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45 Cards in this Set

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allegory
a narrative, whether in prose or verse, in which the agents and actions, and sometimes the setting as well, are contrived by the author to make coherent sense on the "literal," or primary, level of signification, and at the same time to signify a second, correlated order of signification. Historical or political allegories.
Allusion
a passing reference to a literary or historical person, place, or event, or to another literary work or passage
analogy
illustration of an idea by means of a more familiar idea that is similar or parallel to it in some significant features
anecdote
a brief narration of a single incident
aphorism
a pithy and pointed statement of a serious maxim, opinion, or general truth. Ars longa, vita brevis est- art is long, life is short "To err is human, to forgive, divine." Pope
apostrophe
a direct and explicit address either to an absent person or to an abstract or nonhuman entity. "And death shall be no more; Death though shalt die." Donne
Atmosphere
is the emotional tone pervading a section or the whole of a literary work, which fosters in the reader expectations as to the course of events, whether happy or terrifying, or disastrous. Also known as mood.
Cliché
which is French for the stereotype used in printing, signifies an expression that deviates enough from tordinary usage to call attention to itself and has been used so often that it is felt to be hackneyed or cloying
Conceit
figure of speech which establishes a striking parallel, usually ingeniously elaborate, between two very dissimilar things or situations
Conflict
a struggle between two opposing forces
connotation
the range of secondary or associated signifcations and feelings which a word commonly suggests or implies
denotation
is a word's primary signification or reference
diction
the type of words, phrases, and sentence structures, and sometimes also of figurative language, that constitute any work of literature
informal diction
relaxed, conversational, and familiar language, utilizing contractions and elisions, and sometimes emplying slang and grammatical mistakes
didactic
adjective which means "inteded to give insturction" is applied to works of literature that are designed to expound a branch of knowledge, or else to embody, in imaginative or fictional form, a moral, religious, or philosophical doctrine or theme
epistolary novel
the narrative is conveyed entirely by an exchange of letters
epithet
denotes an adjective or adjecetival phrase used to define a distinctive quality of a person or thing "bolt-hurling zeus" "fleet-footed achilles" "the wine-dark sea"
euphemism
an inoffensive expression used in place of a blunt one that is felt to be disagreeable or embarrasing (pass away instead of to die)
figurative language
is a conspicuous departure from what users of a language apprehend as the standard meaning of words, or else the standard order of words, described as primarily poetic, but they are intergral to the functioning of language and indispensable to all modes of discourse
foil
a character in a wok who, y sharp contrast, serves to stress and highlight the distinctive temperament of the protagonist
foreshadowing
clues that the author uses to hint at what is to come later in the plot
genre
types or classes of literature
hyperbole
a bold overstatement, or the extravagant exaggeration of fact or of possibility
imagery
a rather vague term coovering those uses of language in a literary work that evoke some sense
irony
broadly, a means of indirection
Verbal irony
a statement in which the meaning that a speaker implies differs sharply form the meaning that is ostensibly expressed
Dramatic Irony
the audience or reader shares with the author knowledge of present or future circumstances of which the character is ignorant
litotes
a special understatement, the assertion of an affirmative by negating its contrary "He's not the brightest man in the world" meaning he is stupid
metaphor
a word or expression that in literal usage denotes one kind of thing is applied to distinctly different kind of thing, without asserting a comparison
metonymy
the literal term for one thing is applied to another with which it has become closely associated because of a recurrent relationship in common experience. The crown for the royal family, or Kleenex applied to all facial tissue
Parable
a very short narrative about human beings presented so as to stress the tacit analogy, or parallel, with a general thesis or lesson that the narrator is tring to bring home to his audience
paradox
a statement which seems on its face to be logically contradictory or absurd, yet turns out to be interpretable in a way that makes good sense
personification
in which either an inanimate object or an abstract concept is spoken of as though it were endowed with life or with human attributes or feelings
plot exposition
the stage of dramatic or narrative structure which introduces all things necessary for the development of the plot
prose
an inclusive term for all discourse, spoken or written, which is not patterned into the lines either of metric verse or of free verse
pun
a play on words that are either identical in sound or very similar in sound, but are sharply diverse in meaning
satire
the literary art of diminshing or derogating a subject by making it ridiculous and evoking toward it attitudes of amusement, contempt, scorn, or indignation - an attack on human follies or vices as measured positively against a normative religious, moral, or social standard
simile
a comparison between two distinctly different things is explicitly indicated by the word "like" or "as"
symbol
a word or phrase that signifies an object or event which in turn signifies something, or has a range of reference, beyond itself
synecdoche
a part of something is used to signify the whole, or the whole is used to signiy a part (all hands on deck as in all men on deck)
theme
term is more usefully applied to a general concept or doctrine, whether implicit or asserted, which an imaginative work is designed to incoroporate and make persuasive to the reader
tone
the expression of a literary speaker's attitude to his listener
alliteration
a repetition of simliar sounds, usually consonants, in a group of words
assonance
the reptition of simliar vowel sounds
onomatopoeia
the use of a word whose sound in some degree imitates or suggests its meaning