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15 Cards in this Set

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Antecedent Action
Events that preceded the starting point of a piece of literature, events that are referred to. Ex: Mission Impossible / where prior events are mentioned but the reader doesn’t see or experience them.
Climax
The point of highest interest/action in a story, which elicits the greatest emotional response from the reader. It is after the climax that we see a reversal of action from rising to falling. Ex: Invisible man / riots and falling in hole
Conflict
The struggle of two opposing forces providing interest, suspense, and tension in a plot. Conflict may be internal or external. Ex: The Tell-Tale Heart / struggle between main character and his guilt of committing murder
Denoument, Falling Action, Resolution
The final unraveling of the plot, providing the solution, explanation, or outcome. This occurs after the climax. Ex: Invisible Man / writings in the hole
Exposition
Material that introduces a story or drama by establishing the mood and setting, the characters and their relationship to each other, and antecedent action. (The term is also used for a type of essay whose purpose is to explain.) Ex: Susan was angry when she left the house and climbed into her car outside
Flashback
Material presented that occurred prior to the opening scene or chapter. Ex: Lost / the show Lost uses flashbacks where the characters reveal events that happened in their past
Foreshadowing
Preparation for later events in the plot, achieved by establishing mood or atmosphere or revealing a fundamental and decisive character trait. Physical objects or facts may also suggest later action. Ex: Romeo and Juliet / both characters state that they would rather die than live apart
Plot
The large, controlling frame of the story or play, including the pattern of events and the relationship among events Ex: Harry Potter / Conflict between Voldemort and Harry
Rising Action
The complication of the conflict on the way to a plot’s climax. Ex: Animal Farm / Farmer Jones mistreats the animals and they discuss ways to address their abuse
Archetype
A recurrent pattern in bodies of literature; these patterns can be found in themes, character types, symbols, or settings. Ex: Comic Book Characters / a bright bold hero that saves the day
Epiphany
A realization by fictional character about the essential nature of being or an event; a sudden perception, an intuitive flash of recognition. Ex:
Motif
A dominant idea in a work of literature, which may be expressed through characterization, verbal patterns, or imagery. Such recurrent images, words, objects, or actions help to unify the work. Ex: Invisible Man / Blindness
Poetic Justice
Classically, this is an ideal judgment that rewards virtue and punishes vice. Ex: Stephen King’s Survivor Type / a doctor with no morals or conscience is shipwrecked on a deserted island the means and skills he used in a lifetime of harming others become the instrument of such horrendous suffering inflicted upon himself.
Theme
A focal idea that provides the central insight of a piece of writing. This abstract concept is made concrete in imaginative literature through representation in person, action, and image. Secondary themes are common in longer works. Ex: Invisible Man / Racism is an obstacle to identity.
Title
In a work of literature, a title may function to set expectations, suggest interpretations, name the occasion of the literary type, or address someone directly. The title often helps to illuminate the theme of a work. Ex: Invisible Man