithesis
Busy old fool, unruly sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains call on us? OR O Captain! My Captain! Apostrophe
She was tired, bored, lazy, sad. Asyndeton
Oh the ocean waves may roll, And the stormy winds may blow, While we poor sailors go skipping aloft And the land lubbers lay down below, below, below*** And the land lubbers lay down below.*** Ballad
Today she went to the store to buy apples, yesterday she went to the store to buy bananas. Balanced sentence
The Ball Poem By John Berryman What is the boy now, who has lost his ball, What, what is he to do? I saw it go Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then Merrily over-there it is in the water! Blank verse
La Cage Aux Falls which is about two homosexuals who run a drag show and it is humorous. Burlesque
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe. Cacophony
"Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered weak and weary," Cadence
The boy was tall, with dark slicked back hair that looked as if it was stuck to his head. He wore a white shirt and ripped, washed out blue jeans. Characterization
"You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget." Chiasmus
"moment of truth" "the good ole days" Cliché
"No! W'y, what has you lived on? But you got a gun. Oh, yes, you got a gun. Dat's good. Now you kill sumfn en I'll make up de fire." (said by Jim in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) Colloquialism
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date. William Shakespeare's Sonnet Conceit
civil war, revolution and rebellion all mean fighting but convey different meanings; house and home mean where you live, but home conveys more warmth than house. Connotation
breath and worth; home and came; fair and despair; believe and grieve Consonance
Excerpt from Cooper's Hill by John Denham: O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream My great example, as it is my theme! Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull, Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full. Couplet
Ronald Reagan's speech in Berlin: "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Deliberative rhetoric
Meaning of the word home is a dwelling place, but it does not capture the feelings behind the place and emotions it may evoke. Denotation
The man had on a red shirt with light blue pinstripes and three buttons on the top tucked into his khaki pants. Details
"Are you going to the party tonight?" asked Sarah Jessica said, "I think so, what time does it start?" Sarah replied, "Be there by nine." Dialogue
The scholarly man will arrive at the meeting approximately thirty minutes before it is initiated. VS The man will be here thirty minutes before it starts. Diction
Narrator: Benjamin is feeling distressed about all of the homework he has to do. On top of this, he feels like the world is working against him and he doesn't know how to deal with everything going on. He hopes that tomorrow will be a better day. Dramatic Monologue
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie was this to Logan and Jody because they could not figure out how she was feeling. Enigma
"Thank you all for coming tonight to celebrate the achievement of one of our own over the past year. This person has been a great aspect in our business, and we would like to thank him for all that he has contributed." Epideictic Diction
The Iliad or The Odyssey by Homer are examples because they celebrate the feats of a legendary hero Epic
Alexander the Great William the Conqueror Epithet
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Epistrophe
College applications usually ask for this type of writing. Essay
short -- vertically challenged fat -- pleasantly plump sick-- feeling under the weather Euphemism
To Autumn by John Keats: (nicely flowing smooth sound) Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run Euphony
In "Romeo and Juliet" when the two servants tell the audience about the feud between their masters prior to the play. Exposition
He was as blind as a bat; Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers; He was as strong as a horse; time flies by when your having fun Figurative Language
I went to school today. First person
When Janie recalls her past while talking to Pheoby Watson at the beginning of Their Eyes Were Watching God Flashback
When Pheoby Watson tells Janie to be careful of Tea Cakes with her money. Later Tea Cakes throws a party with money he took from Janie. Foreshadowing
in Romeo & Juliet, the character Tybalt is pugnacious while Benvolio is portrayed as peaceful. Foil
"Samson Agonistes" (has natural rhythm) But patience is more oft the exercise Of Saints, the trial of thir fortitude, Making them each his own Deliver, And Victor over all That tyranny or fortune can inflict. Free verse
The fat lady on the bus was as big as a house. All the other passengers had to move to the other side of the bus to keep it from tipping over. Hyperbole
"That test was a piece of cake" "I am fed up with his attitude" "Are you all right?" Idiom
He could hear the pitter- patter of the rain against the window as he smelled the sensational scent of grandma's cookies. Imagery
"Such fools we all are,she thought, crossing Victoria Street. For Heaven only knows why one loves it so, how one sees it so, making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh"-Virginia Woolf (thoughts are depicted in order) Interior Monologue
Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Colridge (think about the situation) Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink ; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink Irony
The O.J. Simpson case, in which Simpson killed his ex-wife, Nicole Judicial rhetoric
The current Japanese tsunami and earthquake issue is attracting many Americans to read articles about the country. Because this event just happened, many have started to learn more about Japan. Kairos
"Who Cares For Denise" By Paul McCann There was a young girl called Denise , She lived all her life on the streets . In need of a prayer . Her pockets were bare . She died in the arms of a priest Limerick
"She's not the brightest girl in the class." "Einstein is not a bad mathematician" Litotes
"The wildcat looked briefly at the two humans, seemed to sneer with a raised lip, and stalked off back into the supermarket. " Loose sentence
Into Thin Air by John Krakauer is this type of literature Memoir
"Shall I comPARE thee TO a SUMmer's DAY? Meter
A crown to represent a royal family; Washington to refer to politics in U.S., Hollywood meaning entertainment/movie industry Metonymy
The enemy said, "I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them." —Exodus 15:9 Mimesis
ALICE In Wonderland: [Angrily] Why, how impolite of him. I asked him a civil question, and he pretended not to hear me. That's not at all nice. [Calling after him] I say, Mr. White Rabbit, where are you going? Hmmm. He won't answer me. Monologue
sad, angry, melancholy, excited, happy, surprise Mood
After witnessing the atrocities,Wiesel stated: "So much has happened within such a few hours that I had lost all sense of time. When had we left our houses?And the ghetto? And the train?Was it only a week?One night-one single night"(NIGHT is used as this) Motif
Janie's strived to find true love and her own voice in "Their eyes were watching God" Motivation
The Greek tale of Phersephone in which she spent six months in Hades and six months on Earth. It is used to explain the seasons Myth
"I love eating cookies, so I think I will go shopping." Non Sequitur
____(PRAISE) To A Nightingale: by John Keats My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: Ode
Point of view from which The Scarlet Letter is written Omniscient
plop, smash, boom, bang, pop, buzz Onomatopoeia
jumbo shrimp; sound of silence Oxymoron
The story of the prodigal son from the Bible at Luke 15:1-32. This story teaches a lesson. Parable
"Nobody goes to that restaurant, it's too crowded." "Bittersweet" "Deep down he's really shallow" Paradox
"The faster you work, the faster you finish." Parallelism
Toad, hog, assassin, mirror by Larry Levis (ordinary language/no rhyme) Prose
A typically shy boy, acts as a jock at school to fit in. Persona
Overall, what happened in any story Plot
Third person, first person, omniscient, objective Point of View
Huck is the _____________ in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Hester is the _____________ in The Scarlet Letter Protagonist
"I had to decide between making salad with my mom or playing catch with my dad, it was a toss-up." "Biscuits and speeches are better when made with shortening." Pun
Repetition, syntax, diction Rhetoric
Poems by Wadsworth and Coleridge. They pioneered the movement in English literature. Romanticism
Gone With the Wind in which the characters are portrayed over a long period of time Saga
In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain criticizes public religion when guns are seen being brought into church Satire
The outline of the plot Scenario
Helps characterize a character by physical descriptions, setting descriptions, and action descriptions Sketch
Hamlet's "To Be Or Not To Be" in which he reveals his thoughts to the audience, but not the other characters Soliloquy
"Shall I compare thee to a Summer's Day" is an example of this because it follows iambic pentameter, composed of weaker syllables followed by accented syllables, and is 14 lines. Sonnet
William Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury which is characterized by a flow of thoughts and images, which may not always appear to have a coherent structure or cohesion. Stream of Consciousness
By Dylan Thomas: Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light Stanza
The organization of the overall design of a work. Structure
Wheels to represent a car "All hands on deck" "daily bread" Synecdoche
The girl hit the boy. vs The boy hit the girl. (Structure changes meaning) Syntax
"He/she/it fell down the stairs." Third Person
The tone in Their Eyes Were Watching God is sympathetic towards Janie Tone
Oedipus Rex Tragedy
Her hair shines like the sun. He is stronger than a rock. Trope
"Its just a little scratch" (when its a larger dent) "We had a little rain" (when the town flooded) Understatement
"We went to the store together and later we ate at the restaurant with our friends." (Same tense) Unity
This is what makes the writer unique from others. Nathaniel Hawthorne is a good example. Voice
Created by: cemills418