Literary terms you need to know
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Literary Terms You Need to Know. FIRST PERSON POINT OF VIEW. Events are told by a character in the story The narrative will read, “I sat at my wooden desk, looking up at that huge circle with its eternally trapped hands, and cried.” from The Year of Fog , Michelle Richmond.

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Literary terms you need to know

Literary Terms You Need to Know


First person point of view
FIRST PERSON POINT OF VIEW

  • Events are told by a character in the story

  • The narrative will read, “I sat at my wooden desk, looking up at that huge circle with its eternally trapped hands, and cried.” from The Year of Fog, Michelle Richmond


Third person point of view
THIRD PERSON POINT OF VIEW

  • The events of the story are told by someone outside of the story

  • The narrative will read, “Armpit sighed as he set the phone back in its cradle. Maybe he was crazy.” from Small Steps, Louis Sachar


Character trait
CHARACTER TRAIT

  • A quality or qualities of a particular character that identify what the character is like

  • For example in Charlotte’s Web, the reader comes to understand that Charlotte is kind, not because the author says so, but because over and over again, the reader sees her treating the other animals with kindness.


Climax high point turning point
CLIMAX / HIGH POINT / TURNING POINT

  • The most exciting point of a story, where is action is at its greatest point and the story begins to turn

  • The climax of the novel Holes is when the characters realize that Camp Green Lake is not a legitimate juvenile facility.


Conflict
CONFLICT

  • The problem or struggle faced by the characters in a story

  • External conflict- a conflict between character and an outside force- another character, a group, nature, society, fate- for example- character vs. nature

  • Internal conflict-a conflict or problem within a character- character vs. self


Foreshadowing
FORESHADOWING

  • An author’s use of hints or clues to give the reader an ideal of what may happen next


Hyperbole
HYPERBOLE

  • Use of extreme exaggeration

  • For example, “My car is a million years old.” OR

    “I walked five-thousand miles to school.”


Static and dynamic characters
STATIC AND DYNAMIC CHARACTERS

  • A static character is one who remains unchanged throughout a book or story. Scar was a static character in The Lion King.

  • A dynamic character is changed in the course of a book or story. Simba changed a great deal in The Lion King, so that makes him a dynamic character.


Theme theme theme
THEME / THEME /THEME

  • The theme of a literary work is the central message or idea that is expressed in a written work. The theme should go beyond a one word answer. The theme of Romeo and Juliet is NOT love. Rather, the thoughtful student would state that the theme of Romeo and Juliet is, “Love matters beyond all else!”


Imagery
IMAGERY

  • Words or phrases used to appeal to one or more of the senses, in order to create a more vivid reading experience

  • “The scent of roses-wild roses- mingled with a strange briny scent: waves crashing on rocky shores, dolphins diving.” from Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr


Inference
INFERENCE

  • A conclusion reached by the reader, based on the available information in the text

  • We can infer that the three bears were very trusting since they left their house open and their bowls of porridge out on the table.


Irony
IRONY

  • A situation where the opposite of what is expected to occur DOES in fact happen.

  • “The ambulance driver rushed to the scene of the accident, but in his haste, he ran over the victim because the victim had crawled into the middle of the street in the darkness of night.”


Metaphor simile
METAPHOR / SIMILE

  • A comparison of two unlike things

  • Simile uses the words like or as- “Her cheeks were like red apples.”

  • Metaphor omits the like or as- “Her cheeks were red apples.”


Narrative narrator
NARRATIVE / NARRATOR

  • The narrative is the writing or speech that tells a story.

  • The narrator is the person who actually tells the story.


Oxymoron
OXYMORON

  • A figure of speech that contains contradictory words or phrases

  • Examples: Dark light, almost exactly, clever fool


Personification
PERSONIFICATION

  • Giving human characteristics to a non-human subject

  • “The cat grinned at me and began her wicked plan.”

  • “The daisy lifted its face to the sun.”