Glossary of Literary Terms: 7 th /8 th Grade

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1 Glossary of Literary Terms: 7 th /8 th Grade Directions: You are responsible for knowing the following literary terms for semester 1 and semester 2 (this is a two-year list, so if you re in 7 th grade, you ll see it again next year, and see similar expanded lists like it as the years continue in high school). Some we will examine in detail this year in our short stories, others will be (or were) covered in your second year of 7 th /8 th grade Connections academy, and all you will become familiar with in high school at Summerville. So, in order to study, you will be finding examples for each literary device. You can do this from a story you are already familiar with, or may do so at home for homework, using a Google search. Additionally, you will be quizzed on these terms throughout this semester, and I will expect mastery (90%) by the end of semester 1 if you know these lit device terms you will be well set up for your freshman year. J ***1 st person point of view - the events are told by a character in the story. List two examples of stories/ novels that are written in 1 st person ***3 rd person point of view - the events are told by someone outside the story. List two examples of stories/novels that are written in third person alliteration - the repetition of similar initial consonant sounds in order to create a musical or rhythmic effect, to emphasize key words or to imitate sounds. Example: He was reluctant to return to the room he called home. allusion - a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art, often used to help make a comparison. Example: When someone says the phrase You ve cried wolf too many times, this is an allusion to Aesop s fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

2 ***character trait the quality of a character; what a character is like. Example: In The Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf is deceptively charming, since he is nice to Little Red, but actually desires to eat her. ***climax the highest point of action in a story, often the turning point. Example: In The Hunger Games, the climax occurs when Snow makes the announcement that two victors from the same district can win. Katniss and Peeta assume they can have hope, and the grim outlook then becomes hopeful, thus presenting a turning point. ***direct characterization the writer directly states the character s traits or characteristics. Example: The patient boy and quiet girl were both at the game. dynamic character a character who changes over the course of a story Example: In The Secret Life of Bees, Lilie, the protagonist, grows up into a young woman. ***external conflict a problem or struggle between a character and an outside force: List examples: character vs. character: character vs. group: character vs. force of nature:

3 flashback - a section in a literary piece that interrupts the sequence of events in order to relate an earlier incident or set of events. Example: Sarah was nervous about her performance. She had a dream about her performance last year when she fell in front of everyone. ***foreshadowing an author s use of hints or clues to give a reader an idea of what may happen next. Example: In Richard Connell s The Most Dangerous Game, the author uses a stormy sea, a nighttime setting, and an island named Ship-Trap Island, to foreshadow danger to come for the main character, Rainsford. hyperbole use of extreme exaggeration. Example: When it is crowded someone might say, There are millions of people in Ms. Dewey s classroom. idiom - a word or phrase which means something different from what it says it is usually a metaphor. An idiom is an expression peculiar to a certain group of people and/or used only under certain circumstances. Example: It s raining cats and dogs or Look before you leap. ***imagery words or phrases that appeal to one or more of the five senses and help to create a vivid description for the reader. Example: When I awoke, I breathed slow and deep and discovered the startling sweet aroma of cinnamon pancake batter and hints of chocolate in the air. My mother was cooking me breakfast! *** indirect characterization the writer allows the reader to draw his/her conclusions as to what a character is like, based on the appearances, words, actions, an interactions with other characters.

4 Example: Bragatha was little in stature but large and in charge when it came to others confronting her. Once, when Switforfia approached her to fight, Bragatha, all 4 feet 2 inches that she was, ripped her fingernail claws out and left a gouge of Swiftorfia s face. Your example inference a conclusion drawn by the reader based on available information. Example: Based on the fact that my daughter s nose was running, I made the inference that she was sick. ***internal conflict a problem within a character (character vs. self). Example: Little Red s biggest challenge when she first met the wolf in the woods, is that she was naïve enough to believe that he was up to no harm. ***irony - a situation where the opposite of what is expected to occur or exist does occur or exist. Example: When a filmmaker creates a rainy, dark scene and happy things are happening, this is ironic. ***metaphor - a figure of speech in which something is described as if it were something else; a comparison made without using like or as. Example : I was angry with fire coming from my head.

5 ***mood the atmosphere or feeling an author creates within the piece of writing. This is how the reader feels when reading it. Example: After reading the chilly words and noticing the dark imagery of Edgar Allan Poe s Tell-Tale Heart, I suddenly felt uneasy and creeped out. narrator the speaker or character who is telling the story. Example: The narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird is Jean Louise Finch, or Scout. Your Example: oxymoron the close placement of words having opposite or near opposite meanings in order to create a unique description. Example: Her tears uttered a silent scream that was beyond words. ***personification a type of figurative language in which a non-human subject is given human characteristics. Example: The trees whispered in the wind, and when they wind began to pick up, they howled. ***plot the sequence of events in a literary work. Example: The major plot events of Little Red Riding Hood include Red going out on a trail to deliver food to grandma, Red being stopped by a wolf, Red traveling into the woods to pick flowers, the wolf going to grandma s, grandma getting eaten by the wolf, Red getting eaten by the wolf, and the huntsman saving them both. Your example (briefly summarize the major details of a story):

6 pun a humorous play on words. Example: Wow. That joke is quite punny. repetition the repeated use of words or phrases in order to emphasize a point. Example: Every inch of the house was covered in soot. Every inch of the lawn was covered in flame retardant. And every inch of the driveway was jammed packed with firemen. (Emphasizes how bad the fire is with the word inch ). ***resolution the events that tie up the loose ends of a story and solve the conflict. Example: The resolution in The Landlady does not appear to exist. Billy Weaver is never saved from his conflict with the Landlady. ***setting the time and location of the events described in a literary work. Example: The major settings of Little Red Riding Hood include Red s house, the woods, and Red s grandma s house. ***simile a comparison between two things, using like or as. Example: The stars were as bright as diamonds.

7 static character a character who does not undergo a change over the course of a story Example: One static character in Little Red Riding Hood was the huntsman. There is no evidence to show he changed. ***symbol /symbolism anything that stands for or represents something else. Example: The American flag is a symbol of freedom. ***theme a central message, idea, or concern that expressed in a literary work. Example: The theme of The Lorax is that we should work hard to protect our natural environment. ***tone the attitude of an author toward the subject that he/she is writing about. Example: Oftentimes, the magazines that are placed in front of checkstands at stores are written with a sarcastic tone.

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