Literature Terms (8 ELA)

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Alliteration

Repetition of consonant sounds to create rhythm and aid memory

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Allusion

A reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art

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Antagonist

a person who actively opposes the protagonist or the hero/heroine in the story

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Characterization

the creation of imaginary persons so that they seem lifelike

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Cliche

a word or phrase that is so overused that it is no longer effective in most writing situations

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Climax

the turning point of the story

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Conflict

A struggle between opposing forces

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Conflict

Person vs. Person, Person vs. Society, Person vs. Nature, Person vs. Self, Person vs. Fate, Person vs. Technology

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Connotation

All the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests

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Denouement/Resolution

The conclusion or resolution of a story; French for "unraveling;" Stories are unraveled, conflicts are solved, questions raised by plot are answered

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empathy

an understanding of another's feelings. You put yourself in someone else's place and imagine how that person must feel

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Exposition

The introductory or background information on setting, characters, and plot

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falling action

the part of a literary plot that occurs after the climax has been reached, finishes all the loose ends

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Flashback

A scene that interrupts the normal chronological sequence of events in a story to depict something that happened at an earlier time. Insertion of a scene that took place in the past.

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Foreshadowing

A narrative device that hints at coming events; often builds suspense or anxiety in the reader.

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Hyperbole

exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally, Overstatement for emphasis

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Imagery

Description that appeals to the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste)

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dramatic irony

when a reader is aware of something that a character isn't

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verbal irony

when what is said is the opposite of what is meant, such as in sarcasm

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situational irony

A situation or event that is the opposite of what is or might be expected

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Metaphor

A comparison without using like or as, a comparison of two dissimilar things. Uses a being verb, NOT like or as.

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Mood

How the reader feels about the text while reading.

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Motif

A recurring theme, subject or idea

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Onomatopoeia

A word that imitates the sound it represents.

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Personification

the giving of human qualities to an animal, object, or idea

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point of view

From whose angle the story is being told (first, second, third_

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Protagonist

Main character in a story

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Pun

A word or phrase that has a double meaning as intended by the writer

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Repetition

Repeated use of sounds, words, or ideas for effect and emphasis

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Resolution

Portion of the writing where the problem is solved/finished

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rhetorical question

A question asked merely for rhetorical effect and not requiring an answer

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rising action

the series of conflicts or struggles that build a story toward a climax.

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Satire

the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

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Setting

The time and place of a story

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Simile

A comparison using "like" or "as"

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stereotype

This is a pattern or form which does not change, applied to oversimplified judgments

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Symbolism

the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities, something that stands for something larger than itself

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Theme

Central idea of a work of literature

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Tone

Attitude a writer takes toward the audience, a subject, or a character

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Rhyme

Creating a beat or rhythm with words to affect tone, mood, characterization, theme and more. This can be done internally or at the end of lines/sentences

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Soliloquy

A long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone on stage

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Oxymoron

A figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase.

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malapropism

a word humorously misused

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Juxtaposition

placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast

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epilogue

short concluding section in a literary work

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Prologue

a separate introductory section of a literary work

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Epigraph

the use of a quotation at the beginning of a work that hints at its theme

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Allegory

a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

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Tone - Definition

The author's attitude towards the subject.

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Tone - Examples

Amused, bitter, optimistic, horrified, sarcastic, content.

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Mood - Definition

The emotions a work of literature evokes in the reader (sometimes referred to as atmosphere).

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Mood - Examples

Gloomy, happy, calm, frightful, anxious.

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Theme - Definition

-Overall message of a work, often about life or human nature.

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-Is usually inferred by the reader rather than directly stated, but can be backed up with textual evidence.

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Theme - Examples

  1. Guilt can be paralyzing or motivating. 2. People risk their own identity to find love. 3. Without empathy, there can be no justice.

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Motif - Definition

A recurring element, often symbolic, in a text.

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Motif - Examples

language, light/dark, silence.

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Irony - Definition

Overall, a difference between appearance or expectation and reality.

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Situational Irony - Definition

When something happens that is incongruous with expectations (in other words, something happens contrary to the expected and/or predicted outcome).

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Situation Irony - Example

You expect a tiger to chase a cat, but you don't expect to see a cat chasing a tiger. It is not just something funny happening. You predict something and get the complete opposite.

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Dramatic Irony - Definition

When the reader knows crucial information that a character does not know.

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Dramatic Irony - Example

In a scary movie, the character goes into a house they think is empty, but the audience knows the killer is in the house.

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Verbal Irony - Definition

When someone says the opposite of what they mean.

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Verbal Irony - Example

When it is raining outside and gloomy and the person says "What great weather" but obviously doesn't meant it. It can include sarcasm.

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Symbolism - Definition

Something that stands for something larger than itself.

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Symbolism - Examples

  1. Rose in Beauty and the Beast represents love and time. 2. Darkness symbolizes evil, fear, or death.

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decapitation

to cut off the head of; to behead

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aggrandizement

to increase in rank or wealth; growth in power

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grandiloquence

(n.) lofty, pompous language (The student thought her grandiloquence would make her sound smart, but neither the class nor the teacher bought it.)

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purge

to wash away impurities, clean up

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dissension

A difference of opinion; disagreement

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grandiose

absurdly exaggerated

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mutant

An organism genetically different from its parent

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eligible

qualified for or allowed or worthy of being chosen

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Animosty

strong dislike; bitter hostility

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phlegmatic

calm; sluggish; unemotional

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devious

dishonest or deceptive; tricky

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gregarious

sociable, outgoing

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Jurisdiction

the official power to make legal decisions and judgments.

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capital

money for investment

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segregation

Separation of people based on racial, ethnic, or other differences

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recapitulate

to summarize

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via

road, way

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limbo

place or state of neglect; period awaiting change; in-between state

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