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American Lit Final

Study for Ms. Robbins' American Literature Final

Act The larger separation of a play
Antagonist The force a character faces
Aside A short speech given by one character directly to the audience
Blank verse Poetry that has meter but no rhyme
Catastrophe The dramatic crisis of a play
Comedy A play that ends happily
Conflict The problem a character faces
Denouement The ending to a play (also called the resolution)
Dialogue Speech occurring between two or more characters
Dramatic foil A character who brings out the personality traits of another character by functioning as an opposite
Dramatic irony When the audience knows something a character does not
Dynamic Character A character who changes throughout the course of the play
Epilogue The ending of the play is expressed through this medium
Free verse Poetry that has no rhyme or meter
Iambic Pentameter A line of poetry that contains five iambs (one iamb = two syllables)
Imagery Words that appeal to the senses
Monologue A long speech delivered by one character to many
Personification Giving human-like characteristics to non-human things
Prologue The introduction of a play
Prose Writing that is not poetry
Protagonist The main character of a play
Pun A play on words (usually two words that sound alike)
Quatrain A grouping of four lines
Rhyme scheme The pattern of rhyme within a poem or drama
Rhymed couplet A grouping of two rhymed lines
Scene The smaller separation of a play
Shakespearean Sonnet A poem that has 14 lines, specific rhyme scheme, and is written in iambic pentameter
Soliloquy A long speech given by a character alone on the stage, usually about thoughts or feelings
Stage directions Unspoken words that tell the actors what to do
Static Character A character who does not change throughout the play
Tragedy A play that ends sadly
Tragic flaw Brings about a character's downfall or death
Mama Younger Head of the house (matriarch); mother to Walter and Beneatha, grandmother to Travis; in charge of spending the insurance money (uses it to buy a house); very religious
Walter Younger son of Mama, husband of Ruth, brother of Beneatha, father of Travis; dreams of becoming a rich businessman; has problems with alcohol; spends his money on investing in a liquor store
Ruth Younger Wife of Walter, mother of Travis; pregnant with her second child; known as a "settled" woman
Beneatha Younger Daughter of Mama, sister of Walter; dramatic, indecisive woman (makes many different choices); going to medical school; must choose between George and Asagai
Travis Younger Youngest of the family; wants to make his own money carrying groceries
George Murchison Boyfriend to Beneatha; well-educated assimilator; wants a simple, pretty, sophisticated woman
Joseph Asagai Friend of Beneatha; Nigerian man who inspires Beneatha to be independent
Willy Harris Friend of Walter; runs away with the investment
Bobo Friend of Walter; invests in the liquor store; tells Walter the bad news that Willy has run away with the money
Karl Lindner Representative from Clybourne Park; offers the Youngers more money to move out of the neighborhood
The Younger Household All 5 members live in two bedrooms and share a bathroom with their neighbors
The Check A life insurance check from Mr. Younger's death; worth $10,000; Walter wants to spend it on the liquor store; Beneatha wants it for school; Ruth wants Mama to spend it. Mama puts $3500 on a house, $3000 for Beneatha's school, and the rest to Walter
Asagai vs. George George represents assimilation and Beneatha's American self (even though she thinks he is a fool) Asagai represents African heritage and encourages Beneatha to explore herself. He calls her "alaiyo" meaning "One for whom bread (food) is not enough"
Clybourne Park A white neighborhood where Mama buys a house. A representative named Karl Lindner comes to offer them more money to leave. They eventually move into the neighborhood despite the humiliating offer.
Dreams A theme of the play; Walter dreams of being successful; Beneatha dreams of being a doctor after seeing a boy split his face open; Ruth dreams of being out of poverty; Mama dreams of owning a house
Created by: amanda.robbins



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