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33 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
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Allegory
narrative in which characters, events, & settings represent abstract qualities, & writer intends 2nd meaning to be read beneath the surface
Allusion
indirect reference to historical or fictional characters, places or events, or to other works writer assumes reader will recognize
Ambiguity
double or multiple meanings
Character
figure acting in literary work
Antagonist
character in conflict with hero
Protagonist
also called hero, main character, at center of plot
Archetype
character type that recurs consistently enough to be considered universal (rebellious youth, madman who wants to rule world, sweet damsel in distress)
Flat character
character with single dominant trait, two-dimensional
Round character
character who is fully developed as complex, 3-dimensional person, more “real”
Stock character
character who represents a stereotype, or universally recognizable type, like hard-boiled private eye
Dynamic character
character who is changed by actions in which s/he is involved
Static character
character who changes little in course of narrative
Characterization
method used by author to create appearance & personalities of characters, to “bring them to life”
Conflict
struggle between opposing forces that determines action of narrative
External conflict
occurs outside character (character vs. another character, character vs. society, character vs. nature or supernatural)
Internal conflict
occurs within character
Dialogue
conversation between 2 or more characters (as opposed to monologue: speech of one character, usually used to reveal thoughts)
Flashback
method of presenting scenes or incidents that took place before opening scene
Foreshadowing
technique of giving hints or clues that suggest or prepare for events that occur later in a work; creates suspense, prepares reader for what is to come, makes final outcomes seem inevitable
Image
something that can be perceived by one or more of the senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, sense of motion, temperature, etc.), often used in literature to create atmosphere or figurative meaning
Irony
recognition of the incongruity, or difference, between reality (what is) & appearance (what seems to be); indirect presentation of contradiction between action or expression & context – sometimes expressed as opposite of what is expected or meant (ex. Calling a very tall person “Shorty” or having a tree-hugging environmental activist killed by a tree unexpectedly crashing down)
Motif
recurring image, word, phrase, action, idea, object, or situation that tends to unify work by bringing to mind earlier occurrences & impressions
Plot
arrangement of incidents in narrative to achieve an effect
Point of view
vantage point, or stance, from which a story is told, the eye & mind through which the action is perceived & filtered, narrative perspective
1st person
“I” perspective; narrator tells his/her story
3rd person omniscient
he/she perspective, but narrator is godlike, all-knowing/seeing
3rd person limited
he/she, but narrator focuses on thoughts of single character & presents other chars only externally
objective
prohibits any subjective commentary by author; reporter-style
symbol
anything that signifies, or stands for, something else – usually something concrete that suggests something abstract (climbing = progress, light = good)
theme
central or dominating idea, the “message” implicit in a work –seldom stated directly (differs from subject (topic or thing described in work) in that theme is a comment, observation, or insight about a subject
tone
reflection in work of author’s attitude toward his subject, characters, & readers (comparable to tone of voice)
unity
quality of oneness in literary work, in which all parts are related by some principle of organization so that they form an organic whole, complete & independent in itself – work has unity when all its parts work together to create one main impression or effect.
Freytag’s pyramid
Beginning -> Rising Action -> Climax -> Falling Action -> Ending
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