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Literary Terms ED5990
Transcript of Literary Terms ED5990
is in the future in a place called Panem.
Where the events in the story happen.
The setting is
The plot is the unfolding action or events in a story.
Generally speaking, most stories follow this plot structure:
And now we've come to...
have a beginning.
in a story establishes
the setting, the characters,
and any important background
2. The conflict or problem is introduced here.
The character is in crisis!
3. The high point of the story. The main character faces his or her greatest danger!
4. In falling action, the character faces
the consequences of the climax.
5. This is the resolution or the ending
of the story.
All loose ends are tied up.
Before you begin, enjoy this Flocabulary
video. It will help familiarize you with the
most common and most important
a. when a story takes place
b. where a story takes place
c. the arrangement of forks and knives
on a table
d. when and where a story takes place
The answer is d!
If a hero faces her greatest danger, you would call
a. the denouement
b. the climax
c. the exposition
d. the falling action
The answer is b!
Characters are the people in
There are two types:
Watch this fun
video to learn
round and flat
Examples of Characters
Katniss has a rich
and varied personality
that changes and develops
throughout the story.
President Snow has only
one personality trait:
He never changes.
Stop and Think
Brainstorm a list of
two ROUND characters
from a book, movie, or television show. Explain
why you consider these
Then...compare these two round characters
with two FLAT characters. What's the difference?
All stories have a structure. Some stories are LINEAR, meaning they have a clear beginning, middle, and end. The beginning and end are very different in linear stories.
Some stories are "round", meaning they begin and end at the same place. Children's stories are often structured
How is Jan Brett's re-telling of a
Ukranian folk tale a cyclical story?
The conflict is the struggle or problem
the character faces.
There are many types of
conflict, but they tend to
fall into one of four
Some other types of conflict...
person vs fate
person vs technology
person vs the supernatural
Conflicts are either
An internal conflict occurs in the
character's mind. It can be a tough decision the character must make, a moral dilemma or a struggle for identity
An external conflict occurs between the character and an outside force.
This is a good time to talk about point of view.
Point of view is the way an author allows the reader
to "hear" and "see" the story.
The narrator tells the story using "I", "me", "my" and other personal pronouns. The reader has access to the character's thoughts and the story is told through that character's perspective. REMEMBER THE UNRELIABLE NARRATOR! Characters, like real people, are flawed and view the world through their own experiences and biases. It is the job of the reader to think beyond the narrator.
This occurs when the narrator uses "you" or "your." In other words, the author or narrator is speaking directly to the reader. This is a less common type of narration.
This point of view is of the outsider
looking in on the action. There are two types:
Third Person Omniscient
The reader has access to thoughts of all the character
Third Person Limited
The reader has access to the thoughts of only one character.
Mood is the emotional
atmosphere created by
the author. When a reader
feels sad, scared, joyful,
depressed, excited, or any other
emotion, it's mood at work.
Suspense is the feeling you get while reading that your
favorite character is about to open the door from which behind comes a most unusual and frightening sound.
An author creates suspense
by creating a problem (what
IS behind that door?), and
holding back the answer (slowly,
slowly the character tuns the knob),and then rewarding us with an answer (it's a scary clown with a knife!).
is another way
to build suspense.
An author will give hints or clues about what is
to come later in the story.
Authors often use
weather to foreshadow
Quite possibly the most misunderstood and misused term, irony is the one-two-punch of great literature.
*Be careful! Do not confuse irony with
Situational irony, which is the kind we encounter in stories,
occurs when the opposite of what is expected happens.
IRONIC TWISTS are the delight of all good stories.
A woman loses a valuable necklace that a friend lent her. She borrows a huge sum of money to replace the necklace, so she can avoid telling her friend she lost it. The woman works
her fingers to the bone to repay the loan.
At the end, the friend reveals the necklace
was costume jewelry and worthless!
NEED AN EXAMPLE?
Dramatic irony occurs when the audience or reader
knows information that the character does not.
thrive on dramatic irony. It's the
excruciating feeling the audience
has when we watch our character
open the door when we know the
killer clown with the knife is on the other side!
Hey! This is fun. Watch
this video for examples
of how writers, artists, and rappers use these tools to make music out of words.
All great writers and
readers know and
understand the TOOLS
of great writing. I call
these the tools because
these help BUILD the
beauty and meaning
of a text.
What's inside the writer's tool chest?
ALLITERATION: A series of words that begin with the same sound.
Example: Boys bouncing balls on the ballroom floor.
Simile: Comparing two unrelated objects using "like" or "as"
Example: His mind was as sharp as a knife.
Metaphor: Comparing two objects without "like" or "as."
Example: My mother stood in the kitchen, a star around
which we orbited like planets.
Imagery: The mental picture created in the
reader's mind through description.
Example: The dimly lit kitchen smelled damp and musty. The counters were covered
in dust, cobwebs hung like tattered sheets
in the corners, and cabinet doors were missing.
Personification: Attributing human qualities and personality to animals or objects.
Example: The fire danced merrily in the hearth while
the kettle sang loudly on the stove.
Rhyme and Rhythm: The use of words that
sound similar to create a beat in a text.
Also the use of stressed or unstressed syllables to create a beat.
STOP AND THINK
Choose the lyrics to
a favorite song.
Identify the use of
any of these devices.
How do these devices make or enhance
the meaning of the song?
is about putting two things together
so they CONTRAST. The reader's job is to
figure out what's important about the differences.
two different characters
two different scenes or settings
words or phrases
Don't forget the heavyweight of these tools...
No, not this kind.
Symbols and Symbolism
Symbols occur in literature
when an object, person, or
situation has another meaning other than the
Symbolism is the use of symbols in a
Red roses often symbolize love.
Doves bearing olive branches
often symbolize peace.
So, let's say you are reading a short story, and the author spends a long time describing his car. Being the inquisitive student you are, you ask, "Is that a symbol?"
To answer that question, I will borrow the words of Thomas C. Foster, author of
How to Read Literature Like a Professor:
We've nearly ended our journey, and I've saved the best for last! As you were traveling along, you might have been asking yourself, "Yes, but WHY should I know these words? What's the big deal?"
Because every single term we've covered will not
only help you enjoy a text, but it will help you
Everybody loves themes!
themed birthday parties (clowns! princesses!)
themed weddings (natural, urban, hipster)
themed bedrooms (blues and whites only!)
Themes in literature are much cooler than any
of these because a theme in literature is where the text connects itself DIRECTLY TO YOUR LIFE! You, as the reader, perceive an
observation about the unique experience of
being human in this crazy universe.
The theme, or deeper meaning, of a text is
never obvious. The reader must interpret all
aspects of the novel, from characters to conflict, to metaphors to symbols. Themes are
UNIVERSAL, meaning they apply to everyone, not just the characters in the book!
Theme is never one word!
Rather, theme is the message about that word.
Stating that the theme of a novel is greed is a good start. But better yet, explain the message: greed can destroy a person's life.
Themes are almost always ABSTRACT, meaning they are ideas expressed about the human nature and human experience.
Not sure where to start? Here is a list of theme words that show up often in literature. Remember, it is up to the reader to express a message about that theme word!
free will vs fate
good vs evil
Choose a favorite story, movie or show. Identify
at least two ROUND characters. What makes them round?
thoughts, but how reliable of a narrator is he?