Literary Elements and Techniques
8TH Grade ELAR 2013-2014
Literary Devices and Terms
• A literary devices or techniques that writers
use to make a story more interest and to
enhance the experience for the reader.
• There are two types of literary devices used by
authors, literary elements and literary
• Literary elements provide structure to the
literature. All literary elements are evident in
all literature that creates a story.
• Literary techniques are specific to each
author. Authors choose which of the
techniques to employ.
• Mood and Atmosphere are used
interchangeably to refer to the
“emotional feeling the reader receives
from the literature.
• The Mood or Atmosphere might be
scary, happy, sad, romantic, nostalgic,
• Tone is the attitude a writer/author
takes towards his or her subject,
characters and audience.
• Examples of an author’s tone include,
but are not limited to: humorous,
passionate, sincere, solemn, and anger.
The use of description that helps
the reader imagine how
something looks, sounds, feels,
smells, or taste. Most of the
time, it refers to appearance.
For example, “The young bird’s
white, feathered wings flutter as
he made his way across the
• A symbol is a person, a place, a thing, or an
event that has meaning in itself and stands
for something beyond itself as well.
• Symbols are commonly known as
representing the other item.
The bearstone in Bearstone by Will Hobbs
is a symbol of luck and strength to the
The peach trees are a symbol of
Walter’s love for his wife.
A theme or pattern that
recurs in a work.
• A reference to a statement, a person, a
place, or an event from literature, the arts,
history, religion, mythology, politics, sports
or science. The verb form of allusion is to
• Author’s expect a reader to understand the
allusion based on what you already know or
read. Therefore, we must make connections
in order to understand the allusion.
• For instance, if you were trying to instill
confidence in a friend and said, “Use the
force,” that would be an allusion to Stars
A technique in which an author
gives clues about something
that will happen later in the
• Flashback is an interruption in the
present action of a plot to show events
that happened at an earlier time.
• Flashback is when the story returns or
goes back in time to a past event.
• Flashback is used to tell a past story.
• Flashback can be the memory of a
single character or the narrator.
A seeming contradiction.
For example, “It was the best
of times. It was the worst of