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Literary Terms Powerpoint Presentation

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These are the most common literary terms taught in introductory English courses. If you master these, you will perform well in any high school or college English class you take. I look forward to …

These are the most common literary terms taught in introductory English courses. If you master these, you will perform well in any high school or college English class you take. I look forward to working with you on these.

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  • 1. Literary Terms Mr. Brightman & Mr. Bray With help from the Pre-AP Guide
  • 2. Alliteration
    • The practice of beginning several consecutive or neighboring words with the same sound.
    • “ The twisting trout twinkled below.”
  • 3. Allusion
    • A reference to a mythological, literary, or historic person, place, or thing.
    • “ He met his Waterloo.”
  • 4. Assonance
    • The repetition of accented vowel sounds in a series of words.
    • The words “cry” and “side” have the same vowel sound, so if you used them together they would be in assonance.
  • 5. Consonance
    • The repetition of a consonant sound within a series of words to produce a harmonious effect.
    • “ And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.”
    • The “d” sound is in consonance as well as the “s” sound.
  • 6. Hyperbole
    • A deliberate, extravagant, and often outrageous exaggeration.
    • “ The shot heard ‘round the world.”
  • 7. Imagery
    • Words or phrases a writer uses to represent persons, objects, actions, feelings, and ideas descriptively by appealing to the senses.
  • 8. Metaphor
    • A comparison of two unlike things not using “like” or “as.”
    • “ Time is money.”
  • 9. Mood
    • The atmosphere or predominant emotion in a literary work.
  • 10. Motivation
    • A circumstance or set of circumstances that prompts a character to act in a certain way or that determines the outcome of a situation or work.
  • 11. Onomatopoeia
    • The use of words that mimic the sounds they describe. When onomatopoeia is used on an extended scale in a poem, it is called imitative harmony.
    • “ Hiss,” “buzz,” and “bang.”
  • 12. Oxymoron
    • A form of paradox that combines a pair of opposite terms into a single unusual expression.
    • “ sweet sorrow” or “cold fire”
  • 13. Paradox
    • When the elements of a statement contradict each other. Although the statement may appear illogical, impossible, or absurd, it turns out to have a coherent meaning that reveals a hidden truth.
    • “ Much madness is divinest sense.”
  • 14. Personification
    • A kind of metaphor that gives inanimate objects or abstract ideas human characteristics.
    • “ The wind cried in the dark.”
  • 15. Pun
    • A play on words that are identical or similar in sound but have a sharply diverse meanings.
    • When Mercutio is bleeding to death in Romeo and Juliet , he says to his friends, “Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find a grave man.”
  • 16. Rhyme
    • The repetition of sounds in two or more words or phrases that appear close to each other in a poem.
    • End Rhyme, Internal Rhyme, and Slant Rhyme are all different types of rhyme.
  • 17. Sarcasm
    • The use of verbal irony in which a person appears to be praising something but is actually insulting it.
    • “ As I fell down the stairs headfirst, I heard her say, ‘Look at that coordination.’”
  • 18. Shift or Turn
    • The change or movement in a piece resulting from epiphany, realization, or insight gained by the speaker, a character, or the reader.
  • 19. Simile
    • A comparison of two different things or ideas through the use of the words “like” or “as.”
    • “ The warrior fought like a lion.”
  • 20. Symbol
    • Any object, person, place, or action that has both a meaning in itself and that stands for something larger than itself, such as a quality, attitude, belief, or value.
    • The land turtle in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wraith suggests or reflects the toughness and resilience of the migrant workers.
  • 21. Theme
    • The central message of a literary work, which can be expressed in a word or two: courage, survival, war, pride, etc.
  • 22. Tone
    • The writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward a subject, character, or audience and it is conveyed through the author’s choice of words and detail.
  • 23. Understatement
    • The opposite of hyperbole. It is a kind of irony that deliberately represents something as being much less than it really is.
    • “ I could probably manage to survive on a salary of two million dollars per year.”