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Literature Term Definitions
 

Literature Term Definitions

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Literature terms to know for Trimester A and Trimester B, 10th grade English

Literature terms to know for Trimester A and Trimester B, 10th grade English

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  • Overhead of irony comic. <br />
  • For “paradox,” read “The Book of Sand.” Have students write the paradox. <br />

Literature Term Definitions Literature Term Definitions Presentation Transcript

  • Literary TermsLiterary Terms
  • Many terms can be found in your text.Many terms can be found in your text.  See the “Handbook of Literary Terms,”See the “Handbook of Literary Terms,” beginning on page 995beginning on page 995  Terms with an asterisk (*) are notTerms with an asterisk (*) are not available in the text.available in the text.
  • *Allegory*Allegory  A story or visual image with a secondA story or visual image with a second distinct meaning partially hiddendistinct meaning partially hidden behind its literal meaningbehind its literal meaning  Narrative in which characters, action,Narrative in which characters, action, and sometimes setting have anand sometimes setting have an underlying meaningunderlying meaning
  • AlliterationAlliteration  Repetition of the same or similarRepetition of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that areconsonant sounds in words that are close togetherclose together
  • AllusionAllusion  Reference to a statement, person,Reference to a statement, person, place, event, or thing that is knownplace, event, or thing that is known from literature, history, religion,from literature, history, religion, myth, politics, sports, or the arts.myth, politics, sports, or the arts.
  • Antagonist (see protagonist)Antagonist (see protagonist)  The character or force that blocks theThe character or force that blocks the protagonistprotagonist
  • AsideAside  Stage whisper; aStage whisper; a remarkremark spoken in anspoken in an undertone by a character in a play.undertone by a character in a play. The remark is heard by the audienceThe remark is heard by the audience but not by the other characters onbut not by the other characters on stage.stage.
  • AssonanceAssonance  Repetition of similar vowel soundsRepetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonantfollowed by different consonant sounds in words that are closesounds in words that are close togethertogether  Example:Example: And so all the nAnd so all the niight tght tiide,de, II llieie down by the sdown by the siide, Of mde, Of myy darling, mdarling, myy darling, mdarling, myy lliife and mfe and myy bridbridee --Poe, “Annabel Lee”--Poe, “Annabel Lee”
  • Ballad: Song or song-like poem thatBallad: Song or song-like poem that tells a storytells a story  Often has a tragic endingOften has a tragic ending  Simple language, with rhythm,Simple language, with rhythm, rhyme, and repetitionrhyme, and repetition  Use of refrainsUse of refrains  Folk ballads = oral tradition;Folk ballads = oral tradition; unknown singersunknown singers
  • Blank VerseBlank Verse  Poetry written in unrhymed iambicPoetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameterpentameter  Blank verse means poetry isBlank verse means poetry is unrhymedunrhymed  Iambic pentameter means each lineIambic pentameter means each line contains five iambs (unstressedcontains five iambs (unstressed syllable then stressed syllable)syllable then stressed syllable)
  • CharacterizationCharacterization  Direct/IndirectDirect/Indirect  Dynamic/StaticDynamic/Static  Flat/RoundFlat/Round  Character MotivationCharacter Motivation
  • Direct and Indirect CharacterizationDirect and Indirect Characterization  Direct: The author states the character’sDirect: The author states the character’s traits or special qualities.traits or special qualities.  Indirect: The author uses clues to revealIndirect: The author uses clues to reveal character traits in the following ways:character traits in the following ways: AppearanceAppearance ActionsActions SpeechSpeech Private thoughtsPrivate thoughts The responses of other charactersThe responses of other characters
  • Dynamic or Static Character?Dynamic or Static Character?  A static character does not changeA static character does not change much during the course of the story.much during the course of the story.  A dynamic character changes inA dynamic character changes in some important way as a result of thesome important way as a result of the story’s action.story’s action.
  • Flat vs. Round CharactersFlat vs. Round Characters  Flat characters are one-dimensionalFlat characters are one-dimensional and have only one or two personalityand have only one or two personality traits. They can be summed up intraits. They can be summed up in one or two sentences.one or two sentences.  Round characters are complex andRound characters are complex and have many different traits.have many different traits.
  • Character MotivationCharacter Motivation  What moves a character to act as heWhat moves a character to act as he or she (or it) does?or she (or it) does?  Often, motives are not stated, butOften, motives are not stated, but implied.implied.  Use clues in a story toUse clues in a story to inferinfer thethe reasons characters behave the wayreasons characters behave the way they do.they do.
  • ClimaxClimax  The turning point in a storyThe turning point in a story  The height of actionThe height of action  Everything is “downhill” from thisEverything is “downhill” from this point (falling action).point (falling action).
  • ConflictConflict  Struggle or clash between opposingStruggle or clash between opposing characters, forces, or emotionscharacters, forces, or emotions  External: Character struggles with anExternal: Character struggles with an outside force (another character, nature,outside force (another character, nature, society, technology)society, technology)  Internal: Struggle between opposingInternal: Struggle between opposing needs, desires, or emotions within aneeds, desires, or emotions within a charactercharacter
  • ConnotationsConnotations  All the meanings, associations, orAll the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggestsemotions that a word suggests  Denotation is the literal meaning of aDenotation is the literal meaning of a word (definition).word (definition).  Ex: slender, thin, skinny all have theEx: slender, thin, skinny all have the same denotation but differentsame denotation but different connotations.connotations.
  • DialectDialect  Way of speaking that is characteristicWay of speaking that is characteristic of a particular region or group ofof a particular region or group of peoplepeople  May have a distinct vocabulary,May have a distinct vocabulary, pronunciation system, and grammarpronunciation system, and grammar  U.S. dialects include Maine, Brooklyn,U.S. dialects include Maine, Brooklyn, Cajun, Appalachia, and standardCajun, Appalachia, and standard EnglishEnglish
  •  DictionDiction: Writer’s choice of words.: Writer’s choice of words. Essential element of a writer’s style.Essential element of a writer’s style.  Involves connotations of words andInvolves connotations of words and phrasesphrases  Any words or word groups that areAny words or word groups that are important to the meaning and effect ofimportant to the meaning and effect of literature/poetryliterature/poetry  Figurative language: metaphor, simile,Figurative language: metaphor, simile, personification,…personification,…
  • Elizabethan English:Elizabethan English: TheThe language of Shakespeare’s eralanguage of Shakespeare’s era
  • FableFable  Brief story in prose or poetry thatBrief story in prose or poetry that teaches a moral, or practical lessonteaches a moral, or practical lesson about life.about life.  Characters in fables are usuallyCharacters in fables are usually animals that behave as humans.animals that behave as humans.
  • Figurative LanguageFigurative Language Language that conveys meaningLanguage that conveys meaning beyond the literal meaning, orbeyond the literal meaning, or denotation.denotation. FigurativeFigurative means thatmeans that the words are used in some thought-the words are used in some thought- provoking or symbolic way.provoking or symbolic way.
  •  FlashbackFlashback: Scene that interrupts the: Scene that interrupts the present action of a plot to showpresent action of a plot to show events that happened at an earlierevents that happened at an earlier time.time.
  • FoilFoil  Character who serves as a contrast toCharacter who serves as a contrast to another characteranother character  Used to emphasize differencesUsed to emphasize differences between two characters or tobetween two characters or to highlight the traits of one characterhighlight the traits of one character
  • ForeshadowingForeshadowing  The use of clues that hint at eventsThe use of clues that hint at events that occur later in the plotthat occur later in the plot
  •  IdiomIdiom: Expression peculiar to a: Expression peculiar to a particular language that meansparticular language that means something different from the literalsomething different from the literal meaning of the words.meaning of the words.  ChickenChicken = coward= coward  Under the weatherUnder the weather = sick= sick  Get on one’s nervesGet on one’s nerves = irritate someone= irritate someone
  • ImageryImagery  Language that appeals to the senses:Language that appeals to the senses: sightsight, sound, smell, touch, taste, sound, smell, touch, taste
  •  IronyIrony: Contrast or discrepancy: Contrast or discrepancy between expectation and reality.between expectation and reality.  VerbalVerbal: A speaker says one thing but: A speaker says one thing but means the opposite.means the opposite.  SituationalSituational: What actually happens is: What actually happens is the opposite of what is expected orthe opposite of what is expected or appropriate.appropriate.  DramaticDramatic: The reader or audience: The reader or audience knows something important that aknows something important that a character does not know.character does not know.
  • Lyric PoetryLyric Poetry  Poetry that expresses a speaker’sPoetry that expresses a speaker’s emotions or thoughts and does notemotions or thoughts and does not tell a story.tell a story.  Most common formMost common form  Ode, elegy, haiku, tanka, sonnet,…Ode, elegy, haiku, tanka, sonnet,…
  • MetaphorMetaphor  Figure of speech that makes aFigure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlikecomparison between two unlike things without using a connectivethings without using a connective word such asword such as likelike,, asas, or, or thanthan  Direct metaphorDirect metaphor  Implied metaphorImplied metaphor  Extended metaphorExtended metaphor
  • MeterMeter  Generally regular pattern of stressed andGenerally regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry (see rhythm)unstressed syllables in poetry (see rhythm)  The number of feet in a line of poetryThe number of feet in a line of poetry
  • MonologueMonologue  A long, uninterrupted speech by oneA long, uninterrupted speech by one character, to which the othercharacter, to which the other characters listencharacters listen
  • MoodMood  The atmosphere and feeling that aThe atmosphere and feeling that a writer creates in a work through thewriter creates in a work through the choice of setting, imagery,choice of setting, imagery, descriptions, and other evocativedescriptions, and other evocative wordswords
  •  *Motif*Motif: A frequently-repeated: A frequently-repeated incident or idea in a work ofincident or idea in a work of literature which underlines anliterature which underlines an important theme.important theme.
  • PersonificationPersonification  Type of metaphor in which aType of metaphor in which a nonhuman thing or quality is givennonhuman thing or quality is given human characteristicshuman characteristics
  • PlotPlot  The sequence of actions and eventsThe sequence of actions and events in a drama or work of fictionin a drama or work of fiction
  • Point of ViewPoint of View  The perspective from which a story isThe perspective from which a story is told; author’s choice of narratortold; author’s choice of narrator  First Person: A character in the storyFirst Person: A character in the story narrates; the character is part of the storynarrates; the character is part of the story (pronouns—I, me, our, us,…)(pronouns—I, me, our, us,…)  Third Person: Narrator is not in the storyThird Person: Narrator is not in the story (pronouns—he, they, she, them,…)(pronouns—he, they, she, them,…)  Omniscient: All-knowing narratorOmniscient: All-knowing narrator  Limited: Narrator knows thoughts of oneLimited: Narrator knows thoughts of one character or a small groupcharacter or a small group
  • ProtagonistProtagonist  Main character in fiction or dramaMain character in fiction or drama  Focus of attentionFocus of attention  The character that sets the plot inThe character that sets the plot in motionmotion
  • PunPun  Play on the multiple meaning of aPlay on the multiple meaning of a word or on two words that soundword or on two words that sound alike but have different meaningsalike but have different meanings
  • ResolutionResolution  The final part of the plot of a dramaThe final part of the plot of a drama or work of fiction. Explains how theor work of fiction. Explains how the conflict is resolved. Often ties upconflict is resolved. Often ties up loose ends.loose ends.
  • Rhyme/RhythmRhyme/Rhythm  Rhyme is the repetition of accented vowelsRhyme is the repetition of accented vowels sounds and all sounds following them in wordssounds and all sounds following them in words that are close together in a poemthat are close together in a poem  Rhythm is the musical quality in languageRhythm is the musical quality in language produced by repetition. Occurs naturally inproduced by repetition. Occurs naturally in language. Poems written in meter createlanguage. Poems written in meter create rhythm through patterns of stressed andrhythm through patterns of stressed and unstressed syllablesunstressed syllables
  •  SatireSatire: Type of writing that ridicules: Type of writing that ridicules human weakness, vice or folly inhuman weakness, vice or folly in order to bring about social reform.order to bring about social reform.  Often an attempt to persuade the readerOften an attempt to persuade the reader into believing something by showinginto believing something by showing the opposite view as absurd, vicious, orthe opposite view as absurd, vicious, or inhumane.inhumane.  Exaggeration used as a writingExaggeration used as a writing technique.technique.
  • SettingSetting  In a drama or work of fiction, settingIn a drama or work of fiction, setting is the time and place in which theis the time and place in which the action occursaction occurs
  • SimileSimile  Figure of speech that makes aFigure of speech that makes a comparison between two seeminglycomparison between two seemingly unlike things by using a connectiveunlike things by using a connective word such asword such as likelike,, asas, or, or thanthan
  • SoliloquySoliloquy  A long speech in which a characterA long speech in which a character expresses private remarks or feelingsexpresses private remarks or feelings  Character is either alone on stage orCharacter is either alone on stage or ignored by other characters who areignored by other characters who are also on stagealso on stage
  • Sonnet: Fourteen-line lyric poemSonnet: Fourteen-line lyric poem usually written in iambic pentameterusually written in iambic pentameter  Italian or Petrarchan sonnetItalian or Petrarchan sonnet  Shakespearean or English sonnetShakespearean or English sonnet  Three quatrainsThree quatrains  Couplet (sums up message)Couplet (sums up message)
  • Speaker in Poetry: The voiceSpeaker in Poetry: The voice that is talking to us in a poemthat is talking to us in a poem  Sometimes the poet is the speakerSometimes the poet is the speaker  Poet may create a different voicePoet may create a different voice (child, man, woman, object, animal,(child, man, woman, object, animal, …)…)
  •  *Stereotype*Stereotype: Oversimplified idea of: Oversimplified idea of someone or something that allows forsomeone or something that allows for no individuality. Often a mentalno individuality. Often a mental picture that members of a grouppicture that members of a group believe typifies all members of somebelieve typifies all members of some other group.other group.  SymbolSymbol: Person, place, thing, or: Person, place, thing, or event that stands for itself andevent that stands for itself and something beyond itself—often ansomething beyond itself—often an abstract idea.abstract idea.
  • StyleStyle The particular way in which writersThe particular way in which writers express their ideas. It refers not toexpress their ideas. It refers not to what is said, but rather how it is said.what is said, but rather how it is said. Elements that make up a writer’sElements that make up a writer’s style include syntax, descriptivestyle include syntax, descriptive language, tone, point of view, use oflanguage, tone, point of view, use of dialogue, use of irony, and methodsdialogue, use of irony, and methods of characterization.of characterization.
  • SuspenseSuspense  The uncertainty or anxiety we feelThe uncertainty or anxiety we feel about what is going to happen next inabout what is going to happen next in a story.a story.
  • Syntax: The way words and phrasesSyntax: The way words and phrases are arranged to form phrases andare arranged to form phrases and sentencessentences  Sentence length/number of sentencesSentence length/number of sentences  Sentence types (simple, compound,Sentence types (simple, compound, …)…)  Phrasing patternsPhrasing patterns  Specific kinds of punctuationSpecific kinds of punctuation  RepetitionRepetition
  • Tanka: A Japanese poetic formTanka: A Japanese poetic form  Evokes a strong feeling with a singleEvokes a strong feeling with a single imageimage  Five unrhymed lines; 31 syllablesFive unrhymed lines; 31 syllables totaltotal  Lines 1, 3 = 5 syllables eachLines 1, 3 = 5 syllables each  Lines 2, 4, 5, = 7 syllables eachLines 2, 4, 5, = 7 syllables each
  • Theme (see text, pp. 182, 183)Theme (see text, pp. 182, 183)  The central idea or insight revealedThe central idea or insight revealed by a work of literatureby a work of literature  Must useMust use at leastat least one completeone complete sentence to state a theme, often moresentence to state a theme, often more  Not the same as a moral or rule ofNot the same as a moral or rule of conduct (“Crime doesn’t pay.”)conduct (“Crime doesn’t pay.”)  Often, what the protagonist learnsOften, what the protagonist learns about life is also what the author wantsabout life is also what the author wants the reader to discover.the reader to discover.
  • ToneTone:: The author’s feelings or attitudeThe author’s feelings or attitude about his or her subjectabout his or her subject  Intonation of voice that expressesIntonation of voice that expresses meaningmeaning  Described using adjectives (quiet,Described using adjectives (quiet, apprehensive, confident,…)apprehensive, confident,…)  May change throughout the pieceMay change throughout the piece  Result of allusion, diction, figurativeResult of allusion, diction, figurative language, imagery, irony, symbolism,language, imagery, irony, symbolism, syntax,…syntax,…
  • TragedyTragedy  Drama that begins peacefully andDrama that begins peacefully and ends in violenceends in violence  One or more characters come to anOne or more characters come to an unhappy endunhappy end  Fate, weaknesses or flaws inFate, weaknesses or flaws in characters contribute to endingcharacters contribute to ending  Resolution to the plot is called theResolution to the plot is called the catastrophecatastrophe
  • Tragic Hero:Tragic Hero: Not an ordinary man, butNot an ordinary man, but a man with outstanding quality and greatnessa man with outstanding quality and greatness about him.about him.  Usually of noble birthUsually of noble birth  Possesses a tragic flaw: a personality traitPossesses a tragic flaw: a personality trait that eventually leads to his downfallthat eventually leads to his downfall  His actions result in self-awareness andHis actions result in self-awareness and self-knowledgeself-knowledge  The audiences should pity or fear theThe audiences should pity or fear the tragic herotragic hero
  • VoiceVoice: Voice is the distinct: Voice is the distinct personality, style, and point of viewpersonality, style, and point of view of a piece of writing or any otherof a piece of writing or any other creative work.creative work.  What is writer attempting toWhat is writer attempting to communicate about him/herself?communicate about him/herself?  What is the purpose of the writing?What is the purpose of the writing?  Who is the audience?Who is the audience?