8th grade Elements of Literature Terms

Topic: EntertainmentGames
Sample donated:
Last updated: April 26, 2019
the order of events in a story; what happens and how and why it happens

introduction of characters, background, or story

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inciting incident
the event or change that sparks the story

rising action
building tension caused by complications and conflict for characters

highest point of tension

falling action
tension fades as the story heads toward its end

resolution (or denouement)
final decisions are made and conflict is resolved

main struggle or problem; can be…

character vs. character, self, nature, or societyidea vs. idea

the big idea(s) about people or life that the author wants to get across to the reader

an object, person, or place that evokes meaning beyond what it actually is; it can be a simple thing that stands for something bigger

time, place, atmosphere

emotion, mood; feeling set by the story (ex. angry, defiant, lighthearted, sad, joyful, desperate)

a suggestion or hint about what is going to happen in the future

state of tension and uncertainty in the reader that is created by the author; as readers, we are anxious to see what will happen and what will come next

recurring concept or two contrasting elements

a sudden revelation of an underlying truth about a person or situation; an awakening; an arrival at an important understanding about life

first person
the “I” of the story presents one character’s point of view; reader is restricted to the thoughts and views of one character

second person
uses “you”; reader is put into the place of main character

third person limited
story is limited to the point-of-view of ONE character; uses “he,” “she,” or a proper name

third person objective
narrator does not see into the mind of ANY character; like a reporter, this narrator gives an impersonal account of events without revealing what characters think and feel

third person omniscient
story told from the point of view of more than one character; author knows all and can relate what MANY characters see, think, and feel

the person who tells the story

unreliable narrator
interprets events differently from author of the story; could be untrustworthy due to inexperience, lack of self-knowledge, mental problems, or distress

hero, main character

character or force that opposes protagonist and give rise to story’s conflict

the way a character acts, speaks, thinks, and looks

static/flat character
stays the same throughout the story; a minor character who does not undergo substantial change or growth. _____ characters play a supporting role to the main character, who as a rule should be round, and are often necessary in a story

round/dynamic character
a major character in a work of fiction who encounters conflict and is changed by it.

(_______ characters tend to be more fully developed and described than flat, or static, characters; they seem as real to you as people you know in real life.)

types of literature

a commonly used expression that means something other than its literal meaning

a group of words which appeal to one or more of the senses (sound, taste, smell, sight, touch)

an interruption in a story that tells about an earlier episode

dramatic irony
creates a discrepancy between what a character says or believes and what the reader knows to be true

situational irony
exists when there is a difference between what is expected to happen and what actually happens (usually due to forces beyond human control)

dramatic monologue
what the narrator’s saying is the story; the narrator speaks aloud to another character for a reason

interior monologue
what the narrator’s thinking is the story; steam-of-consciousness is often used; this type of writing suggests a real-life time flow of thought inside a character’s mind

diary narration
the narrator is recording events on paper in a journal format; the story is what has been written down

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