|| the basic items that make up a work of literature
| LITERARY DEVICES:
||literary techniques and methods employed to help the author
get his or her point across. Not all literary devices will be used
within one work.
that is applied to ideas that are philosophical and emotional, not concrete
or tangible, yet the idea comes from experience.
Examples: truth, liberty, freedom
in which the characters and their actions represent general truths about
human conduct. The characters in an allegory often represent abstract concepts,
such as faith, innocence, or evil.
of the same consonant sound at the beginning of words in a sentence or a
line of poetry.
Example: thundering thoughts wing wildly
to a well-known fictional, mythological, or historical person, place, or
event, outside the story. Allusions enrich a story by suggesting similarities
to comparable circumstances in another time or place; complex ideas are
brought to the readers' minds simply and easily.
Example: the warrior had Olympian strength - Mt. Olympus is the home of the Gods in Greek Mythology
a faulty, unclear expression, or a poetic device which deliberately uses a
word or expression to indicate two or more distinct references, attitudes
or feelings. The word has both connotations (secondary
or associated significance) and denotations (primary
definition or reference).
a topic by explaining it in terms of another seemingly unlike but more commonplace
and less complicated object, or experience. Analogy extends a metaphor.
Example: sound waves are compared to concentric ripples being created when a stone is dropped in the still water of a pond
or force in opposition to the protagonist.
Example: "The Joker" in Batman
contrast shown through the juxtaposition of opposing words, phrases, clauses,
sentences, or ideas.
Example: "Every sweet has its sour […]"
is addressing an absent person or the dead, or an inanimate object, as if
Example: O, beautiful rose! Thou art lovely!
made by one character in the presence of others, but assumed not to be heard
by them (sometimes said directly to the audience).
that is debatable, as opposed to fact. Sometimes it is explicitly stated while sometimes it is implicit.
of similar stressed vowel sounds within words in nearby sentences or words.
Example: the birds were hooting in the woodland
of creating and developing a character. The development of a character
can be done in several different ways such as through what the character
says and does, and through what other characters say about him. Technically,
it is done in two ways:
worded expression that is worn out from too much use.
Example: two peas in a pod
designed to expose similarities between two objects or ideas.
that represent, or try to evoke images or experiences of specific, tangible
objects or entities. Concrete terms are usually thought of as opposed
to abstractions or generalizations.
Example: science attempts to describe things in concrete terms
between opposing forces that causes the action of the story.
associations that surround a word that go beyond its narrow, literal meaning.
Example: the words "solo" and "alone" both mean to be by oneself. However, "solo" connotes independence and choice where "alone" connotes loneliness and isolation
where two objects or ideas are put in opposition to one another to show
or emphasize the differences between them.
Example: Felix and Oscar of The Odd Couple
straightforward dictionary definition of a word that comes closest to the
actuality for which the word stands.
Good diction is the careful selection of words to communicate a particular
subject to a specific audience. Different types of diction include
specifically to teach or instruct the reader.
Example: “The Tortoise and the Hare”
who grows and changes as a result of the plot. Dynamic characters
are usually protagonists.
precise, definitely stated, plain to see. A good writer who uses explicit
nouns and verbs will not have to rely too heavily on adjectives and adverbs.
that uses nonliteral figures of speech (such as simile,
hyperbole, and metaphor)
to convey an idea in an imaginative way.
simple character who shows only one personality trait.
Example: Peter Pan is a flat character because his refusal to grow up is the only trait that is shown.
device where the author interrupts the main action of a story to present
an incident that occurred at an earlier time.
with good qualities that contrasts the qualities
of another character.
Example: There is one character is a responsible person and another character is a very irresponsible person.
in a narrative that lead to reader to anticipate and speculate about later
events, developments, or situations, helping create suspense.
Example: The title "Before the End of the Summer" foreshadows that something important will happen before the end of summer.
||the abstraction of a general idea, principle, or pattern
from the observation of particular objects, events, or experiences.
A statement that is broad enough to cover or describe characteristics that
are common to a variety of particular objects, events, or experiences.
Example: We generalize that a person is honest if, under a variety of specific circumstances and temptations, he or she behaves in an honorable manner.
of incongruous (opposite) situations or images in a surprising manner
that evokes amusement. Humor may range from lighthearted and harmless
to critical and sarcastic. Pure humor, however, does not contain criticism
and solely comes from the amusing surprises of its incongruities.
Deadpan Humor: a purposely flat delivery of humor with no expression of amusement in the tone.
exaggeration used to produce heightened dramatic effects or humorous or ironic effects.
Example: I waited forever by the phone.
of words to produce mental images of specific sensory experiences (olfactory
[smell], gustatory [taste], tactile [touch], visual, auditory [hearing],
or understood without being directly stated. To imply is to suggest
rather than to state. An incident can imply an idea that would otherwise
have to be stated.
at understanding or conclusion through deduction from evidence. (see
organization) One infers from that
which is implied or implicit.
for situations and for written and spoken observations that suggest some sort
of incongruity (discrepancy) between appearance
and reality. There are three basic forms of irony:
Verbal Irony: when the speaker means the opposite of what he or she literally says
Example: to say "thanks" to someone who embarrassed you.
Situational Irony: situations in which there is a discrepancy (an incongruity, an opposition) between what the reader expects or presumes to be appropriate and what actually occurs.
Example: the shoemaker's children had no shoes.
1) a situation in which a character, or narrator, unconsciously reveals to the characters and to the audience or reader some knowledge contrary to the impression he or she wishes to make.
2) a situation in which the character, or narrator, acts and reacts in ignorance of some vital, external, contrary knowledge held by one or more of the other characters and by the audience or reader.
side placement of sentences or ideas to bring about a desired effect.
of speech in which something is identified with something else, showing
the common qualities of both.
Direct Metaphors: explicitly state that one thing is another.
Example: "life is but a dream" - life is a rapidly changing fantasy, a sort of unreality
Indirect Metaphors: the comparison is implicit.
Example: Juliet describes the fading stars at dawn by saying, "Night's candles have burnt out," equating stars with burning candles.
Extended Metaphors: sustain the comparison for several lines or throughout the entire work
Example: President Lyndon B. Johnson's inaugural address pictured America as "the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge...the star that is not reached and the harvest that's sleeping in the unplowed ground."
pattern of accented and unaccented syllables. The line is divided
into a number of feet.
Iambic: style of poetic feet that has one unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable.
Iambic Pentameter: most common in English verse. It is five (penta) feet (meters) of one unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable.
Example: "Bŭt sóft! Whăt líght thrŏugh yóndĕr wíndŏw bréaks?"
Blank Verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter.
Example: Much of Shakespeare's writing is written in blank verse.
Free Verse: poetry without a fixed meter
means "name change." A figure of speech in which a word referring
to one attribute of something is used to signify the whole of the thing.
Examples: “the crown” is used to signify “the monarchy”
“he’s taken to the bottle” means “he’s taken to drinking.”
referred to as Atmosphere) the emotional atmosphere experienced by
the reader of a literary work. Mood is often suggested by the writer's
choice of words, by the events in the work, or by the physical setting.
Example: The mood of most horror films is eerie.
idea that is woven like a design into a fabric of a literary work.
It differs from a theme in that it is a concrete example
of a theme.
Example: a motif of birds (such as birds flying high, a boat named The Lark, the eagle a character sees in the mountains) underscore the theme of freedom.
free from the author's feelings, attitudes & prejudices.
known as Echoic) use of words that imitate the sound they describe.
Examples: "zip" "buzz"
to the order in which a writer chooses to present his or her ideas to the
reader. Five main types of organization may be used to develop paragraphs
of speech that infuses two contradictory or opposing ideas to make perfect
Example: "pretty ugly"
statement that may state a truth.
Example: "The way to be safe is never to be secure."
of sequential or related thoughts using the same syntactical (grammatical)
form. The principles of parallelism may be applied to words, phrases,
clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and still larger units.
Examples: "government of the people, for the people, by the people" “We talked, laughed, cried, shared.”
human characteristics to inanimate objects or ideas.
Example: The sun smiled on our picnic.
writing (rhetoric) whose main purpose is to convince the audience to think,
act, or feel a certain way. It involves appealing to reason (logos),
to emotion (pathos), and/or to a sense of ethics (ethos).
of events or episodes that make up the action of a story. It can be
broken into the following parts:
Exposition: introduces setting, characters, basic situation
Inciting Incident: introduces central conflict
Rising Action: he complication of the action; action gains interest and force as opposing groups come into conflict
Climax: highest point of emotional tension/suspense in the story
Resolution: also called Falling Action--conflict is ended
Dénouement: ties up loose ends after the resolution of the conflict
|POINT OF VIEW:
the vantage point from which the story is told.
1st person p.o.v.: character within tells the story (uses "I")
3rd person point of view: voice outside of the story tells the story
Limited 3rd person: narrator knows only one character’s internal state
Omniscient 3rd person: narrator knows all the characters' internal states
for “after this,” a faulty conclusion based on poor reasoning where cause
and effect is confused with chronology.
Example: Just because Irving wakes up before the sun rises doesn’t mean that the sun rises because Irving wakes up.
the central or leading character; the opposing force in the conflict most responsible for bringing the conflict
to an end.
on words that are similar in sound but have different meanings, usually providing
a humorous effect.
Example: Smart fish swim in schools.
of any element, such as a sound, word, clause, phrase or sentence more than
of sounds and pauses that are a feature of poetry, prose, and ordinary speech.
who shows varied traits, such as popularity and loneliness. They are
complex and are more like real people than flat characters.
remark, written or spoken, designed to make fun of, or hurt, its object.
Sarcasm often employs irony and may be considered humorous.
||a humorous or witty method of criticizing characteristics
and institutions of human society. Its purpose is to correct as well
as to expose and ridicule; therefore, it is not purely destructive.
& place of a literary work. This can include the social, political,
economic, and cultural environment as well.
comparison between two unlike things, usually connected by the words "like,"
"as," or "seems."
Example: "My love is like a red, red rose."
who remains constant in his or her beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, personality.
closely connected to an author's feelings, attitudes, prejudices, and personal
complication running through a story. The secondary plot has a direct
relationship to the main plot contributing to its interest,
complication, and struggle.
Example: the television program E.R.
object, incident, or person intended to represent some abstract idea.
Example: a wedding ring symbolizes two people’s unending love
of metonymy in which a part is made to stand
for the whole or a whole for the part.
Example: The U.S. won three gold medals. (Instead of, The members of the U.S. boxing team won three gold medals.)
underlying idea in a specific literary work.
focus of an essay. It I usually phrased in the form of a question
to be answered, a problem to be solved, or an assertion
to be argued. An essay’s thesis is its umbrella statement, the assertion
at the highest level of generality under which all the essay’s assertions
attitude (usually of the author, speaker, or narrator) expressed toward
his readers and his subject; his mood or moral view. A writer can be formal,
informal, playful, ironic, and especially, optimistic or pessimistic.
The readers' perception of tone is not always reliable because of the biases
we may have and because the author may be disguising his or her real attitudes.
Below are some adjectives to help you identify the tone of a passage:
Admiring Advisory Affectionate Alarmed Amused Apprehensive Argumentative Arrogant Awed Awestruck Bewildered Bitter Boastful Candid Cautionary Challenging Concerned Critical Cynical Defensive Despairing Disappointed Eerie Friendly Fearful Frightening Gloomy Grateful
Haughty Hopeful Humorous Indifferent Informed Instructive Intense Joyful Knowledgeable Melancholic Mocking Mysterious Nonchalant Nostalgic Objective Outraged Peaceful Reflective Resigned Satirical Sentimental Skeptical Surprised Suspenseful Thoughtful Understanding Urgent Wistful Wondering
of literature that depicts the downfall of the leading character whose life,
despite its tragic end, represents something significant. The leading
character (known as the tragic hero), suffers from what Aristotle
called "hamartia," a mistake in judgement on the part of the hero,
frequently translated as "tragic flaw." Reversal is the sudden
downturn of events that occurs, and discovery is the revelation to the hero
of an important fact.
of something as less than it really is, for ironic
Example: The government needs to address the small problem of poverty.
in a story that would cause a reader to either believe that the story is
true or could be true because it has the semblance of reality.