Literary Techniques Part 1 (1-20)

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20 Terms

1

allegory

a prose or poetic narrative in which the characters, behavior, and even the setting demonstrates multiple levels of meaning and significance. Examples: Animal Farm. the parable of the mustard seed.

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2

alliteration

the repetition of a similar sound at the beginning of words, usually applied to consonants. It is used to emphasize by catching the reader's attention. Example: "My Mets make my life miserable."

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3

allusion

a reference to a literary or historical event, person, or place. They are meant to call to mind a backstory and/or any associated ideas. Example: "Mrs. Higa shot down my first 8 restaurant suggestions, but when I asked for her to choose, she pulled a Pontious Pilate, claiming it was up to me."

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4

anaphora

the repetition of a word or phrase to begin several successive clauses or phrases. It is meant for emphasis through repetition/reinforcement. Example: "How dare you speak to me that way! How dare you undermine my authority! How dare you think you could every be my equal!"

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5

apostrophe

an address to an inanimate object or a character who is not present in the scene. Example: a writer may write to the ocean; a character may give a speech on a dead lover.

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6

archetype

recurrent designs, patterns of action, character types, themes, or images which are identifiable in a wide range of literature. They often serve as blueprint to be utilized or subverted for various functions. Examples: 5-phase plot diagram, the 3-act play/trilogy (patterns of action) the humorous sidekick, the hero from humble beginnings

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7

assonance

a repetition of identical vowel sounds within the syllables of words.Example: "Mike finds guiding lives sublime."

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8

blank verse

the type of verse which most resembles common speech. Unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter (ten-syllable lines of alternating unstressed/stressed syllables."

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9

conceit

a comparison of two unlikely things that is often drawn out within a piece of literature, as an extended metaphor in particular. Example: comparing a romance to the growth of a tree - its seeding, blossoming, then dying.

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10

connotation

an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning.

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11

denotation

the literal meaning of a word

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12

diction

word choice, the basis of many other devices including imagery and tone. Can be given a modifier for different effects such as elevated diction, colloquial diction, etc.

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13

elegy

a poetic lament on the death of a person, or possibly the end of a period, event, etc.

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14

enjambment

the continuation of a sentence from one line of poetry to the next.

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15

extended metaphor

a metaphor that runs the entire length of the work.

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16

free verse

poetry characterized by varying line lengths, lack of traditional meter, and non-rhyming lines

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17

hyperbole

overstatement/exaggeration for effect

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18

imagery

language meant to appeal to the 5 senses, in most cases to make the subject matter more accessible to the reader.

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19

irony

the disparity between what is expected or understood versus what actually happens or meant.

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20

jargon

special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.

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