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107 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Who wrote "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"?
Maya Angelou
What is the historical context of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"?
It is the first of many autobiographical works written by Maya Angelou. The book addresses issues of sexuality, feminism and racism during her early 20th Century childhood.
What are the key themes addressed in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"?
Racism/Segregation, Debilitating Displacement, Resistance to Racism, Strong Black Women, Naming
Who wrote "Fahrenheit 451"?
Ray Bradbury
What are the major themes of "Fahrenheit 451"?
Censorship, Knowledge vs. Ignorance, Paradox, Nature/Animals as Innocence
Explain paradox as used in "Fahrenheit 451".
Bradbury uses "dead, but alive" paradoxes to illustrate that characters and the overall culture portrayed are physically alive but spiritually dead.
Who wrote "My Antonia"?
Willa Cather
What is the context of "My Antonia" and other Cather novels?
Willa Cather's novels fictionalize aspects of her childhood in rural Nebraska.
To what literary period is "My Antonia" typically categorized?
"My Antonia" is often categorized as an American Modernist novel, though it idealizes pre-Industrial life.
What are the themes addressed in "The Red Badge of Courage"?
Courage, Manhood, Self-Preservation, Disregard for Human Life
Who is the author of "The Great Gatsby"?
F. Scott Fitzgerald
How is F. Scott Fitzgerald's background reflected in "The Great Gatsby"?
In the "The Great Gatsby," Nick Carraway leaves his St. Paul, MN home to go to an Ivy League school. Upon settling in New England, Nick, like Fitzgerald, falls in love with a wild, beautiful young woman from the South.
What are the primary themes in "The Great Gatsby"?
Decline of the American Dream, Hollowness of the Upper Class
What is the "Valley of Ashes" described in "The Great Gatsby"?
An area of land between West Egg and New York City polluted by industrial ashes. It symbolizes moral and social decay, as well as the cost of uninhibited quest for wealth.
Who wrote "Their Eyes were Watching God"?
Zora Neale Hurston
What literary period is "Their Eyes were Watching God" associated with?
The Harlem Renaissance, even though it was written much later due to Hurston's connection to that setting and time period.
What are other interpretations of "Their Eyes were Watching God" and literary genre?
Southern American literature, American feminist literature
What themes are addressed in "Their Eyes were Watching God"?
Language: Speech and Silence (black dialect), Love and relationships vs. Independence
What are the key themes in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?
Good and Evil, Importance of Moral Education, Social Inequality
What is the primary moral at the end of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?
The most important childhood lessons are of sympathy and understanding.
What message does "To Kill a Mockingbird" provide for teachers and parents?
A sympathetic, understanding approach is the most effective (Atticus Finch, while a rigidity is far less effective (Miss Caroline).
What are the primary themes in "Moby-Dick"?
Limits of Knowledge, Exploitative Nature of Whaling
What are the key themes of "The Catcher in the Rye"?
Alienation as Self-Protection, Painfulness of Growing Up, "Phoniness" of Adult World
What is the connection between "Catcher in the Rye" and Robert Burns "Comin' Thro the Rye"?
Holden believes the lyric is "catch," however Burns lyric is "meet." Holden wants to protect children's innocence, (catch them before they fall) while the lyric he idolizes promotes a fall from innocence (recreational sex).
What are the central themes of "The Bonesetter's Daughter"?
Loss of Memory, Relationships between First-Generation Americans and their Elders
Who is the author of "The Bonesetter's Daughter"?
Amy Tan
What are the primary themes in "Frankenstein"?
Dangerous Knowledge, Monstrosity, Secrecy
What are the primary themes in Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"?
Racism and Slavery, Intellectual and Moral Education, Hypocrisy of Civilized Society
Explain J.R.R. Tolkien's feelings regarding allegories vs. storytelling.
Tolkien's stated primary purpose in his stories is the storytelling itself rather than the exploration of any literary theme.
In "The Hobbit," what role do race and family play?
Race determines moral standing (hobbit=good); Lineage determines individual personality (Took=adventurous).
What inspired Percy Bysshe Shelley to write "An Address to the Irish People"?
Political activism inspired by the works of Thomas Paine, William Godwin, and Robert Southey.
What was the theme of "An Address to the Irish People"?
Shelley advocated for reforms to benefit the Irish people. He wanted them to rise up either towards self-educated moral reform and pure revolt.
Why was "The Color Purple" controversial?
Instigated debates about black cultural representation; Addressed sexism at the expense of racism. However, others praised its feminist point of view.
What are themes of "The Color Purple"?
Power of personal narrative and voice, Strong female relationships (story telling), Racism and Sexism, Disruption of traditional gender roles
Who wrote the poem "Leaves of Grass"?
Walt Whitman
What was controversial about "Leaves of Grass"?
Whitman's exultation of sexuality and the body; use of free verse.
Explain literary Romanticism.
Romantic writers rebelled against the strict doctrines of Puritanism. Key themes were importance of individual, imagination and optimism.
What was the time period of literary Romanticism?
Eary- to mid-1800s
What are the characteristics of transcendentalism?
Return to spirituality and nature, Individual intuition (rather than established doctrines), Optimism
Who are the most recognized transcendentalist writers?
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau
What is anti-transcendentalism?
Focuses on the dark side of individualism, demonic, gothic, more pessimistic than transcendentalism.
Who are the primary anti-transcendentalist writers?
Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne
What time period was transcendentalism and anti-transcendentalism prevalent?
Mid- to late-1800s
Aesthetic Distance
Degree of emotional involvement in a work of art
Repetition of the same sound at the beginning of a word
Type of alliteration: repetition of consonant sounds
Type of alliteration: repetition of vowel sounds
Brief reference to a person, event, place, or phrase
(1) a statement which has two or more possible meanings; (2) a statement whose meaning is unclear
a relatively short narrative poem, written to be sung, with a simple and dramatic action.
"the way an author presents characters. In direct presentation, a character is described by the author, the narrator or the other characters. In indirect presentation, a character's traits are revealed by action and speech.
main character, who is not necessarily a hero or a heroine
opponent; the antagonist may be society, nature, a person, or an aspect of the protagonist
a recent type, lacks or seems to lack heroic traits
fictional character. Sometimes the term means the mask or alter-ego of the author; it is often used for first person works and lyric poems, to distinguish the writer of the work from the character in the work.
Literary Convention
a practice or device which is accepted as a necessary, useful, or given feature of a genre, e.g., the proscenium stage (the "picture-frame" stage of most theaters), a soliloquy, the epithet or boast in the epic
Stock character
character types of a genre, e.g., the heroine disguised as a man in Elizabethan drama, the hardboiled detective, the tightlipped sheriff, the girl next door, ethnic or racial stereotypes, the cruel stepmother and Prince Charming in fairy tales.
Stock situation
frequently recurring sequence of action in a genre, e.g., rags-to-riches, boy-meets-girl, the eternal triangle, the innocent proves himself or herself.
Stock response
a habitual or automatic response based on the reader's beliefs or feelings, rather than on the work itself
a literary species or form, e.g., tragedy, epic, comedy, novel, essay, biography, lyric poem
the discrepancy between what is said and what is meant, what is said and what is done, what is expected or intended and what happens, what is meant or said and what others understand.
situational irony
expectations aroused by a situation are reversed
cosmic irony
misfortune is the result of fate, chance, or God
Socratic irony
named after Socrates' teaching method, whereby he assumes ignorance and openness to opposing points of view which turn out to be (he shows them to be) foolish
the literal meaning of a word; there are no emotions, values, or images associated with denotative meaning.
the emotions, values, or images associated with a word
Abstract language
perceived not through the senses but by the mind, such as truth, God, education, vice, transportation, poetry, war, love
Concrete language
identifies things perceived through the senses (touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste), such as soft, stench, red, loud, or bitter
Literal language
means exactly what it says
Figurative language
changes the literal meaning, to make a meaning fresh or clearer, to express complexity, to capture a physical or sensory effect, or to extend meaning
comparison of two dissimilar things using "like" or "as"
comparison of two dissimilar things which does not use "like" or "as"
treating abstractions or inanimate objects as human
direct address to a person, thing, or abstraction, such as "O Western Wind," or "Ah, Sorrow, you consume us." Apostrophes are generally capitalized.
a word whose sounds seem to duplicate the sounds they describe--hiss, buzz, bang, murmur, meow, growl
statement with two parts which seem contradictory
elevated style
formal, dignified language
Lyric Poetry
a short poem with one speaker (not necessarily the poet) who expresses thought and feeling
rhythm of accented and unaccented syllables which are organized into patterns, called feet
foot consisting of an unaccented and accented syllable
foot consisting of an accented and unaccented syllable. Macbeth uses it: "Double, double, toil and trouble."
foot consisting of two unaccented syllables and an accented syllable
foot consisting of an accented syllable and two unaccented syllables, as in these words: swimmingly, mannikin, openly
foot consisting of two accented syllables, as in the word heartbreak. In English, this foot is used occasionally, for variety or emphasis
foot consisting of two unaccented syllables, generally used to vary the rhythm
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter, commonly used by Shakespeare
lyric poem of moderate length, with a serious subject, an elevated style, and an elaborate stanza pattern.
statement whose two parts seem contradictory yet make sense with more thought
omniscient narrator
knows everything, may reveal the motivations, thoughts and feelings of the characters, and gives the reader information
limited omniscient narrator
"material is presented from the point of view of a character, in third person.
objective point of view
presents the action and the characters' speech, without comment or emotion. The reader has to interpret them and uncover their meaning
lyric poem consisting of fourteen lines
Petrarchan sonnet
consists of an octave (eight lines) and a sestet (six lines).
Shakespearean sonnet
consists of three quatrains (four lines each) and a concluding couplet (two lines)
framework of a work of literature; the organization or over-all design of a work
manner of expression; how a speaker or writer says what he says
anything that stands for something else
writer's attitude toward the material and/or readers
(1) the abstract concept explored in a literary work; (2) frequently recurring ideas, such as enjoy-life while-you-can; (3) repetition of a meaningful element in a work
a literary and particularly a dramatic presentation of serious actions in which the chief character has a disastrous fate