Literary terms
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Literary Terms. 1. Explain Conflict : The struggle between two opposing forces. The main character (protagonist) is always involved in the conflict. Without a conflict, there is No plot. Conflict provides the motivation for the protagonist to act. 2. Name the five types of conflicts:

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Literary Terms

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Literary terms

Literary Terms

1. Explain Conflict:

The struggle between two opposing forces.

The main character (protagonist) is always involved in the conflict.

Without a conflict, there is No plot.

Conflict provides the motivation for the protagonist to act.

2. Name the five types of conflicts:

1) man vs. man

2) man vs. nature

3) man vs. self

4) man vs. society

5) combinations

6) man vs. supernatural

7) man vs. machine

Literary terms

3. Discuss the difference between internal and external conflicts.

Internal conflicts deal with the protagonist’s dilemmas over conscience and issues of his or her character.

However, external conflicts deal with the protagonist’s attempts to overcome some outside force.

4. Define Protagonist & Antagonist.

The protagonist is the main character. Often called the “hero.”

The antagonist is the force the protagonist struggles against.

Typically, the antagonist is a person in a man vs. man conflict

5. Define Plot and discuss the different parts of a plot:

A series of causally-related events, based on a conflict, and leading to a natural and logical resolution.

All stories have a plot. It is the “What happens?” in a story.

Literary terms

6. What does Foreshadowing mean?

Hints of future events. Foreshadowing helps to build suspense.

Suspense: The reader’s feeling to keep on reading to find out what happens next. Suspense arouses curiosity, fear, anxiety.

7. Name the 7 methods a writer uses to create Character:

1) physical description of the character

2) a description by another character

3) the character’s speech

4) an explanation of the character’s thoughts

5) the character’s actions

6) the character’s responses and reactions to others and situations

7) a combination of methods

8) compare/contrast characters

Literary terms

Foils: Characters with opposite traits

Reflectors: Characters with similar traits

Character: A verbal representation of a human being.

8. Explain the two types of Point of View:

Point of View: The vantage point from which the story is told. Deals with the type of narrator.

First Person:

The narrator is a character involved in the action of the story.

The narrator refers to his or her own actions and thoughts using first person pronouns (I believed this. . . . We did that).

Be careful about the Reliability of first person narrators.

Literary terms

Third Person:

The narrator is not involved in the action.

The narrator refers to the actions and/or thoughts of other characters using third person pronouns (He thought this. . . They did that).

Omniscient: An All-Knowing narrator who can enter the thoughts of all the characters.

Limited: A narrator who can enter the thoughts of a few (usually only one or two) characters.

Objective: A narrator who enters no character’s thoughts. This narrator presents only the characters’ actions.

9. What is Tone?

The writer’s attitude toward his or her subject, characters and reader.

Literary terms

10. What are the two parts of Setting?

Time: Can be general (“Long Ago” or “In the distant future”) or specific (“On Tuesday at nine o’clock in the evening”).

Place: Can be general (“In a far distant galaxy” or “On the Alaskan frontier”) or specific (“In the house on Mulberry Street, deep in the cellar.”)

11. What is Atmosphere?

Atmosphere—or Mood—is actually a third element of setting.

It is the feeling or the emotional coloring to a story.

Pay attention to the descriptive qualities of the setting to help understand the atmosphere.

Literary terms

12. What is a Symbol?

It is something that represents or suggests a relationship or association.

Anything that possesses meaning in itself but also stands for something much broader than itself.

Person, Place, Thing, or Action

13. Explain why Theme is the most important part of a story:

Theme is the central insight on which a story is based.

It is the main idea or insight about human nature.

It is the “What is this story about?”

Theme is rarely stated directly but is implied by the other qualities in the story.

The reader must infer the theme.

Literary terms


Parts of a Plot Line





Complication: Point at which the Conflict begins.

Rising Action Based on Conflict

Climax: Point at which the Conflict reaches its greatest intensity.

Resolution, Denouement, Falling Action

Exposition: Background material, typically supplied at the

opening of a work. Includes setting, character, and

hints of conflict.

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