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perrines vocab


undefined, object
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a narrative or description that has a second meaning beneath the surface, often relating each literal term to a fixed, corresponding, abstract idea or moral principle; usually, the ulterior meanings belong to a pre-existing system of ideas or principles
any force in a story or play that is in conflict with the protagonist.
artistic unity
that condition of a successful literary work whereby all its elements work together for the achievement of its central purpose. everything in the story is largely essential.
the occurrence of AN event that has no apparent cause in antecedent events or in predisposition of character.
the various literary means by which characters are presented
the turning point or high point in a plot
the chance concurrence of TWO events having a peculiar correspondence between them
commercial fiction
fiction written to meet the taste of a wide popular audience and relying usually on tested formulas for satisfying such taste
a clash of actions, desires, ideas or goals in the plot of a story or drama.
deus ex machina
"god from the machine" the resolution of a plot by use of a highly improbable chance or coincidence.
developing (dynamic) character
a character who during the course of a work undergoes a permanent change in some distinguishing moral qualities or personal trait or outlook
a situation in which a character must choose between two courses of action, both undesirable
direct presentation (of character)
that method of characterization in which the author, by exposition or analysis, tells us directly what a character is like, or has someone else in the story do so
dramatic irony
an incongruity or discrepancy between what a character says or thinks and what the reader knows to be true
the presentation of character or of emotion through the speech or action of characters rather than through exposition, analyses, or description by the author.
writing that departs from the narrative or dramatic mode and instructs the reader how to think or feel about the events of a story or the behavior of a character
a moment or event in which a character achieves a spiritual insight into life or into her or his own circumstances
falling action
that segment of the plot that comes between the climax and the conclusion
a kind of fiction that pictures creatures or events beyond the boundaries of known reality
first-person point of view
the story is told by one of its characters, using the first person
flat character
a character whose distinguishing moral qualities or personal traits are summed up in one or two traits
happy ending
an ending in which events turn out well for a sympathetic protagonist
indeterminate ending
an ending in which the central problem or conflict is left unresolved
indirect presentation (of character)
that method of characterization in which the author shows us a character in action, compelling us to infer what the character is like from what is said or done by the character.
a situation or a use of language involving some kind of incongruity or discrepancy.
irony of situation
a situation in which there is an incongruity between appearance and reality or between expectation and fulfillment, or between the actual situation and what would seem appropriate
literary fiction
fiction written with serious artistic intentions, providing an imagined experience yielding authentic insights into some significant aspect of life
a unusual set of circumstances for which the reader craves an explanation; used to create suspense
objective (dramatic) point of view
the author tells the story using the third person, but is limited to reporting what the characters say or do; the author does not interpret their behavior or tell us their private thoughts or feelings
omniscient point of view
the author tells the story using the third person knowing all and free to tell us anything, including what the characters are thinking or feeling and why they act as they do
the sequence of incidents or events of which a story or play is composed
plot manipulation
a situation in which an author gives the plot a twist or turn unjustified by preceding action or by the characters involved.
writing that uses immoderately heightened or distended language to sway the reader's feelings
point of view
the angle of vision from which a story is told
the central character in a story or play
rising action
the development of plot in a story or play that precedes and leads up to the climax
round character
a character whose distinguishing moral qualities or personal traits are complex and many-sided
unmerited or contrived tender feeling; that quality in a work that elicits or seeks to elicit tears through an oversimplification or falsification of reality
static character
a character who is the same sort of person at the end of a work as at the beginning
stock character
a stereotyped character: one whose nature is familiar to us from prototypes in previous literature
stream of consciousness
narrative that presents the private thoughts of a character without commentary or interpretation by the author
an unexpected turn in the development of plot
surprise ending
a completely unexpected revelation or turn of plot at the conclusion of a story or play
the quality in a story or play that makes the reader eager to discover what happens next and how it will end
something that means more than what it is; an object, person, situation, or action that in addition to its literal meaning suggests other meanings as well
the central idea or unifying generalization implied or stated by a literary work
third-person limited point of view
the author tells the story using the third person, but is limited to a complete knowledge of one character in the story, and tells us only what that one character thinks, feels, sees, or hears
unhappy ending
an ending that turns out unhappily for a sympathetic protagonist
verbal irony
a figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant