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65 Cards in this Set

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Antagonist:
The principal character in opposition to the protagonist or hero of a narrative or drama; one who opposes and contends against another
Anticlimax:
viewed in disappointing contrast with a previous rise
Antihero:
A main character in a dramatic or narrative work that is characterized by a lack of traditional heroic qualities, such as idealism or courage
Archetype
An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned
Black humor/ black comedy:
Combining the morbid and grotesque with humor and mockery to give a disturbing effect and convey the absurdity and cruelty of life
Character:
The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another
Dynamic:
In literature or drama, a character who undergoes a permanent change in outlook or character during the story; also called developing character
Flat:
A literary character whose personality can be defined by one or two traits and does not change in the course of the story
Round:
A complex literary character with fully developed and dynamic traits
Static:
A literary character who remains basically unchanged throughout a work
Climax:
A moment of great or culminating intensity in a narrative or drama, especially the conclusion of a crisis; the turning point in a plot or dramatic action
Conflict:
Opposition between characters or forces in a work of drama or fiction, especially opposition that motivates or shapes the action of the plot
Deus ex machina:
An unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot
Distopia:
A work of fiction describing an imaginary place where life is extremely bad because of deprivation, oppression, or terror
Epilogue:
A short addition or concluding section at the end of a literary work, often dealing with the future of its characters; also called afterword
Epiphany:
A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization
Exposition:
A statement or rhetorical discourse intended to give information about or an explanation of difficult material
Flashback:
A literary or cinematic device in which an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronological order of a narrative
Foil
One that by contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another
Gestalt:
a configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that it cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts
Hero:
A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life
Incident
An occurrence or event that interrupts normal procedure or precipitates a crisis
In medias res:
In or into the middle of a sequence of events
Malaprop:
The unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar
Motif:
Recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work
Motivation:
Motivating force, stimulus, or influence
Naïve narrator:
Narrator that is not aware of all situations around him/her that the reader is aware of
Narrative voice:
The voice of the narrator
Pathetic fallacy:
The attribution of human emotions or characteristics to inanimate objects or to nature; for example, angry clouds; a cruel wind
Pathos:
A quality that arouses feelings of pity, sympathy, tenderness, or sorrow
Point of view:
A position from which something is observed or considered; the attitude or outlook of a narrator or character in a piece of literature
First person:
A discourse or literary style in which the narrator recounts his or her own experiences or impressions
Objective:
Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices; presented factually
Omniscient
Having total knowledge of what is going on
Limited:
Views are limited/restricted to a certain point
Third person:
Pronouns and verbs that are used to refer to something other than the speaker or addressee of the language in which they occur; speaker talks about another character and what they are feeling using "he"/"she" pronouns
Unlimited:
Views have no restrictions or controls over them
Prologue:
An introduction or introductory chapter
Reversal:
A change of an emotion into the opposite; for example love to hate
Rising action:
The events of a dramatic or narrative plot preceding the climax
Protagonist:
The main character in a drama or other literary work
Subplot:
A plot subordinate to the main plot of a literary work or film; also called counterplot
Theme:
Unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary work
Unreliable narrator:
Narrator that seems to be telling the truth, but the reader finds out in the end that everything was untrue
Utopia:
An ideally perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects
Villain:
A dramatic or fictional character that is typically at odds with the hero; mainly portrayed as evil and what not
Wit:
The ability to perceive and express in an ingeniously humorous manner the relationship between seemingly incongruous or disparate things
Zeitgeist:
The spirit of the time; the spirit characteristic of an age or generation
Anticlimax
an effect that spoils a climax. Adjective: Anticlimactic.
Archetype
A pattern or model of an action, a character type, or an image that recurs consistently enough in life and literature to be considered universal.
Utopia
a desirable imaginary society. ( in Sir Thomas More’s work, for ex.)
theme
an abstract idea that emerges from a literary work’s treatment of its subject matter, or a topic recurring in a number of literary works. Themes include love, war, revenge, betrayal, fate, etc. Remember that in explaining theme, one word is not enough—explain what the author is saying about that idea ;-)
symbol
anything that stands for or represents something else beyond it, usually an idea conventionally associated with it.
Suspension of Disbelief
the demand made of an audience to provide some details with their imagination and to accept the limitations of reality and staging; also the acceptance of the incidents of a plot by a reader.
Suspense
a quality that makes the reader or audience uncertain or tense about the outcome of events.
Subplot
a secondary series of events that are subordinate to the main story; a story within a story
Stereotype
a character who represents a trait generally attributed to a social or racial group and lacks other individualizing traits (the nagging wife, the hardboiled detective, the hot-headed Italian, etc.)
Reliability
the extent to which a narrator can be trusted or believed. The closer the narrator is to the story, the more his judgment will be influenced by forces in the story.
Third person limited
the author limits him/herself to a complete knowledge of only one character in the story and tells the reader only what that one character feels, thinks, sees or hears.
Third person omniscient
the author knows all (godlike) and is free to tell reader many things, including what the characters are thinking or feeling and why they act as they do.
Third person objective –
the author limits him/herself to reporting what the characters say or do; he or she does not interpret their behavior or tell us their private thoughts or feelings.
First person –
the story is told by one of its characters, using the first person pronoun “I” which does not give the reader insight into other characters’ motives or thoughts.
narrative voice
the attitude, personality or character of the narrator as it is revealed through dialogue or descriptive and narrative commentary.
confidant
omeone that the protagonist talks to, enabling the audience or reader to become aware of the protagonist’s motivation.
Explication de texte
the detailed analysis, or close reading of a passage of verse or prose. Such explication seeks to make meaning clear through a painstaking examination and explanation of style, language, symbolism, and the relationship of parts to the whole.