Allegory - a story in which characters represent abstract qualities or ideas. In the fabel, "The Grasshopper and the Ant," the grasshopper represents flightiness, while the ant represents industriousness.
Alliteration – repetition of the initial consonant sounds of words: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”
Allusion – an indirect reference to something well-known that exists outside the literary work: Herculean effort, Achilles' heel
Antagonist - character that is the source of conflict in a literary work
Aside – a dramatic device in which a character makes a short speech intended for the audience but not heard by the other characters on stage
Assonance – repetition of vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds: “Anna’s apples,” “the pond is long gone”
Characterization - the manner in which an author develops characters and their personalities. Direct characterization is when the author tells you what a character is like. Indirect characterization is when the author allows you to draw your own conclusions about a character by showing you what a character is like.
Climax - the turning point in a literary work
Conflict - struggle between two or more opposing forces (person vs. person; nature; society; self; fate/God.
Dialogue - direct speech between characters in a literary work
Diction - word choice to create a specific effect
Exposition - the essential background information at the beginning of a literary work
Falling action - results or effects of the climax of a literary work
Figurative Language – language that represents one thing in terms of something dissimilar (non-literal language). Includes simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, and symbol.
Flashback - the method of returning to an earlier point in time for the purpose of making the present clearer
Foreshadowing - hint of what is to come in a literary work
Genre – type or category to which a literary work belongs
Hyperbole – extreme exaggeration to add meaning or make a point
Imagery – descriptive language that appeals to the five senses
Irony - the expression of a certain idea by saying or showing just the opposite
Dramatic… when the reader or audience knows something a character does not
Situational… when there is a disparity between what is expected and what actually occurs
Verbal… when the speaker says one thing but means the opposite
Metaphor – an implied comparison between dissimilar objects: “Her talent blossomed”
Motif - a recurring feature of a literary work that is related to the theme
Onomatopoeia – use of a word whose sound imitates its meaning: “hiss”
Oxymoron – phrase that consists of two words that are contradictory: “living dead” or “jumbo shrimp”
Paradox - two or more words or ideas that apparently contradict one another: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"
Personification – figure of speech in which non-human things are given human characteristics
Plot - The sequence of events in a literary work
Point of view - the vantage point or perspective from which a literary work is told
first-person point of view- the narrator is a character in the story ans refers to himself or herself as "I"
third-person point of view- the narrator is outside of the story and refers to all characters as "he" or "she"
omniscient third-person point of view- the narrator also refers to characters as "he" or "she," but reveals information about the characters that a limited third-person narrator would not know, such as what the characters are thinking
Protagonist - the main character in a literary work, the character who is the focus of the plot and who changes in some way
Resolution/denouement - end of a literary work when loose ends are tied up and questions are answered
Rhyme – repetition of similar or identical sounds: “look and crook”
Rhyme Scheme – pattern of rhyme among lines of poetry [denoted using letters, as in ABAB CDCD EE]
Rising action - the development of conflict and complications in a literary work
Setting - The time and place of a literary work
Simile – a direct comparison of dissimilar objects, usually using like or as: “I wandered lonely as a cloud”
Soliloquy - a dramatic device in which a character is alone and speaks his or her thoughts aloud
Speaker – voice in a poem; the person or thing that is speaking
Stanza – group of lines forming a unit in a poem
Stereotype - standardized, conventional ideas about characters, plots and settings
Suspense – technique that keeps the reader guessing what will happen next
Symbol/symbolism – one thing (object, person, place) used to represent something else
Theme – the underlying main idea of a literary work. Theme differs from the subject of a literary work in that it involves a statement or opinion about the subject.
Tone – the author’s attitude toward the subject of a work