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Quick Study Review. Literary Terms. Mr. Rose Archbishop Moeller High School. Elements of Plot. PLOT is the “soul of the story” to which all the incidents relate. Exposition. 3 parts to exposition. Characters : Who thinks and acts in the story Setting: Where & When

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Literary Terms

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quick study review
Quick Study Review

Literary Terms

Mr. Rose Archbishop Moeller High School

elements of plot
Elements of Plot
  • PLOT is the “soul of the story” to which all the incidents relate

3 parts to exposition

Characters: Who thinks and acts in the story

Setting: Where & When

  • Concrete: location, weather, season
  • Abstract: ideas, customs, values

Opening situation: What is happening in the lives of the characters

inciting force
Inciting Force
  • The event or character that triggers the conflict
  • Example: the tornado in The Wizard of Oz
central conflict
Central Conflict

A struggle between opposing forces:

  • man vs. man
  • man vs. nature
  • man vs. supernatural
  • man vs. society
  • man vs. himself (internal conflict)
rising action
Rising Action

A series of incidents that builds from the conflict. It begins with the inciting force and ends with the climax.

  • The point in the story when the tension of the conflict reaches its highest point.
  • Often the turning point of a story
  • The outcome of the conflict is about to be revealed.
falling action
Falling Action
  • The events that follow the climax
  • The events that describe the results of the climax
  • The events that lead to the resolution
  • Final outcome of the story
  • Often involves a change in one or more of the main characters
  • Often involves an insight about human nature
  • Doesn’t always amount to a happy ending

Dynamic Character

  • Changes as a result of what happens to him
  • Often grows or matures to a higher level of understanding
  • Often move from vice to virtue (or vice versa)

Static Character

  • Typically has only a minor role in the story
  • Not fully developed; does not “change”
main characters
Main Characters
  • ProtagonistThe main character in the story (Sherlock Holmes)
  • AntagonistThe character or force that opposes the protagonist (Moriarty)
  • FoilA character who provides a contrast to the protagonist (Dr. Watson)
point of view
Point of View
  • First PersonThe narrator is a character in the story who can reveal only his personal thoughts and feelings and what he sees and is told by other characters. He can’t tell us thoughts of other characters.
  • Third-Person ObjectiveThe narrator is an outsider who can report only what he or she sees and hears. This narrator can tell us what is happening, but he can’t tell us the thoughts of the characters.
  • Third-Person LimitedThe narrator is an outsider who sees into the mind of one of the characters.
  • Third-Person Omniscient The narrator is an all-knowing outsider who can enter the minds of any of the characters.
  • Author’s attitude, stated or implied, toward a subject
  • Revealed through choice of words and details
  • Some possible attitudes are pessimism, optimism, earnestness, seriousness, bitterness, humorousness, and joy.
  • The climate of feeling in a literary work.
  • The choice of setting, objects, details, images, and words all contribute towards creating a specific mood.
  • For example, an author may create a mood of mystery around a character or setting but may treat that character or setting in an ironic, serious, or humorous tone.
  • An author’s use of hints or clues to suggest events that will occur later in the story
  • Future events hinted at through dialogue, description, or the attitudes and reactions of the characters
  • Builds suspense by raising questions that encourage the reader to go on
  • Irony is the contrast between what is expected or what appears to be and what actually is.
  • Verbal IronyThe contrast between what is said and what is actually meant.
  • Situational IronyThis refers to a happening that is the opposite of what is expected or intended.
  • Dramatic IronyThis occurs when the audience or reader knows more than the characters know.
  • Person, place or object that has a meaning in itself but suggests other meanings as well.
  • Some symbols are conventional, generally meaning the same thing to all readers (serpent)
  • The use of color can also be symbolic
  • Language that appeals to the senses
  • Descriptions of people or objects stated in terms of our senses
  • An indirect reference to a well-known literary work that is external to the story.
  • Commonly made to Biblical events, myths, plays, novels, poems, and movies.
  • The main idea, underlying meaning, or message of a literary work that guides the plot.
  • Four ways that an author can express themes: feelings, conversations, characters, actions
figurative language
Figurative Language

Language that goes beyond the literal meaning of words in order to furnish new effects or fresh insights into an idea or a subject.

The most common figures of speech are:

  • simile & metaphor (comparisons)
  • Alliteration (sound repetition)
  • Hyperbole (exaggeration)
  • personification
literary breakdown
Literary Breakdown
  • Plot sentence
  • Exposition
    • characters
    • setting
    • situation
  • Conflict
  • Incidents
  • Climax
  • Resolution