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Literary Terms
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  1. Literary Terms

  2. Characters • Round • Well developed • Many traits, both good and bad • Realistic and life-like • Usually main characters • Flat • Not well developed • Not many traits • Sometimes stereotyped • Usually minor characters

  3. Characters • Dynamic • Undergoes important personality changes throughout the story • A change occurs in the character because of the events of the story • Static • Remains the same throughout the story • Although something may happen to the character in the story, it does not change the character

  4. Characters • Protagonist • Central character • Pushes action forward and attempts to accomplish something • Usually a good person or the hero • Usually round and dynamic • Antagonist • Character that holds the action back • Character who is usually against the protagonist • Foil • Secondary or minor character • Opposite of the protagonist but usually highlights the traits of the protagonist

  5. Setting • Time • Place • Environment • Mood

  6. Theme • Lesson or Moral • What lesson does the author want you to learn from it? • Raises a question about human nature • Central Idea • What does it communicate about life? • Expresses the authors opinion

  7. Conflict • External • Person vs. Nature • Person vs. Person • Person vs. Society • Internal • Person vs. Self

  8. Plot • A series of related events, each event connected to the next, like links in a chain. • Exposition - introduces characters, setting, and mood. Sets the stage for the conflict. • Rising Action - complications arise as the main character struggles to resolve the conflict. • Climax - turning point in the story. The moment where the outcome of the conflict is determined. Usually occurs near the end of the story. • Falling Action - tension eases as the conflict is resolved. • Resolution - reveals the final outcome of the story and ties up any loose ends.

  9. Flashback • A scene that interrupts the story to introduce an event that took place in the past.

  10. Flash-forward • A scene that jumps ahead of the story to narrate and event that happens in the future.

  11. Foreshadowing • Hints in the story that certain events are going to happen later.

  12. Suspense • The excitement and tension that builds up in a story, which makes readers curious to find out how the story ends.

  13. Allegory • A work of literature in which characters and places stand for abstract qualities, usually virtues and vices. • Sometimes the characters and places in an allegory have names that describe what they symbolize, such as a character called Mr. Mean and a place called Sea of Troubles.

  14. Figurative Language • Simile - comparing two unlike things using “like” or “as” • Metaphor - comparing two unlike things without using “like” or “as” • Hyperbole - an extreme exaggeration • Onomatopoeia - a word that’s sound suggests it’s meaning • Personification - giving human qualities to something non-human

  15. Genres • Satire - a type of writing that ridicules human weakness in order to bring about social reform • Science Fiction - Fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes • Narrative Non-Fiction - information that is based on fact, but presented in a format which tells a story.

  16. Genres • Realistic Fiction - a story that can actually happen and is true to real life, but fictional • Legend - a traditional historical tale or collection of related tales popularly regarded as true, but usually containing a mixture of fact and fiction. Usually contains magical elements

  17. Genres • Drama - literature written and intended for the stage. • Poetry - the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.