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2013 Literary Terms

Terms

undefined, object
copy deck
autobiography
form of nonfiction in which a person tells his or her own life story
genre
a division or type of literature
point of view (first, third, omnicient, limited omniscient)
the perspective or vantange point from which a story is told
conflict
a struggle between opposing forces; internal or external
inciting incident
the moment when the action in a story begins; introduces the central conflict
prose
the ordinary form of written language
direct characterization
writer simply states the character's traits
inference
any logical or reasonable conclusion drawn from text clues and prior knowledge
climax
the high point of interest or suspense in the plot; also called a turning point
fiction
prose writing that tells about imaginary characters and events
setting
time and place of the action (where, when, weather)
symbolism
use of symbols, or anything that stands for or represents something else
free verse
poetry that has no regular rhyme scheme or rhythm
biography
form of nonfiction in which a writer tells the life story of another person
theme
a central message, concern, or purpose of a literary work; a general lesson about humans or life
mood
the feeling created by a literary work
exposition
introduction in a plot; introduces the setting, the characters, and the basic situation in a literary work
plot
the sequence of events in a literary work; beginning, middle, end
hyperbole
extreme exaggeration
traits
characteristics or defining qualities
flashback
a section of a literary work that interrupts the sequence of events to relate to an event from an earlier time
simile
a figure of speech that makes comparison between two unlike things using the words "like" or "as"
irony
surprising, interesting, or amusing contradictions; suggests opposite of what is expected
surprise ending
a conclusion that is unexpected
character
a person or animal that takes part in the action of a literary work
suspense
a feeling of anxious uncertainty about the outcome of events
nonfiction
prose writing that presents and explains ideas or tells about real people, places, objects, or events
rhyme scheme
a regular pattern of rhyming words in a poem using letters of the alphabet
motivation (motive)
a reason that explains or partially explains a character's feelings, actions, or speech
narrator
a speaker or character who tells a story
indirect characterization
writer depends on the reader to draw conclusions about character traits
alliteration
the repetition of initial consonant sounds
external conflict
a conflict in which a character struggles against some outside force, such as another person or a force in nature.
foreshadowing
use of clues that suggest events that have yet to occur; used to build expectations and suspense
rhyme
repetition of ending sounds
resolution
the end of the central conflict
metaphor
a figure of speech that makes a direct comparison between two unlike things; as though one thing is something else
contrast
author's use of highlighting differences
internal conflict
a conflict that takes place within the mind of a character; the character struggles to make a decision, take an action, or overcome a feeling
personification
figurative language in which a non-human subject is given human characteristics

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