Elements of Literature

Topics: EntertainmentEvents

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Last updated: April 22, 2019

personification
when something is given qualities it normally does not have

simile
comparison using “like” or “as”

metaphor
comparison NOT using “like” or “as”

symbol
when something stands for something else

alliteration
when two or more words are next to each other that begin with the same letter or sound

imagery
when the author forms an image in your mind

idiom
a phrase that cannot be taken literally, but its meaning is understood

hyperbole
an exaggeration

irony
when the opposite of what is expected happens

onomatopoeia
when the sound of an action is spelled like it sounds

repetition
when words are repeated in sequence

oxymoron
when two words are next to each other that have opposite meanings, but they create a new meaning

flat
character that usually only shows one side of his/her personality, and does not show growth or maturity in the story

round
character that usually shows many sides of personality and shows growth or maturity in the story

major
a main character, story would change if character were removed

minor
a less important character and the story would not change or only change slightly if this character were removed

direct
type of characterization when a description is given in the story in words

indirect
type of characterization when a character is described through actions and dialogue

dialogue
words spoken by characters

foreshadowing
a hint in the story of something that will happen later in the story

setting
the time and place of the story

conflict
struggle in the story

external
conflict KIND that is a struggle between two characters or things in the story and exists outside the character

internal
conflict KIND that is a struggle within one character and the stuggle exists inside that character

man v man
a struggle between two characters, external

man v self
a struggle with in one character, internal

man v nature
a struggle between a character and a natural force, external

man v society
a struggle between a character and a force of society, external

exposition
background information is given to understand the story better, characters are introduced, setting is established

rising action
events leading to the climax, conflict is present, suspense is present, longest portion of the story

falling action
climax is explained, characters express how they feel about the climax

climax
highest point of the story, purpose of reading the story, a discovery is made

resolution
characters return to as normal a life as possible

theme
the “message” of the story

indirect theme
when only after reading the entire story is it possible to figure out the theme

direct theme
when the theme is stated directly in the story, an actual sentence or portion of the story is the theme

point of view
the angle from which the story is told

omniscient
when the narrator knows what is happening to every character, all-knowing

1st person
when the narrator is telling the story from his/her point of view, the word “I” is present outside of quotes

3rd person
when the narrator is telling the story about one character that is not him/herself and is aware of other characters’ actions and possibly their thoughts

flashback
when a portion of the story goes back in time

plot
the development of the story line from start to finish

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