Literary Terms and Definitions

Topic: EnvironmentNatural Disasters
Sample donated:
Last updated: May 11, 2019
Reliable Narrator
a person whose account we can trust

Unreliable Narrator
may be sick, ill-informed, deliberately or innocently misleading, or incapable of understanding what is happening

the one who tells the story

allows the author to relate the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in a godlike manner

Limited Omniscient
allows the author to tell the thoughts of only one character

Objective View
the perspective in which the author is recording action from a neutral point of view

an 18th and 19th century literary movement that is frequently characterized by remote settings, emotional intensity, interest in irrationality, hero that rebels, nature interest, emotion/imagination

Intrusive Narrator
an omniscient who frequently breaks into the plot with comments

the use of hints or clues in a story to suggest what action is to come

a comparison between two different things using either “like” or “as”

a character whose qualities or actions usually serve to emphasize the actions or qualities of the main character, the protagonist, by providing strong contrast

a distinctive variety of language spoken by members of an identifiable regional group, nation, or social class

a comparison of two things that are basically dissimilar but are brought together in order to create a sharp image

Local Color
details and descriptions common to a certain place

the use of harsh words to deride someone; the only apparent by the way something is said rather than the words that are used

a figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human characteristics

Byronic Hero
a self-tormented outcast who is cynical and contemptuous of societal norms and is suffering from some unnamed or mysterious sin

Frame Story
a story in which another story is enclosed or embedded or one which contains several such tales

Willing Suspicion of Disbelief
a term coined by Coleridge; the deliberate putting aside of the audience’s or reader’s critical beliefs in order to accept the unreal world the author creates

an expression that achieves emphasis or humor by utilizing two distinct meanings for the same word or two similar sounding words

signifies a novel of formation or a novel of education; development of the protagonist’s mind and character in the passage from childhood through varied experiencese into maturity

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