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Literary Terms

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Sofia Valencia

on 3 March 2013

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Transcript of Literary Terms

Oxymoron the repetition of a beginning consonant sound
within a phrase or sentence Alliteration the direct and indirect qualities and features that
describe a person within a literary work. Characterization Consonance the repetition of consonant sounds within or at the end of words in a phrase or sentence. Imagery the use of figurative language to paint a sensory picture for the reader to combine two words of contrasting meanings to convey a single idea or thought. by Sofia Valencia Literary Terms Example: "What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!" (Part of Edgar Allen Poe's
poem, "The Bells.") Allusion a direct or indirect reference to a significant person, event, time, or work of literature. Example: She had the Midas touch (Midas
is from Greek mythology.) Analogy to compare similar concepts, characters, or works of literature so the reader better understands a difficult idea. Example: I felt like a fish out of water. (implying that you are not comfortable with your surroundings) Antagonist the character who opposes the central character, causing conflict. Captain James Hook is the main antagonist in J.M. Barrie's book/play, "Peter Pan; or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" Assonance the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds found within or at the end of words and phrases. "The crumbling thunder of seas"
(Robert Louis Stevenson) Example: “Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humor, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character” (Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice") Clichè an expression that has been used so often that its meaning and impact are no longer effective Example: The phrase "Once upon a time..." is clichè because it has been used to begin many stories. Climax the place in a literary work that is the most significant to the main character and/or the plot. Example: The climax of the Harry Potter series is when Harry fights and defeats Voldemort. Conflict the struggle between two or more forces, internal and/or external, that drive the plot. Example: The main conflict in J.M. Barrie's book/play "Peter Pan" is growing up vs. keeping your childhood innocence. Connotation the suggestive meaning of a word or phrase. Example: Connotative words from W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkeys Paw"-parlour, radical changes, sharp and unnecessary perils, provoked, white haired old lady, fatal mistake, grimly. Example: "Whose woods these are I think I know./His house is in the village though/He will not see me stopping here/To watch his woods fill up with snow." (From Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening") Dialogue the representation of conversation within a literary work. Example: “You see that old woman? That will never happen to you. You will never grow old, and you will never die."
"And it means something else too, doesn't it? I shall never ever grow up.” (Louis and Claudia, "Interview with the Vampire" by Anne Rice) Euphemism a polite word or phrase used in place of an offensive or crude word or phrase Example: "Ethnic cleansing" instead of genocide. Figurative Language Words that affect a meaning other than the usual or literal meaning of the words. Example: "Hear the mellow wedding bells." ("The Bells" by Edgar Allen Poe) Foreshadowing a feeling, object, or occurrence that forewarns of an event and which is only fully understood in hindsight. Example: In Star Wars, Episode 2 Obi Wan Kenobi says to Anakin Skywalker "Why do I get the feeling you will be the death of me?"-later Anakin as Darth Vader actually kills Obi Wan in Star Wars Episode 4 "A New Hope." Genre the various classifications of literary works. Example: Mystery, horror, comedy, and tragedy are literary genres. Hyperbole using exaggeration to provoke strong emotion, to create humor, or to make a point. Example: "I was quaking from head to foot, and could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far." ("Old Times in Mississippi" by Mark Twain) Idiom an expression that is clear only to those who are familiar with the language of its origin; cannot be understood based on its meaning. Example: "A chip on your shoulder" means that you think you know a lot. Example: "There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the sympathy of his fellow men." (Description of Red Death from Edgar Allen Poe's "The Masque of Red Death") Irony what results when the actual outcome differs from what is expected. Example: The Titanic was deemed 'unsinkable'-yet it sank on it's maiden voyage. Metaphor to compare similar things or ideas without using the words 'like' or 'as'. Example: Having a "broken heart" just means that you are hurt and melancholy. Onomatopoeia a word or words that sound like the action or thing they describe or represent. Example: Belch, grunt, and gurgle are examples of onomatopoeia. Example: Phrases such as "Walking dead", "Painfully beautiful", and "Weirdly normal" are examples of oxymorons. Paradox a statement that initially seems to contradict itself but, in fact, includes a fundamental truth. Examples: "Men work together whether they work together or apart." ("The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost) Personification to attribute human characteristics to inanimate objects, natural forces, animals, or ideas. Example: "Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered. There was no one there." (Proverb) Plot the order in which the author has chosen to convey the events of a literary work. Example: The plot of Michael Crichton's book "Jurassic Park" is that due to a power outage caused by one of the park staff,
the main characters must find a way off
of Isla Nublar before they get killed by
the dinosaurs that escaped. Point of View the position or positions from which a literary work is told to the reader. Example: "'I never lie,' I said offhand. 'At least not to those I don't love.'" (Example of first-person point of view in Anne Rice's book "The Vampire Lestat." Protagonist the principal or main character around which a literary work usually revolves. Example: Percy Jackson is the protagonist in the book series "Percy Jackson and the Olympians." by Rick Riordan. Pun the use of similar or identical sounding words to create an alternate meaning to the sentence in which they are used. Example: In Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland", the Mad Hatter asks how a raven is like a writing desk, an he is answered with “It is nevar put with the wrong end in front!”-the pun being that 'nevar' is 'raven' spelled backward. Setting the location and time period where the plot takes place. Example: "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson takes place during the eighteenth century in Bristol, England and Treasure Island-an island off the coast of 'Spanish America'. Simile to compare different things or ideas by using the words 'like' or 'as'. Example: Phrases such as "As cold as ice" and "As white as a ghost" are examples of similes. Style the combined defining elements of how language is used within a literary work, by an author, or as a category of expression. Example: Edgar Allen Poe's writing style is Gothic, mysterious, speculative, and a little grotesque. Symbol a thing, person, or place that is present as a representation of a larger meaning Example: In the film "Rise of the Guardians", the character Jack Frost was the representation of winter and fun and Pitch Black and his Nightmares were symbols of nightmares and fear. Theme an abstract idea or ideas that dominate a literary work (such as jealousy, hate, love, war, etc.) Example: Mystery, fate, sacrifice, and family are common themes in literature.
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