Literary Elements Allusion*

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1 Literary Elements Allusion* brief, often direct reference to a person, place, event, work of art, literature, or music which the author assumes the reader will recognize Analogy Apostrophe* Characterization* Direct* Indirect* Conflict* Complications Dramatic climax Crisis Connotation* Denotation* Dialogue* Diction* Figurative language a comparison of points of likeness between two otherwise dissimilar things, a familiar object or idea is used to explain a more abstract concept an absent person, abstract concept or an inanimate object is addressed directly; a form of personification techniques used by the writer to create a character (fictional personality created by the author) what the author says what the other characters say what the character says what the character does interplay between opposing forces man vs. man man vs. nature man vs. society man vs. self man vs. fate, destiny, supernatural entanglement of affairs by conflict point of most intense excitement in a narrative the point at which the opposing forces that create the conflict interlock in the decisive action on which the plot will turn the feeling or attitude associated with a word, related to but quite distinct from its literal meaning literal meaning of the word; dictionary definition of a word analysis of the meaning, relationships and ambiguities of words, images, and small units that make up a literary text a writer s or speaker s choice of words which is intended to convey a certain effect; includes both vocabulary and syntax; can be formal or informal, technical or common, abstract or concrete words or phrases that describe one thing in terms of something else; always involving some sort of imaginative comparison between seemingly unlike things; not meant to be taken literally; used to produce images in a reader s mind and to express ideas in fresh, vivid, imaginative ways, and, by emphasizing their connotations, bring new insight to the subject described; the most common are simile, metaphor, personification

2 Flashback* a scene which interrupts the action to show a previous event; as in an episode before the story opens Foil** Foreshadowing* Genre (literally a leaf or sheet of metal placed under a piece of jewelry to increase its brilliance); a person or sometimes an object that through strong contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another (e.g., Laertes or Fortinbras or Hamlet) the use of hints or clues which suggest future action type, kind of literature (short story, essay, drama, poetry ode, elegy, sonnet) Hyperbole* obvious and deliberate, sometimes outrageous, exaggeration for a serious or comic effect, e.g., the shot heard round the world. Imagery* words or phrases a writer uses to represent persons, objects, actions, feelings and ideas descriptively by appealing to the senses sight, smell, taste, touch, sound Irony * technique of indicating an intention or attitude opposed to what is actually stated (reality different from appearance); akin to sarcasm, hyperbole, understatement; three types: Dramatic irony** Situational irony* Verbal irony* a character or speaker says or does something that has different meanings from what he thinks it means, though the audience and other characters understand the full implications of the speech or action a situation turns out differently from what one would normally expect, though the twist is oddly appropriate, e/g/, a deep sea diver drowning in a bathtub saying one thing while meaning the opposite (not sarcasm or satire) Metaphor* Mood* Motif*** an implied comparison between two things which are not alike in their general nature, e.g., It s raining cats and dogs; the clouds are ships floating on a sea of blue. Extended the atmosphere or predominant emotion; a state of mind in which one feeling, emotion or range or sensibility has ascendancy, the emotional or emotional-intellectual attitude that the author takes toward the subject or theme a pattern or strand of imagery or symbolism; a recurring element (images, words, objects, phrases, actions) that serves to unify a novel

3 Oxymoron* combining of opposites for emphasis (concise paradox, contradiction in terms), e.g., jumbo shrimp; deafening silence, wise fool Paradox* a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, but which reveals a subtler meaning on reflection; the statement may appear illogical, impossible or absurd, but turns out to have a coherent meaning that reveals a hidden truth Parallelism* Personification* the use of a series of words, phrases, or sentences that have similar grammatical form, e.g., He tried to make the law clear, precise, and equitable a human characteristic is attributed to an inanimate thing, abstraction, animals, or ideas; a kind of metaphor, e.g., the wind cried in the dark Plot* d) Climax e) Falling Action Freytag Pyramid (plot diagram) a) Exposition (b) Conflict c) Rising Action pattern of happenings in a narrative sequence of events d / \ c / \e a b_/ \f Setting and background Central problem of story first part of narrative during which the tension between opposing characters builds toward the climax; conflict begins during rising action point where the conflict is definitively faced by the protagonist; highest emotional peak. Events leading to the resolution of the plot. f) Dénouement final unraveling of plot; catastrophe; resolution Pun** humorous play on words in which one word will have a double meaning, e.g. Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man, said as Mercutio is bleeding to death Repetition* recurrence of sounds, words, phrases, lines, or stanzas

4 Point of view * (narrative point of view) Shift**** Setting* Shift First person Omniscient Limited Omniscient Objective perspective from which a narrative is told; the relation assumed between the narrator and the characters who tells the story and how it gets told the person telling the story is one of the characters (major or minor character, participant or observer, first person), similar to limited the author has unlimited knowledge about characters thoughts and feelings; told in third person the author tells the story from one character s viewpoint (major or minor character, third person) author reveals everything about the narrator s character but knows nothing about other characters except through thoughts of narrator the author does not presume to know the thoughts and feelings of the characters; the author simply reports what can be seen or heard in POV time and place of an event a change or movement in a piece resulting from an epiphany, realization, or insight gained by the speaker, a character or the reader; could result from a word like but Simile* a direct comparison made explicit by using the words like or as abstract quality courageous object object David lion David was like a lion in battle. Soliloquy* Speaker a character in a drama, alone on stage, voices his thoughts (monologue) persona; author s mask; who speaks a poem Suspense* Symbol(ism)* Theme* quality that makes the reader or audience uncertain or tense about the outcome of events use of any object, person, place or action that both has a meaning in itself and that stands for something larger than itself, such as a quality, attitude, belief or value; two basic types: universal and contextual, e.g., a symbol that is common to all mankind or a symbol used in a particular way by an individual author; e.g., the raven as a symbol of evil controlling idea or central insight of a literary work (not always a moral); not the same as a subject, which can be expressed in a word or two: courage, survival, war, pride; the idea the author wishes to convey about that subject; expressed as a sentence or general statement about life or human nature; a work can have more than one theme

5 Syntax arrangement of words and order of grammatical elements in a sentence; as the way in which words are put together to form phrases, clauses or sentences the way in which words and clauses are ordered and connected so as to form sentences; or the set of grammatical rules governing such word order. Syntax is a major determinant of literary style: while simple English sentences usually have the structure subject verb object (e.g. Jane strangled the cat), poets often distort this syntax through inversion, while prose writers can use syntactic structures such as the periodic sentence. Tone* the attitude a writer or speaker takes toward a subject, character or audience, and is conveyed through the author s diction, imagery, detail*, and syntax; serious, humorous, sarcastic, indignant, objective, etc.; a tone may shift** Poetry Terms Alliteration Assonance Meter* Onomatopoeia* Rhyme* Cross alliteration End rhyme Internal rhyme Near or Slant rhyme Rhyme scheme Stanza recurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of closely succeeding words alliteration of two separate consonants of clusters arranged as xyxy or xyyx; e.g., As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame the repetition of vowel sounds in a series of words(so long lives this, and this gives life to thee) the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables established in a line of poetry the use of a word whose sound mimics the sounds it describes (plop, splash, boom); it is called imitative harmony when it is used on an extended scale in a poem repetition of sounds in two or more words or phrases that appear close to each other in a poem occurs at the end of lines within a line rhyme which is not exact regular pattern of rhyming words in a of poetry which is repeated in following stanzas a different letter of the alphabet is assigned for different sounds a group of verses forming a division of a poem

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