Literary Terms for Movies as Literature

Topic: BusinessManagement
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Last updated: May 13, 2019
A form of inference that assumes that because two things are alike in certain respects they are probably alike in others. Conclusions are then often formed about the former based on the latter.

It is frequently used to introduce an unfamiliar concept by relating certain of its points to those of a more familiar concept.

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The underlying message the author wants to convey.

1) Humans or non-humans (such as animals in a fable) who inhabit a story. 2) A person’s nature, good or bad, usually judged by his moral qualities.

1) How the qualities, personalities and motivations of the characters are revealed through dialogue, action, and appearance. 2) The personal growth within a character over the course of the story.

The reason or reasons behind a character’s choices and decisions.

Why characters do the things they do.

The climax or turning point is the point in a story of greatest tension or complexity, the high point or peak of the story—that place to which all the elements of the story have been building up. (From here on out, it’s all down hill, as they say.) Now the reader can’t put it down—he just has to read on to find out how everything is resolved.

The way in which the camera, lighting, special effects, flashbacks, sound, etc., are used in order to enhance the telling of a story on film.

A situation in which a choice must be made between two actions, neither of which completely accords with the values held by the person making the choice—thus, the dilemma.

The problem to be solved, events leading up to it, and the resolution in a story. A series of events or actions revolving around a major conflict that indicates what is happening, to whom, and why. Plots follow a basic pattern.

Beginning Story line Conclusion The beginning reveals the setting, main characters, and background information that the audience (or reader) will need to understand the plot The middle develops the problem, or conflict.

Two opposing forces struggle over something. That “something” becomes the problem to be overcome. Complications increase the tension and keep the story building toward the climax. The climax, or turning point, is the point in a story of greatest tension or complexity, the high point or peak of the story—that place to which all the elements of the story have been building up. (From here on out, it’s all downhill, as they say.

) Now the reader can’t put it down— he just has to read on to find out how everything is resolved. The resolution offers the solution to the problem. Characters react, loose ends are tied up, and we reach the conclusion or ending. Sometimes the theme or message is summed up. The ending should be believable and offer a sense of hope for the future (even if it’s a sad ending) in order to leave the reader feeling satisfied. This is why fairy tales often end with “And they lived happily ever after.”

A brief, objective, description of the story that tells what happens (in chronological order) without explanation or evaluation.

1) From whose vantage point the story is told.

First person: someone in the story tells the story as he experienced it. Third person: like the omniscient narrator (below), the third person (limited) tells a story about others (the “them” point of view). However, he is restricted to what he sees and hears and cannot know what others are thinking or what is happening elsewhere. Omniscient point of view: a third person narrator who knows all and is not restricted by time, place or character in moving or commenting.

He can tell you what anyone is thinking or feeling, and what is happening in other places at the same time. 2) Point of view also refers to the author’s position on the subject he is writing about.

While films are often told from someone’s point of view, a character narrating, for example, point of view (POV) often refers to a camera shot which shows the audience what a particular character is seeing at that moment.

An object, character, setting, or action that has an actual place within a literary work or film, while at the same time suggests a more abstract idea, often connected with the theme. Some symbols have traditional meanings, such as winter representing desolation or old age. However, symbols must frequently be understood based on information within the work.

THEME The underlying meaning of the story. This message or main idea is not always stated and must often inferred from the actions and reactions of the characters (except in fables). It usually relates to an outlook on life—an observation, a lesson, or an insight—the author wishes to convey. Examples: If you persevere, your hard work will be rewarded. Friendships are more important than getting ahead at any cost. You should stand up for what you believe in.

The climax, high point, or point of ultimate crisis of the plot. This is the moment of greatest tension after which the major conflict and any secondary problems are resolved.

It also refers to a major turning point for a character. This may be a moment of insight which causes the character’s later decisions and actions to change for the better (indicating character growth). It also applies to a moment of decision which may result in the character’s downfall.

The evil character opposing the hero of the story.

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