This site is 100% ad supported. Please add an exception to adblock for this site.

AP English Lit Terms


undefined, object
copy deck
A trite or banal remark or statement, especially one expressed as if it were original or significant.
Connotation, denotation
The denotation of a word is it's literal meaning. The connotations are everything else that the word suggests or implies. For example, in the phrase the dark forest, dark denotes a relative lack of light. The connotation is of danger, or perhaps mystery or quiet; we'd need more information to know for sure, and if we did know with complete certainty that wouldn't be connotation, but denotation. In many cases connotation eventually so overwhelms a word that it takes over the denotation. For example livid is supposed to denote a dark purple-red color like that of a bruise, but it has been used so often in the context of extreme anger that many people have come to use livid as a synonym for rage, rather than a connotative description of it
To restate phrases and sentences in your own words, to re-phrase. Paraphrase is not analysis or interpretation, so don't fall into thinking that traps so many students. Paraphrasing is just a way of showing that you comprehend what you've just read-that you can now put it in your own words, no more, no less
A group of lines roughly analogous in function in verse to the paragraph's function in prose
Parenthetical phrase
A phrase set off by commas that interrupts the flow of a sentence with some commentary or added detail. Jack's three dogs, including that miserable, little spaniel, were with him that day
A phrase composed of opposites; a contradiction. Bright Black. A calm frenzy. Jumbo Shrimp. Dark Light. A truthful lie
The work that results when a specific work is exaggerated to ridiculousness
Suspension of disbelief
The demand made of a theater audience to accept the limitations of staging and supply the details with their imagination. Also, the acceptance on a reader's part of the incidents of plot in a play or story. If there are too many coincidences or improbable occurrences, the reader can no longer suspend disbelief. For example, one might say "how can Superman fly---that's not possible." Well, this person has not suspended his disbelief
An abstract style (in writing) is typically complex, discusses intangible qualities like good and evil, and seldom uses examples to support its points
an understatement, where the speaker or writer uses a negative of a word ironically, to mean the opposite. Litotes is to be found in English literature right back to Anglo-Saxon times. She's not the friendliest person I know. ***Thus, she's an unfriendly person)
a section of a literary work that interrupts the sequence of events to relate an event from an earlier time
a sound, a word, a phrase, a sentence, or a verse that is repeated
A word that is used to stand for something else that it has attributes of or is associated with. For example, a herd of 50 cows could be called 50 head of cattle. This is Greek for "name change," and denotes a closely related word for something. For example, a crown is a metonym for a king, and a cane, a metonym for old age. Also, books are metonyms for knowledge. Metonyms work to give you a more abstract stance, while still stating your concrete thought. The Oval Office=the activity of the presidency
Lines that commemorate the dead at their burial place. An epitaph is usually a line or handful of lines, often serious or religious, but sometimes witty and even irreverent
the omission of a word or words understood in the context. Example: If possible for if it is possible
In a broad sense, an epic is simply a very long narrative poem on a serious theme in a dignified style. Epics typically deal with glorious or profound subject matter: a great war, a heroic journey, the fall of a man from Eden, a battle with supernatural forces, a trip to the underworld, etc. The mock-epic is a parody form that deals with mundane events and ironically treats them as worthy of epic poetry
the writer's attitude toward his or her audience and subject. A writer can be formal or informal, sarcastic or bitter or playful. Often confused with mood
Conceit, controlling image
In poetry, conceit doesn't mean stuck-up. It refers to a startling or unusual metaphor, or to a metaphor developed and expanded upon several lines. When the image dominates and shapes the entire work, it's called a controlling image. A metaphysical conceit is reserved for metaphysical poems only
Black Humor
This is the use of disturbing themes in comedy. In Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, the two tramps, Didi and Gogo, comically debate about ending their lives, and whether the branches of the tree will support their weight. This is black humor. Also, watch a Monty Python movie for a plethora of examples
see diction
A pair of lines that end in rhyme: But as my back I always hear / Time's winged chariot hurrying near
Objectivity and Subjectivity
An objective treatment of subject matter is an impersonal or outside view of events. A subjective treatment uses the interior or personal view of a single observer and is typically colored with that observer's emotional responses
A song of prayer for the dead
A portrait (verbal or otherwise) that exaggerates a facet of personality
the act or instance of placing two things close together or side by side. This is often done in order to compare/contrast the two, to show similarities or differences, etc. In literature, a juxtaposition occurs when two images that are otherwise not commonly brought together appear side by side or structurally close together, thereby forcing the reader to stop and reconsider the meaning of the text through the contrasting images, ideas, motifs, etc. For example, "He was slouched alertly" is a juxtaposition
Like a fable, or an allegory, a parable is a story that instructs
A form of cheesy theater in which the hero is very, very good, the villain mean and rotten, and the heroine oh-so-pure. (It sounds dumb, but melodramatic movies make tons of money every year.)
To say or write something that suggest and implies but—gasp—never says it directly or clearly. "Meaning" is definitely present, but it's in the imagery, or "between the lines."
See coinage
The repetition of consonant sounds within words (rather than at their beginnings, which is alliteration). A flock or sick, black-checkered, ducks
Metaphysical conceit
see conceit
An anticlimax occurs when an action produces far smaller results than one had been led to expect. Anticlimax is frequently comic. Sir, your snide manner and despicable arrogance have long been a source of disgust to me, but I've overlooked it until now. However, it has come to my attention that you have fallen so disgracefully deep into that mire of filth, which is your mind as to attempt to besmirch my wife's honor and my good name. Sir, I challenge you to a game of badminton!
A protagonist who is markedly unheroic: morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, or any number of unsavory qualities. The character lacks the qualities of the hero: skill, grace, honesty, courage, truth
This is pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language. When one tries to be eloquent by using the largest, most uncommon words, one falls into bombast
To say or write something directly and clearly (this is a rare happening in literature since the whole game is to be "implicit," that, to suggest and imply).
In medias res
Latin for "in the midst of things." One of the conversations of epic poetry is that the action begins in medias res. For example, when The Iliad begins, the Trojan war has already been going on for seven years
The use of a word to modify two or more words but used for different meanings. He closed the door and his heart on his lost love
Loose and periodic sentences
A loose sentence is complete before its end. A periodic sentence is not grammatically complete until it has reached its final phrase
A speech (usually just a short comment) made by an actor to the audience, as though momentarily stepping outside of the action on stage. (See soliloquy.)
In Greek drama, this is the group if citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it.
An analogy is a comparison. Usually analogies involve two or more symbolic parts, and are employed to clarify an action or a relationship. Just as the mother eagle shelters her young from the storm by spreading her great wing above their heads, so does the Acme Insurers of America spread an umbrella of coverage to protect its policy-holders from the storms of life
The usually humorous use of a word in such a way to suggest more meanings
When two (or more) sensory details are combined. Example: Amber Clark had a "prickly laugh" (touch, sound). Jonnnnnny Wahl wore a "loud shirt" (sight, sound).
Pathetic fallacy
the description of inanimate natural objects in a manner that endows them with human emotions, thoughts, sensations and feelings. The pathetic fallacy is not a logical fallacy since it does not imply a mistake in reasoning. As a rhetorical figure it bears some resemblance to personification, although it is less formal. Examples: "The stars will awaken / Though the moon sleep a full hour later" -Percy Bysshe Shelley. "The fruitful field / Laughs with abundance" -William Cowper. "Lo, the most excellent sun so calm and haughty" -Walt Whitman
This refers to the grating of incompatible sounds
Loose sentence
Jack loved Barbara despite her irritating snorting laugh, her complaining, and her terrible taste in shoes
A situation or statement that seems to contradict itself, but on closer inspection, does not. Here are two examples: "A single death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic." Joseph Stalin "To become rich, I became poor." -Andy Evans
Stock characters
Standard or clichéd character types: the drunk, the miser, the foolish girl, etc
the use of several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted (as in "he ran and jumped and laughed for joy"). It is a stylistic scheme used to slow the rhythm of prose and can add an air of solemnity to a passage. Polysyndeton is used extensively in the King James Version of the Bible. For example: "And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark." Genesis 7:22-24
Syllogistic reasoning
taking two statements, which are assumed to be true, (i.e. syllogisms) and evaluating a conclusion (also a syllogism). For example: 1. AP English Literature is a fun, caring, informative class at Westmont. 2. Mr. Evans teaches AP English Literature at Westmont. Conclusion: Mr. Evans is fun, caring, informative. Hee-hee!
a word or phrase that appeals to one or more of the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
Means, Meaning
This is the big one, the one task you have to do all the time. You are discovering what makes sense, what's important. There is literal meaning which is concrete and explicit, and there is emotional meaning.
A trait or characteristic, as in "an aspect of the dew drop."
Complex / Dense
These two terms carry the similar meaning of suggesting that there is more than one possibility in the meaning of words (image, idea, opposition); there are subtleties and variations; there are multiple layers of interpretation; the meaning is both explicit and implicit
An allegory is a story in which each aspect of the story has a symbolic meaning outside the tale itself. Many fables have an allegorical quality. For example, Aesop's "Ant and the Grasshopper" isn't merely a story of a hard working ant and a carefree grasshopper, but is also a story about different approaches to living- the thrifty and the devil-may-care. It can also be read as a story about the seasons of summer and winter, which represent a time of prosperity and a time of hardship, or even as representing youth and age. Some have argued that The Lord of the Rings trilogy is an allegory to the Industrial Revolution...or the World Wars
The use of deliberately old-fashioned language. Authors sometimes use archaisms to create a feeling of antiquity. Tourist traps use archaisms with a vengeance, as in "Ye Olde Candle Shoppe"-Yeech!
a figure of speech by which the order of the terms in the first of two parallel clauses is reversed in the second. This may involve a repetition of the same words. "Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure" --Byron. "Beauty is truth, truth beauty"-Keats. It is named after the Greek letter chi (x), indicating a "criss-cross" arrangement of terms
Ad hoc argument
Giving an after-the-fact explanation which doesn't apply to other situations. "I see that John's cancer is in remission." "Yes, our prayers have been answered!" "But didn't you pray for Susan, too, and look what happened to her." "I'm sure God had a special reason for taking her." Typically, you will see statements referred to as "ad hoc rationalizations" or "ad hoc explanations" when someone's attempt to explain an event is effectively disputed or undermined and so the speaker reaches for some way to salvage what he can. The result is an "explanation" which is not very coherent, does not really "explain" anything at all, and which has no testable consequences - even though to someone already inclined to believe it, it certainly looks valid. Here is a commonly cited example:I was healed from cancer by God! Really? Does that mean that God will heal all others with cancer? Well... God works in mysterious ways. A key characteristic of ad hoc rationalizations is that the "explanation" offered is only expected to apply to the one instance in question. For whatever reason, it is not applied any other time or place and is not offered as a general principle. Note in the above that God's "miraculous powers of healing" are not applied to all cancer sufferers, but only this one at this time and for reasons which are completely unknown.
In literature, when inanimate objects are given human characteristics, anthropomorphism is at work. For example, In the forest, the darkness waited for me, I could hear its patient breathing...Anthropomorphism is often confused with personification. But personification required that the non-human quality or thing take on human shape
When an inanimate object takes on human shape. The darkness of the forest became the figure of a beautiful, pale-skinned woman in night-black clothes
The repetition of initial consonant sounds is called alliteration. In other words, consonant clusters coming closely cramped and compressed-no coincidence. Sensational Sasha Sproch solemnly slurps salty sassafras soup
A speech spoken by a character alone on stage. A soliloquy is meant to convey the impression that the audience is listening to the character's thoughts. Unlike an aside, a soliloquy is not meant to imply that the actor acknowledges the audience's presence
the atmosphere of a story. The feeling created in the reader by a literary work. See tone
The emotional tone or background that surrounds a scene
A device in literature where an object represents an idea
A long, narrative poem, usually in very regular meter and rhyme. A ballad typically has a naïve folksy quality, a characteristic that distinguishes it from epic poetry
Free verse
Poetry written without a regular rhyme scheme or metrical pattern
A satire
An intensely passionate verse or section of verse, usually of love or praise
The protagonist's arch enemy or supreme and persistent difficulty
Coinage (neologism)
A coinage is a new word, usually one invented on the spot. People's names often become grist for coinages, as in, "Oh, man, you just pulled a major Aggarwal." Of course, you'd have to know Shan to know what that means (a compliment or an insult)
Subjunctive Mood
If I were you, I'd learn this one! That's a small joke because the grammatical situation involves the words "if" and "were." What you do is set up a hypothetical situation, a kind of wishful thing: if I were you, if he were honest, if she were rich. You can also get away from the person and into the "it": I wish it were true, would it were so (that even sounds like Shakespeare and poetry)
A simple retelling of what you've just read. It's mechanical, superficial, and a step beyond the paraphrase in that it covers much more material and is more general. You can summarize a whole chapter or a whole story, whereas you paraphrase word-by-word and line-by-line. Summary includes all the facts
Interior Monologue
This is a term for novels and poetry, not dramatic literature. It refers to writing that records the mental talking that goes on inside a character's head. It is related, but not identical to stream of consciousness. Interior monologue tends to be coherent, as though the character were actually talking. Stream of consciousness is looser and much more given to fleeting mental impressions
A poem set in tranquil nature or even more specifically, one about shepherds
Today we use this word to refer to extremely broad humor. Writers of earlier times used farce as a more neutral term, meaning simply a funny play; a comedy. (And you should know that for writers of centuries past, comedy was the generic term for any play; it did not imply humor.)
A type of poem that meditates on death or mortality in a serious, thoughtful manner. Elegies often use the recent death of a noted person or loved one as a starting point. They also memorialize specific dead people.
The author uses deliberately harsh, awkward sounds. For example: the hen squawked when the fox entered the hen
To imply, infer, indicate. This is another one of those basic tools of literature. It goes along with the concept of implicit. As the reader, you have to do all the work to pull out the meaning
Tragic flaw
In a tragedy, this is the weakness of character in an otherwise good (or even great) individual that ultimately leads to his demise
This is a word or phrase used in everyday conversational English that isn't a part of accepted "school-book" English. Examples: I'm toasted. I'm a crispy- critter man. Daniel "Ninja" Kim has got a wicked headache. Anna's idea is sweet! Maggie Yokel has hecka tight Elmo socks
Switching the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase. When done badly it can give a stilted, artificial, look-at-me-I'm poetry feel to the verse, but poets do it all the time. This type of messing with syntax is called poetic license. I'll have one large pizza with all the fixin's- presto chango instant poetry- A pizza large I'll have, one with the fixin's all
Metaphor and simile
A metaphor is a comparison, or analogy that states on thing is another. His eyes were burning coals, or In the morning, the lake is covered in liquid gold. It's a simple point, so keep it straight: a simile is just like a metaphor but softens the full out equations of things, often, but not always by using like or as. His eyes were like burning coals, or In the morning the lake is covered in what seems to be liquid gold
A line or set of lines repeated several times over a course of a poem
an adjective meaning "appealing to the senses." Aesthetic judgment is a phrase synonymous with artistic judgment. As a noun, an aesthetic is a coherent sense of taste. The kid whose room is painted black, who sleeps in a coffin, and listens to only funeral music has an aesthetic. The kid whose room is filled with pictures of kittens and daisies but who sleeps in a coffin and listens to polka music has confused aesthetic. The plural noun, aesthetics, is the study of beauty. Questions like what is beauty? Or, is the beautiful always good? Fall into the category of aesthetics.
The author's choice of word. Whether to use wept or cried is a question of diction. Syntax refers to the ordering and structuring. Whether to say, The pizza was smothered in cheese and pepperoni. I devoured it greedily, or Greedily, I devoured the cheese and pepperoni smothered pizza, is a question of syntax
When sounds blend harmoniously, the result in euphony
A short and usually witty saying, such as: "A classic? That's a book that people praise and don't read." "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." "All is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds." "May the Force be with you."
Crude, simplistic verse, often in sing-song rhyme. Limericks are a kind of doggerel
Hero's Journey
Most protagonists go through the typical four steps of a journey (Innocence, Initiation, Chaos, Resolution).
In order to observe decorum, a character's speech must be styled according to her social station, and in accordance with the occasion. A bum should speak like a bum about bumly things, while a princess should speak only about higher topics (and in a delicate manner). In Neoclassical and Victorian literature the authors observe decorum, meaning they did not write about the indecorous. The bum wouldn't even appear in this genre of literature
a humorous 5 line poem. Most follow the rhyme scheme of aabba: Seniors take AP English to learn/ A book is to read and not to burn/ Your teacher is Mr. Evans/ At the end of the year, you'll say "thank heavens." / Do homework early so your stomach will not turn
Double entendre
An expression or term liable to more than one interpretation: ambiguity, equivocality, equivocation. Example: "Beards, they grow on you."
The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs; for example, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills" (Winston S. Churchill).
Masculine rhyme
A rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable (a.k.a., regular old rhyme).
Bathos, Pathos
When the writing of a scene evokes feelings of dignified pity and sympathy, pathos is at work. When writing strains for grandeur it can't support and tries to create tears from every little hiccup, that's bathos
In poetry accent refers to the stressed portion of a word. In "To be, or not to be," accents fall on the first "be" and "not." It sounds silly any other way. But accent in poetry is also often a matter of opinion. Consider the rest of the first line of Hamlet's famous soliloquy, "That is the question." The stresses in that portion of the line are open to a variety of interpretations.
A burlesque is a broad parody, one that takes a style or form, such as a tragic drama, and exaggerates it into ridiculousness. A parody usually takes on a specific work, such as Hamlet. For the purposes of the AP test, you can think of the terms parody and burlesque as interchangeable
A reference to another work or famous figure is an allusion. If we say, "Ashley Nef is as wise as Athena"...we now have an allusion. We have compared the great Ashley to the great Greek goddess
An introductory poem to a longer work of verse
What a troublesome word! Don't confuse classic with classical. Classic can mean typical, as in oh, that was a classic blunder. It can also mean an accepted masterpiece, for example, Death of a Salesman. But, classical refers to the arts of ancient Greece and Rome, and the qualities of those arts
Feminine rhyme
Lines rhymed by their final two syllables. A pair of lines ending with running and gunning would be an example of feminine rhyme. Properly, in a feminine rhyme (and not simply a double rhyme) the penultimate syllables are stressed and the final syllables are unstressed
Circular Reasoning
the practice of assuming something, in order to prove the very thing that you assumed. In Logic-speak, you assume that proposition A is true, and use that premise (directly or indirectly) to prove that proposition A is true. This is one of many logical fallacies that routinely get used in heated arguments, and is actually a special case of the fallacy of false assumptions
The continuation of a syntactic unit from one line or couplet of a poem to the next with no pause
This is one of the most useful concepts in analyzing literature. It means that you have a pair of elements that contrast sharply. It is not necessarily "conflict" but rather a pairing of images (or setting or appeals, etc.) whereby each becomes more striking and informative because it's placed in contrast to the other one. This kind of opposition creates mystery and tension. Oppositions can be obvious. Oppositions can also lead to irony but not necessarily so
This is a song for the dead. Its tone is typically slow, heavy, depressed, and melancholy
An anecdote is a short narrative, story
One definition of irony is a statement that means the opposite of what it seems to mean, and while that isn't a bad definition, it doesn't get at the delicacy with which the authors on the AP test use irony. Simply saying the opposite of what one means is sarcasm. The hallmark of irony is an undertow of meaning, sliding against the literal meaning of the words. Jane Austen is famous for writing descriptions which seem perfectly pleasant, but to the sensitive reader have a deliciously mean snap to them. Irony insinuates. It whispers underneath the explicit statement, Do you understand what I really mean? Think of the way Marc Anthony says again and again of Brutus, "but he is an honorable man." At first it doesn't seem like much, but with each repetition the undertone of irony becomes ever more insistent
A figure of speech wherein the speaker talks directly to something that is nonhuman, or absent. For example, one might talk to a friend who has passed away.
exaggeration or deliberate overstatement
The methods, the tools, the "how-she-does-it" ways of the author. The elements are not techniques. In poetry, onomatopoeia is a technique within the element of rhythm. In drama, blocking is a technique, and lighting. Concrete details are not techniques, but tone is. Main idea is not a technique, but opposition is
Words that sound like what they mean. Examples: Boom. Splat. Babble. Gargle. Sizzle. Buzz. Roar
The word anachronism is derived from Greek, It means, "misplaced in time." If the actor playing Mercutio in a production of Romeo and Juliet forgets to take off his wrist-watch, the effect will be anachronistic (and probably comic).
Dynamic character
one who changes his/her beliefs, values, opinions in a story. A static character's beliefs stay the same
The same word is used with two different meanings. The sign said "fine for parking here," and since it was fine, I parked there
The narrator in a non first-person novel. In a third person novel, even though the author isn't a character, you get some idea of the author's personality. However, it isn't really the author's personality because the author is manipulating your impressions there as in other parts of the book. This shadow-author is called the author's persona
The term non sequitur literally means "it does not follow".
Periodic sentence
Despite Barbara's irritation at Jack's peculiar habit of picking between his toes while watching MTV and his terrible haircut, she loved him
An event or statement in a narrative that in miniature suggests a larger event that comes later
Rhetorical Question
A question that suggests an answer. In theory, the effect of a rhetorical question is that it causes the listener to feel she has come up with the answer herself. Well, we can fight it out, or we can run-so are we cowards? For example, "Why are you so stupid?" is likely to be a statement regarding one's opinion of the person addressed rather than a genuine request to know. Similarly, when someone responds to a tragic event by saying, "Why me, God?!" it is more likely to be an accusation or an expression of feeling than a realistic request for information
A sub-category of literature. Science-fiction and detective stories are genres of fiction
The main idea of the overall work; the central idea, the meaning. It is the topic of discourse or discussion. The College Board will ask for the theme on every single essay question
A secondary character whose purpose is to highlight the characteristics of a main character, usually by contrast. For example, an author will often give a cynical, quick-witted character a docile, naïve, sweet-tempered friend to serve as a foil. Examples: Laertes to Hamlet. Walton to Frankenstein. Kimia to Chelsea
A word or phrase that takes the place of a harsh, unpleasant, or impolite reality. The use of passed away for died, and let go for fired are two examples of euphemisms
the time and place of a story
The beat or rhythm of poetry in a general sense. For example, iambic pentameter is the technical name for rhythm. One sample of predominately iambic pentameter verse could have a gentle, pulsing cadence, whereas another might have a conversational cadence, and still another might have a vigorous, marching cadence
The name for a section division in a long work of poetry. A canto divides a long poem into parts the ways chapters divide a novel.
This is a term drawn from Aristotle's writing on tragedy. Catharsis refers to the "cleansing" of emotion an audience member experiences, having lived (vicariously) through the experiences presented on stage. A reader or audience member can feel great sorrow, pity, laughter..for example when Ophelia dies in Hamlet. A character can also have a cathartic experience..for example when Laertes realizes that it was wrong for him to trick/kill Hamlet
A poem or speech expressing sorrow
Point of View
The point of view is the perspective from which the action of a novel (or narrative poem) is presented, whether the action is presented by one character or from different vantage points over the course of the novel. Be sensitive to point of view, because the College Board likes to ask questions about it likes to mention point of view in the essay questions. There are three main types of narration: first person limited, The third person limited and the the omnicient. ---The first person limited: This a narrator who is a character in the story and tells the tale from his or her point of view. This is when a character in the story tells the story. For example: "I felt great about the AP English Literature Test. I knew I was prepared." When the first person narrator is crazy, a liar, very young, or for some reason not entirely credible the narrator is unreliable. ---The third person limited.: This is a third person narrator who generally reports only what one character (usually the main character) sees, and who only reports the thoughts of that one privileged character. For example: "Pip felt great about the AP English Literature Test. Pip knew he was prepared." This narrator can also be limited, biased. ---The omniscient narrator or third person omniscient: This is narrator who sees, like a God, into each character's mind and understands all the action going on. For example: "Pip feels great about the AP Test. Cornelius is stressed. Ivanka is confused. Ritalia is overconfident." Those are the basic types of narration. Here are a few more that are slight variations: ---The universal omniscient: differs from the omniscient because the narrator reveals information that the characters do not have. This is also called "Little Did He Know" writing as in "Little did he know he'd be broken-hearted by morning." ---The objective, or camera eye narrator: This is a third person narrator who only reports on what would be visible to a camera. The objective narrator does not know what the character is thinking unless the character speaks of it. ---The Stream of consciousness technique: This method is like first person narration but instead of the character telling the story, the author places the reader inside the main character's head and makes the reader privy to all of the character's thoughts as they scroll through her consciousness
A type of poetry that explores the poet's personal interpretation of and feelings about the world (or the part that his poem is about). When the word lyric is used to describe a tone it refers to a sweet emotional melodiousness
Synecdoche (si-NECK-de-key).
a figure of speech in which a part stands for a whole, or vice versa. "lend me your ears." In other words, give me your attention. "All hands on decks" means all people. There were some "new faces" at the meeting (new people)
Repeated syntactical similarities used for effect
A poem of sadness or grief over the death of a loved one or over some other intense loss
The main character in the story
Plausible but fallacious argumentation. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument
The word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to. As the children in: The Principlal asked the children where they were going
Dramatic Irony
When the audience knows something that the characters in the drama do not
As an adjective describing style, this word means dry and theoretical writing. When a piece of writing seems to be sucking all the life out of its subject with analysis, the writing is academic.
Dramatic Monologue
When a single speaker in literature says something to a silent audience
Gothic, Gothic novel
Gothic is the sensibility derived from gothic novels. This form first showed up in the middle of the eighteenth century and had a hey-day of popularity for about sixty years. It hasn't really ever gone away. The sensibility? Think mysterious gloomy castles perched high upon sheer cliffs. Paintings with sinister eyeballs that follow you around the room. Weird screams from the attic each night. Diaries with a final entry that traits off the page and reads something like, No, NO! IT COULDN'T BE!!
The repeated use of vowel sounds, as in, "Old king Cole was a merry old soul."
Absurd Hero
The outlook of the absurd hero is this: determined to continue living with passion even though life appears to be meaningless. Sisyphus is the absurd hero. He is sentenced to ceaselessly roll a rock to the top of a mountain and then must watch its descent. He will never reach the top. Other examples of the absurd hero: Meursault in The Stranger Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot
This is an important term for the AP test. The College Board is fond of satirical writing, again because it lends itself well to multiple-choice questions. Satire exposes common character flaws to the cold light of humor. In general, satire attempts to improve things by pointing out people's mistakes in hope that once exposed, such behavior will become less common. The great satirical subjects are hypocrisy, vanity, and greed, especially where those all to common characteristics have become institutionalized in society. Examples: Candide, Pride and Prejudice.

Deck Info