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Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
Short Story Unit Literary Terms
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Short Story Unit Literary Terms

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  • 1. Short Story Unit Literary Terms & Definitions
  • 2. Parts of Plot
    • Plot: The sequence of events in a story.
    • Exposition: The basic situation of a story—this is where the reader learns the background information necessary to understand the story.
  • 3. Parts of Plot
    • Rising Action: The part of the story which occurs between the exposition and climax. Here is where conflicts occur which build up the story and make it interesting.
    • Climax: The turning point or highest point of action in a story. The main conflict is typically resolved after this place.
  • 4. Parts of Plot
    • Falling Action: The part of the story which occurs after the climax and before the resolution. Here is where loose ends are tied up toward the end of the story.
    • Resolution: The final outcome of the story.
  • 5. Parts of Plot Basic Situation Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution
  • 6. Conflict
    • Internal Conflict: A conflict that occurs within a character’s mind. (man vs. himself)
  • 7. Conflict
    • External Conflict: A conflict that occurs between a character and an outside force. Man vs. man, man vs. nature, for example.
  • 8. Characterization
    • Static Character: A character who does NOT change throughout the story.
    • Dynamic Character: A character who changes throughout the story.
  • 9. Characterization
    • Round Character: A character with many qualities and personality traits.
    • Flat Character: A character with only a couple characteristics; is often the stereotypical character in a story.
  • 10. Characterization
    • Protagonist: The main character of a story—often considered to be the hero of the story.
    • Antagonist: The character who frustrates, deceives, or works against the main character.
  • 11. Methods of Characterization
    • Direct Characterization: The narrator makes direct comments about the character. i.e. “She is friendly.”
    • Indirect Characterization: We learn about the character through her speech, thoughts, feelings, actions, physical appearance and through other characters’ thoughts, feelings, and speech about her.
  • 12. Setting
    • Setting: Where and when the story takes place.
    • Place - geographical location. Where is the action of the story taking place?
    • Time - When is the story taking place? (historical period, time of day, year, etc)
    • Weather conditions - Is it rainy, sunny, stormy, etc?
  • 13. Point of View
    • Who is telling the story?
      • 1 st Person POV: The narrator is a character in the story and uses “I” or “me” when telling the story.
      • 2 nd Person POV: The narrator brings “you”, the reader, into the story when telling the story.
  • 14. Point of View
    • 3 rd Person Limited POV: The narrator tells only what one character thinks, feels, and observes, and uses “he,” “they,” “she,” etc.
    • 3 rd Person Omniscient POV: The narrator sees into the minds of more than one character when telling the story– uses “he,” “she,” “they,” etc.
  • 15. Theme
    • A perception about life that the writer conveys to the reader. A theme must be written in a complete sentence, and must apply to the story as well as to life in general.
      • “ One’s family may be his friends.”
      • “ Sometimes the cruelest words are said in silence.”
  • 16. Irony
    • Situational Irony: When there is a contrast between what a reader or character expects and what actually exists or happens.
    • Verbal Irony: Saying one thing, but meaning something else. . . knowingly exaggerating. (sarcasm)
  • 17. Irony
    • Dramatic Irony : The audience or reader knows something another character does not know.
    • Type of Irony?:
      • “ What a beautiful day!” (said on a rainy, 40 degree day)
      • It’s ironic that the man who reported the crime to police is actually the murderer!
  • 18. Make It Ironic
    • Choose 5 of the following scenarios and rewrite them so that they are ironic. Label whether they are verbal, dramatic, or situational irony.
    • A man gets struck by lightning.
    • Ex: As Joe, the local weather forecaster, does his 6:00 weather report stating how the storm that has just moved through town has passed, he gets struck by lightening. (situational—contrast between what is expected and what happens)
    • Or
    • Ex: Right after a man has been struck by lightening he exclaims, “Well, that felt good.” (verbal—contrast between what is said and what is meant).
  • 19. Make it Ironic
    • An animal rescuer gets injured on the job.
    • A teenager saves all summer to buy a new car.
    • Mrs. Cunningham drinks a cup of her favorite coffee from Starbucks.
    • A newlywed couple goes to the beach for their honeymoon.
    • An off-duty police officer is driving to the store.
    • A fire breaks out in a building.
    • A woman wins the lottery.
    • A priest listens to a confession.
    • Treasure hunters find a long-lost treasure chest.
  • 20. Symbol
    • A person, place, thing, or event that stands for itself and for something beyond itself as well.
    • Examples : the American flag symbolizes freedom, liberty, and love for America.
    • A wedding band symbolizes_______.
    • A white flag symbolizes__________.
  • 21. Foreshadowing
    • The use of hints or clues to indicate events and situations that will occur later in the plot.
      • Spooky music
      • Thunder and lightening
      • A new suspicious character introduced (purpose unknown at the time)
  • 22. Suspense
    • The excitement or tension a reader feels when reading.
      • I wonder what will happen next?
  • 23. Mood
    • The feeling or atmosphere that the writer creates for the reader through word choice and imagery.
    • Types of mood: scary, romantic,
    • violent, hopeful, etc.

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