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Literary Terms

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  1. Literary Terms

  2. figurative language- Uses language that is not literal. The reader must make an imaginative leap to understand the author’s point.

  3. imagery- is the use of vivid description, usually rich in sensory words, to create pictures, or images, in the reader's mind Example: The evening is spread out against the sky in a ball of fire.

  4. symbolism- an object that stands for itself and a greater idea Example: bald eagle = ?

  5. allusion-a brief reference to a person, event, or place, or to a work of art. It can also be a reference to a famous historical or literary figure. Example: Harrison is like Thor, the god of thunder.

  6. alliteration- the repetition of a consonant sound at the beginning of words. Example: sweet smell of success

  7. assonance- the repetition of a vowel sound within words Example: make the grade

  8. mood- the emotions that you feel while you are reading

  9. tone- the attitude that an author takes toward the audience, the subject, or the character. Tone is conveyed through the author's words and details.

  10. hyperbole- strong exaggeration often used in tall tales or for humorous effect

  11. onomatopoeia- The use of words to imitate sounds

  12. simile- comparison of two unlike things using “like” or “as” Example: Her hair was like silk.

  13. metaphor- compares two unlike things without the use of like or as. Example: The sun is a flower.

  14. idiom-refers to a construction or expression in one language that cannot be matched or directly translated word-for-word in another language Example: That’s a piece of cake. OR

  15. foreshadowing- the use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in literature. -builds suspense -makes a narrative more believable / Example: Little did he know, something much worse was still to come.

  16. flashback- a break in the order of events that takes the reader and character back to a previous time

  17. personification-the giving of human attributes to an inanimate object. Example: The clouds spoke to me.

  18. rhyme- the similarity in sound of the ends of words Example: (end rhyme) There isn’t an hour I don’t dream of power.

  19. allegory- a narrative that serves as an extended metaphor. Purpose: to tell a story that has characters, a setting, as well as other types of symbols, that have both literal and figurative meanings. Example: Animal Farm

  20. analogy- the comparison of two pairs which have the same relationship Example: black:white::______:go