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Literary Terms
50 Cards
50
English
08/30/2005

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Term
allegory
Definition
A literary work in which persons, events, or objects represent or stand for something else.
Term
allusion
Definition
An indirect or casual reference to a famous person, event, or literary work with which the reader is assumed to be familiar.
Term
analogy
Definition
A point-by-point comparison between two dissimilar things for the purose of clarifying the less familiar.
Term
antagonist
Definition
Rival or opponent of the protagonist.
Term
atmosphere
Definition
Prevailing mood created by setting a tone.
Term
characterization
Definition
Techniques employed by the author to develop characters. Five methods: physical description, dialogue, actions, reactions to others, and thoughts and feelings.
Term
climax
Definition
HIghest point of intensity. Turning point of action.
Term
conflict
Definition
Struggle between opposing forces. External: Man/man, man/nature,man/society
Internal:man/himself
Term
connotation
Definition
Emotional response evoked by a word.
Term
denotation
Definition
Objective dictionary definition
Term
dialogue
Definition
Conversation between two or more characters
Term
diction
Definition
Writer's choice of words. Significant component of style.
Term
dramatic irony
Definition
Irony percieved by an audience when a character makes statements not fully understood by himself. When the reader knows info that characters do not.
Term
empathy
Definition
Sharing physical or emotional feelings by identifying with a character in literature.
Term
exposition
Definition
background info. Facts necessary to the reader placed early in the book.
Term
extended metaphor
Definition
Two unlike objects compared at some length.
Term
fable
Definition
A brief tale in prose or poetry that emphasizes a moral and usually has animals as the principle characters.
Term
figurative language
Definition
Language not meant to be taken literally.
Term
flashback
Definition
An interruption in the narraitve flow in order to present scenes or incidents that occured priior to the beginning of the novel or short story.
Term
foil
Definition
A character that presents a sstriking contrast to another
Term
foreshadowing
Definition
Hints or clues of what will occur in a narrative
Term
genre
Definition
Catagories of literary works
Term
hyperbole
Definition
Figure of speech characterized by exaggeration. Not to be taken literally.
Term
imagery
Definition
Words or phrases which creat vivid sensory impressions
Term
Inference
Definition
Something implied, but not stated
Term
irony
Definition
A rhetorical device in which the author conveys a meaning just the opposite of what is said or expected
Term
maxim
Definition
A brief concise statement usually containing practical wisdom or advice.
Term
metaphor
Definition
A figure of speech implying a comparison between objects of different classes or categories by saying one object is another.
Term
mood
Definition
Feeling or atmosphere the author creates
Term
motif
Definition
Reoccuring thematic element.
Term
Naturalism
Definition
Realistic fiction developed in France, US, and GB in the late 19th century. Human beings are like puppets controlled by external and interal forces. No free will.
Term
parable
Definition
A short story told to illustrate a moral lesson, such as the "good samaritan."
Term
paradox
Definition
A statement that appears to be absurd or self-contradictory, but is true on a higher level.
Term
parody
Definition
A humorous literary work that redicules a serous work by immitating and exaggerating its style
Term
pathos
Definition
Feeling of great empathy
Term
plot
Definition
Planned sequence of events in fiction
Term
point of view
Definition
Vantage point of the author. First person, 3rd limited, 3rd omniscient
Term
protagonist
Definition
Central character; opposing antagonist
Term
Realism
Definition
Truthful imatation of actual life. Important literary movement in latter half of the 19th century
Term
resolution
Definition
Denounement. Finial unraveling of the plot
Term
rhetorical questions
Definition
A question posed which does not expect an answer
Term
Romanticism
Definition
Movement in the arts in the 19th century in which writers glorify nature, idealize the pasat, and celebrate human expression. Emotion rather than reasonable.
Term
satire
Definition
Use of sarcasm or irony to ridicule. Foolish ideas are ridiculed for the purpose of improving society.
Term
simile
Definition
Figure of speech in which one object is said to be like another
Term
setting
Definition
Time and place. Also social and moral environment.
Term
stereotype
Definition
Something which conforms to a fixed or general pattern without distinguishing qualitites. Standarizied mental picture
Term
stream of consciousness
Definition
Interious monologue. Inner thoughts recorded, but not structured
Term
symbolism
Definition
One object stands for something greater
Term
theme
Definition
Universal truth conatianed in a work. NOt just a word.
Term
tone
Definition
Author's attitude towards his subject