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Literary Arsenal. As we journey through literature together this year, we will come upon both foes and friends, just as all adventurers do. Therefore, we will need to do the following to gain the most from our epic odyssey:

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Literary arsenal
Literary Arsenal

  • As we journey through literature together this year, we will come upon both foes and friends, just as all adventurers do. Therefore, we will need to do the following to gain the most from our epic odyssey:

  • Build our arsenal of literary weapons to help us fend off the monsters of confusion, dragons of superficiality, and barbarians of boredom

  • Select one character in each of the novels and track his or her odyssey, frequently comparing it to our own

  • Record the achievements, conquests, trials and tribulations of our journey and those of the characters

  • Support each other and celebrate obliterating our foes

Point of view
Point of View

Definition: The perspective from which a speaker or writer recounts a narrative or presents information.

Point of view1
Point of View

  • First-person: When a character narrates the story with I-me-my-mine in his or her speech.

    • Advantage: you get to hear the thoughts of the narrator and see the world depicted in the story through his or her eyes

    • Disadvantage: no narrator, like no human being, has complete self-knowledge or, for that matter, complete knowledge of anything. Therefore, the reader's role is to go beyond what the narrator says.

  • Second-person: The author uses you and your. It is rare; authors seldom speak directly to the reader. Most times, second-person point of view draws the reader into the story, almost making the reader a participant in the action.

Point of view2
Point of View

  • 3rd Person—Limited: The narrator, who plays no part in the story (“he” or “she”), zooms in on the thoughts and feelings of just one character. With this point of view, the reader observes the action through the eyes and with the feelings of this one character.

  • 3rd person– Omniscient: Speaks using "he" or "she" rather than "I," again, but it's NOT limited to one person. It's compared to narrating as all-knowing. You are able to get into any character's thoughts, zoom out, and move on to another character. Instead of following one person around with a camera, you focus on one person for a while, then zoom out and focus on someone else.


Definition: the process of revealing the personality of a character in a story

Direct characterization
Direct Characterization

Definition: the writer tells readers what kind of person a character is

Indirect characterization
Indirect Characterization

Definition: the process of revealing the personality of a character through actions, speech, other characters, and unspoken thoughts in a story

Static character
Static Character

Definition: one who does not change much in the course of the story

Dynamic character
Dynamic Character

Definition: one who changes as a result of the story’s events

Flat character
Flat Character

Definition: one who has one or two traits, and these can be described in a short phrase

Round character
Round Character

Definition: one, who like a real person, has many different character traits, sometimes contradictory


Definition: Reference to a statement, a person, a place, or an event from literature, history, religion, mythology, politics, sports, science, or pop culture.


Definition: the main character in the story

The character who battles the main conflict

The protagonist changes in some important way


Definition: person or thing with whom or what the protagonist struggles

The character or force that blocks the protagonist


Definition: a figurative use of language in which a comparison is expressed without the use of the terms “as” or “like”


Definition: a directly expressed comparison; a figure of speech comparing two unlike objects with “like” or “as”


Definition: the author’s message about life that can be learned from the text



Definition: a form of paradox that combines a pair of contrary terms into a single expression


The time, place, and environment in which the action takes place.

Story structure
Story Structure

The arrangement or framework of a sentence, paragraph, or entire work.

Literary arsenal


A long narrative POEM in elevated STYLE, presenting characters of high position in a series of adventures

Epic characteristics:

--the HERO is a figure of imposing stature, of national or international importance, and of great historical or legendary significance;

--the SETTING is vast in scope, covering great nations, the world, or the universe;

--the action consists of deeds of great valor or requiring superhuman courage

--supernatural forces—gods, angels, and demons--interest themselves in the action and intervene from time to time;

--a STYLE of sustained elevation and grand simplicity is used; and

--the epic poet recounts the deeds of his heroes with objectivity.

Structure cont
Structure Cont.

Epic Structure:

--the poet opens by stating his theme,

invokes a Muse to inspire and instruct him,

and opens his narrative in medias res—in the middle of things—giving the necessary exposition in later portions of the epic;

--he includes CATALOGS of warriors, ships, armies;

--he gives extended formal speeches by the main characters;

--he makes frequent use of the EPIC SIMILE.

Verbal irony
Verbal Irony

Verbal: a writer or speaker says one thing but really means something completely different

Dramatic irony
Dramatic Irony

Dramatic: occurs when the audience / reader knows something important a character in a play or story does not know

Situational irony
Situational Irony

Situational: occurs when there is a contrast between what would seem appropriate and what really happens or when there is a contradiction between what we expect to happen and what really does take place


Endowing non-human objects or creatures with human qualities or characteristics


  • Person, place, thing, or event that stands for itself and for something beyond itself as well.


Adjective or descriptive phrase that is regularly used to describe a person, place, or thing.

Foil character
Foil Character

A character used to contrast another character in a story.


the choice and use of words and phrases in speech or writing


The use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in the plot.


A way of speaking that is characteristic of a particular region or a particular group of people.


The point of highest interest in a literary work

Turning point in the plot that leads to the resolution

Author s purpose
Author’s Purpose

An author’s purpose is the reason an author decides to write about a specific topic.

Once a topic is selected, the author must decide whether his purpose for writing is to inform, persuade, entertain, or explain his ideas to the reader.


All the meanings, emotions, and associations that have become attached to some words.


The literal dictionary definitions of a word.

Literary arsenal

A writer’s attitude toward the subject he/she is writing about.


Way of speaking that is characteristic of a particular region or a particular group of people.

A language has its own vocabulary and grammatical features.

Dialects reveal a person’s economic or social class.


  • Outlines basic situation

  • Introduces characters and main conflicts

Rising action
Rising Action

  • takes place as the main character struggles to achieve a goal or solve a problem

  • Chain of events leading up to the climax

  • Climax1

    • Point of highest emotional intensity

    • Reveals the conflict’s outcome

    • Point where nothing will ever be the same

    Falling action
    Falling Action

    Shows the effects that the climax had on the characters


    • Any remaining issues are resolved

    • The story’s final outcome


    The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several sentences, clauses, or paragraphs that are next to each other

    poetic or rhetorical effect

    "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills" (Winston S. Churchill).


    an expression that cannot be understood from the literal meanings of its separate words, but that has a meaning of its own