Literature Annotation Terms

Topics: ArtSymbolism

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Last updated: May 7, 2019

Diction
the author’s choice of words in regard to vocabulary, slang, language, and level of formality

Flashback
a way the authors present material that occurred earlier than present tense that appears through a character’s dream or memory

Inference
a conclusion drawn from evidence or reasoning

Irony
portrays differences between expectation and reality or appearance and reality

Verbal Irony
when words are used that suggest the opposite of what is meant; when something is said the has another meaning or that contradicts something

Situational Irony
when what you expect in an event does not happen

Dramatic Irony
when the thoughts of the reader and the character are contradicting

Motivation
a reason the explains why a character behaves in a certain way

Persona
narrator in poem

Plot
the sequence of events in literary works

Exposition
intro into a setting, characters, and situation

Inciting Incident
intro into central conflict

Development
when the conflict increases

Rising Action
the events leading up to the climax

Climax
the high point of suspense

Falling Action
leads to the denouncement and resolution

Denouncement/ Resolution
the general insight or change is conveyed to the reader

Allusion
a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art

Satire
a work that ridicules the foolishness of individuals, a society, or humanity

Style
the author’s unique way of writing determined by tone, rhythm, and structure

Theme
a central message or insight into life that is revealed through literary work

Tone
the writer’s attitude towards their audience and subject

Antagonist
a character or force in conflict with a main character or protagonist

Protagonist
the main character in a story

Dialect
a form of a language spoken by people of a particular region with changes in language, vocab, grammar, sentence structure, and pronunciation

Hero/ Heroine
the principle character in a movie, novel, or play and especially one who plays a vital role in the plot development and solves the conflict

Hyperbole
deliberate exaggeration or over statement used for comic effect

Narrative
a story told in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or drama

Novel
a long work of fiction that has a plot with characters in conflict that may also have subplots and several themes

Point of View
directs the type and amount of info the writer reveals

1st Person
a character in the story is the narrator; the reader sees only what the character sees

3rd Person Omniscient
the narrator is all knowing and tells the reader what any character thinks or feels

3rd Person Limited Omniscient
the story is told through one character’s eyes and reveals only that characters thoughts

3rd Person Objective
just states facts – no details on character’s thoughts – “fly on wall” point of view and is usually used in newspapers

3rd Person
story told like “he/ she/ they”

2nd Person
story told like “you”

Conflict
when characters are disagreeing, clashing, or fighting

Internal Conflict
character vs. self; disagreeing or fighting with self

External Conflict
character vs. society; character vs.

character; character vs. nature; when a character comes in conflict with something outside them selves

Simile
a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with ‘like’ or ‘as’)

Metaphor
a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity

Imagery
when a writer uses descriptive language and similes or metaphors to create a vivid image in the readers mind

Foreshadowing
the act of providing vague advance indications; hinting to something that may happen in the future

Theme
a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work; the idea or basis of a story

Suspense
excited anticipation of an approaching climax; an uncertain cognitive state

Personification
when an inanimate item has human qualities

Alliteration
use of the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse

Symbolism
when a writer uses one thing to represent another

Dialogue
the lines spoken by characters in drama or fiction; a conversation between two persons

Tone
the manner in which a story is told

Mood
overall feeling of a story

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