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Literary Terms Notes. Key terms that will be reinforced while reading The Outsiders. Genre. A genre is a type or category of literature. There are four main literary genres: Fiction ( Downriver ) Non-fiction ( Fast Food Nation ) Poetry (‘Hug-O-War’) and Drama (“Romeo and Juliet”).

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literary terms notes

Literary Terms Notes

Key terms that will be reinforced while reading

The Outsiders.

genre
Genre

A genre is a type or category of literature. There are four main literary genres:

Fiction (Downriver)

Non-fiction (Fast Food Nation)

Poetry (‘Hug-O-War’)and

Drama (“Romeo and Juliet”)

slide4
Narrator

The person (sometimes a character) who tells a story; the voice assumed by the writer. The narrator and the author of the work of literature are not the same person.

The narrator of Flowers for Algernon is Charlie, not Daniel Keyes.

slide5
Protagonist

The main character around whom the story revolves.

In Downriver, Jessie is the protagonist.

Antagonist

The entity that acts to frustrate the goals of the protagonist. The antagonist is usually another character but may also be a non-human force.

In Downriver, Troy is the primary antagonist.

Character: A person, animal, or any other thing with a personality that appears in a narrative.

In Charlotte’s Web, all of the animals are characters; they all have personalities.

slide6
Hero/Heroine

The principal character in a literary work or narrative.

The hero of The Lightening Thief is Percy Jackson.

Antihero/Antiheroine

A protagonist who is not admirable or who challenges notions of what should be considered admirable.

Think of books that you’ve read where a main character just isn’t all that likeable…can you give some examples? Some of the ones I’ve read are the “Rabbit” novels by John Updike and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey.

the language of literature
VoiceAn author’s individual way of using language to reflect his or her own personality and attitudes. An author communicates voice through tone, diction, and syntax.

Diction

Style of speaking or writing, dependent upon choice of words.

Syntax

The way the words in a piece of writing are put together to form lines, phrases, or clauses; the basic structure of a piece of writing.

*NOTE: Tone is defined in the notes section entitled “Literary Devices.”

The Language of Literature
literature
Plot:

The arrangement of the events in a story, including the sequence in which they are told, the relative emphasis they are given, and the causal connections between events.

Setting, rising action, climax, falling action/resolution.

Subplot

A secondary plot that is of less importance to the overall story but may serve as a point of contrast or comparison to the main plot.

In The Outsiders, you will see a subplot that involves Soda and his girlfriend, Sandy.

Literature
parts of the plot
Setting

The location of a narrative in time and space. Setting creates mood or atmosphere.

In Downriver, the setting is a harsh environment, and the mood that is created is one of fearful anticipation.

Note: Mood is defined on the first slide of “Literary Devices.”

Rising Action

The events in a story that move the plot forward. Rising action involves *conflicts and complications.

In Downriver, as the characters travel along the Colorado, the conflicts and complications begin.

*Conflict

The central struggle that moves the plot forward. The conflict can be the protagonist’s struggle against fate, nature, society, or another person.

Parts of the Plot:
parts of the plot continued
Parts of the Plot, continued

Climax

The moment of greatest intensity in a text or the major turning point in the plot.

In Downriver, the climax of the story is when Freddy is stung by the scorpion.

Falling Action

The part of a story that occurs after the climax. During the falling action, sometimes called the resolution, conflicts are resolved and loose ends are tied up.

The falling action of Downriver is when Jessie, Freddy, Rita, Adam, and Star leave the camp and safely make it to Al. The resolution of Downriver is in the letter sent by Adam.

point of view
First-person point of view

A literary style in which the narrator tells a story from his or her own point of view and refers to himself or herself as “I.” The narrator may be an active participant in the story or just an observer.

Point of View

The perspective that a narrative takes toward the events it describes.

Point of View
literary devices page 1
Imagery

Language that brings to mind sense-impressions, representing things that can be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched.

Tone

The author’s attitude toward the subject of characters of a story or poem or toward the reader.

J.K. Rowling’s tone demonstrates that she is not a fan of Voldemort.

Symbol

An object, character, figure, or color that is used to represent an abstract idea or concept. Unlike an emblem, a symbol may have different meanings in different contexts.

Harry Potter’s scar is a symbol that reminds Voldemort of his biggest failure. To Harry, is a symbol of the deaths of his parents.

Mood

A feeling that a literary work conveys to the reader.

The mood of “The Monkey’s Paw” is dark and foreboding.

Literary Devices, page 1
slide13
Theme

A fundamental and universal idea explored in a literary work.

Love, hate, heartbreak, wanting to belong, etc.

Motif

A recurring idea, structure, contrast, or device that develops or informs the major themes of a work of literature.

In ‘The Godfather’ films, every time a baby cries, somebody dies.

slide14
Allusion

A reference to a famous person, place, event, or work of literature.

Ponyboy will allude to several books when he is narrating The Outsiders. They are not selected randomly. S.E. Hinton has Ponyboy compare himself to Pip in Great Expectations to show character and situation similarities. Gone With the Wind is used as a device to help Ponyboy and Johnny explain their points of view on gallantry.

Irony

A contrast between what is expected and what actually exists or happens.

In Flowers for Algernon, it is ironic when Charlie becomes too intelligent to talk to people, because he wanted to be more intelligent so he could talk to people.

Paradox

A statement that seems to contradict itself but is, nevertheless, true. All forms of irony involve paradox.

In The Outsiders, Ponyboy will tell the reader that he’s supposed to be really smart, but that he doesn’t use his head.