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GRADE Eight and Nine LITERARY

TERMS
ALLITERATION: repetition of initial consonant sounds in words that are close together.

Example: “The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, the furrow followed free.”
OR
She left the Heaven of Heroes and came down
To make a man to meet the mortal need
A man to match the mountains and the sea
The friendly welcome of the wayside well

ALLUSION: a brief reference to another character, place, event, or work of art;


the reference is usually mythological but could be legendary, religious, historical, or
literary; the use of the name recalls a particular idea, emotion, tradition, insight, moral
or ethical stance.

Example: saying someone has a “Midas touch” is an allusion to the myth of King
Midas, who turned everything he touched to gold. OR “Every man has his
Waterloo.”

ANTAGONIST: character or object which opposes the protagonist.


(Not necessarily an evil or bad person-think one who prevents the protagonist
from achieving what they want-presents a conflict.)

ANECDOTE: a brief telling of some incident or happening. An anecdote is always based on


real life, an incident involving actual persons, whether famous or not, in real places. Gradually, the
term anecdote came to be applied to any short tale utilized to emphasize or illustrate whatever point
the author wished to make.

AUTHOR’S PURPOSE: writing serves four main purposes: to entertain, to inform, to


express opinions, and to persuade.

AUTHOR’S STYLE: manner in which a particular author creates - tools and methods
used to create a uniquely individual piece.

BIAS: a slanted or prejudiced point of view; one sided view point.


CHARACTER FOIL: two characters who serves as a contrast to each other
through a difference in behavior, attitudes, opinions or
physical appearance.

Example: A muscle bound jock compared to the wimpy intellectual.

CHARACTER SKETCH: A description of a character’s moral and behavioral


qualities using nouns, adjectives, specific examples and quotations
from a piece of writing.

CLICHÉ: an overworked expression which no longer has much impact.

Example: Have a nice day.

CLIMAX: the instant conflict ends; the choice is made or the action is taken.

CONCLUSION: the long term effect; author’s final comment.

CONFLICT: a struggle between two forces


Internal (man vs. self)
External (man vs. any opposing force) Environment, Society, Fate
Physical (man vs. man)

DENOTATION: The definition of a word found in the dictionary is its denotation.


&
CONNOTATION: Many words also have a connotation. Connotation is the positive
or negative personal association, or a particular mood or slant in
meaning, that affect what the word tells the reader: The words
giggle, laugh, titter, chortle, and snicker all denote more or less the same
thing, but each has a different shade of meaning.

DENOUEMENT: falling action - the immediate impact of climax. May also be termed
Resolution.
DIALECT: a variety of spoken language specific to a group of people; language spoken by
members of a particular class, trade, or profession. The chief cause of the
development of dialects is geographic isolation or social barriers leading to lack of
communication.

DICTION: diction refers to the way an author expresses ideas in words. Good
diction includes grammatical correctness, skill in the choice of
effective words, and a wide vocabulary.

DILEMMA: a situation which a character must make a difficult choice between


two unfavourable alternatives.

DYNAMIC CHARACTER: “Developing” - this character undergoes a permanent change in


some aspect of character, personality, or outlook. Most often a
MAIN character.

ESSAY: a nonfiction composition that presents ideas, facts, or opinions written


from the author’s personal point of view. In grade nine, you are
responsible for knowing and writing a the descriptive, narrative and
expository essay.

EUPHEMISM: expressing a disagreeable or unpleasant fact in a more pleasant manner.


Death = the deceased is at rest.OR he has gone to a better place.

EPIPHANY: a moment of realization: a eureka moment; the light bulb of


understanding goes off.

FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE: Writing that uses various techniques that create more
vivid mental images in the reader’s mind. Figurative
language is the result of the writer’s deliberate departure from
usual word usage to gain strength and freshness of expression.

FLASHBACK: going back in time within a story; motivated by a triggering event.


FORESHADOWING: a hint of what is going to happen next in the story.

FLAT CHARACTER: a character who can usually be summed up in one sentence,


usually a minor character; one who is UNDEVELOPED. Not
many traits or characteristics of the character are revealed.

FREE VERSE: poetry written without using regular rhyme or rhythm. Modern
form.

GENRE: a type OR style of writing: science fiction, romance, historical fiction,


fantasy, adventure/action are some styles

HYPERBOLE: deliberate exaggeration for effect; an overstatement.


She waited an eternity for him. OR He laughed his head off.

IMAGERY: is the pictures or impressions that writers create in the minds of their
readers. Descriptive details and figures of speech that help reader to
form vivid sense impressions of what is being described.

INITIAL INCIDENT: the moment or event that initiates a conflict.

IRONY: a strange twist of events. A literary device which reveals concealed or


contradictory meaning.

1) VERBAL - when what a character says contrasts with what the


character actually means. Sarcasm is a cruel form of verbal irony.

2) DRAMATIC - when what a character unknowingly says or believes contrasts with


what the reader or other characters know to be true, based on information given to us by the author.

3) SITUATIONAL - when what finally takes place is different from


what was expected or seemed appropriate.
INTRODUCTION: first significant action in the story, must capture the reader’s attention.
Introduces character and setting.
JARGON: over inflated, presumptuous language. Being more than what it needs to be.
Example: Lawyer speak or highly technical computer language is jargon.

LITERAL LANGUAGE: Accurate to the letter; the exact meaning of something. Also
means language that is matter of fact and concrete. Language that
is free of figures of speech. The opposite of figurative
language.
METAPHOR: an comparison of two unlike objects; a comparison that is
suggested or implied.
Example: No man is an island, entire to itself.

MOTIVATION: that which causes a character to do what he/she does; a driving force.
MOOD: emotional feeling one receives from a piece of work.

NARRATOR: the story is shaped by his or her viewpoint. The STORYTELLER.

NARRATIVE: a story

NOVEL: a longer narrative that presents several related episodes in the life of its
central character or characters.

ONOMATOPOEIA: imitative sounds; the use of a word whose sound suggests


its meaning. Certain words, such as hiss, bang, meow, imitate the
sounds they represent.
“Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn yard.”

PARODY: a composition that imitates somebody's style in a humorous way

PERSONIFICATION: Application of human qualities to objects or ideas.


The sun smiled down. OR The heavens wept.

PLAY: a work in either prose or verse that tells a story through dialogue.
POEM: a condensed expression of strong feeling.

POINT OF VIEW: perspective from which the story is told.

THINK! Whose head are you getting into?


First Person Narrative - protagonist tells their own story. The audience knows
only what one character thinks or feels from a vantage point “inside the story. The “I”
point of view.

Limited Omniscient - shows one or two character’s viewpoint but from


“outside” the story. This is the “he” she” “they” in a story. (found in short story)

Omniscient - reveals the minds of several characters, knowing and telling all from an
all seeing, GODLIKE perspective from “outside” the story. (found in novels)

OBJECTIVE - the facts. The narrator remains unbiased. The story is told without
telling any characters’ thoughts and feelings. Only the characters’ actions and words are told. Think
of a camera’s point of view in a film.

PLOT: the action that occurs at the beginning, middle and end.

PROSE: ordinary language; how we normally speak or write.

PROTAGONIST: central character or main focus of the story (not just the “good guy”) - the
one with the problem to solve.
PUN: a play on words.

REPETITION: occurs when the poet/writer repeats words, phrases or devices. It is a


simple but effective device which contributes to rhythm or emphasis. It
is a most effective device for precise emotional responses such as anger,
fear, sorrow, defiance and so on.
“Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide sea!”

RHYME: two or more words that have the same ending sound. How now
brown cow? Think of END RHYME.
RHYTHM: pattern of accented and unaccented syllables.

ROUND CHARACTER: a complex many-sided character. Physical, mental and


emotional characteristics known; usually important or major
character.

SETTING: where the story takes place, when it happens (in time) and the mood
(atmosphere) of the story.

SHORT STORY: a narrative that focuses on one important event in the life of its
central character.

SIMILE: a direct comparison of two unlike objects, using like, as, or than.
“Your face is like a book where men may read strange matters.”

STANZA: A group of two or more lines which make up a unit of a poem and contain
a unity of thought and form.
KINDS OF STANZAS
Couplet = a two line stanza
Triplet (Tercet) = a three line stanza
Quatrain = a four line stanza
Quintet = a five line stanza
Sestet (Sextet) = a six line stanza
Septet = a seven line stanza
Octave = a eight line stanza

STATIC CHARACTER: one who remains the same throughout the story.

STEREOTYPE: a stock character who represents a group or class. Appearance, speech,


& and actions of a particular group are predictable and over generalized.

STOCK CHARACTER: A STEREOTYPE. Represents a group or class. The


appearance, speech and actions are predictable in a cultural or
social sense.

SYMBOL: an object or person represents something beyond its literal meaning.


THEME: the idea about human life that the literary work sets out to
express; the underlying meaning. The story’s observation about life or human
nature. Do not confuse with a moral, which is the implied lesson of a story.
THEME is a much more SIGNIFICANT concept.

THESIS: a thesis is the main idea, position, or view of the essay writer; it is the
hypothesis at the heart of a writer’s work.

TONE: The writers’ attitude or point of view toward his or her subject and
audience. Tone creates mood.

VERSE: poetic stanza or type of language with a beat or rhythmical structure.