Literary Devices and Figurative Language Keystone Remediation Term Definition Basic Terms Example
Allegory A form of extended metaphor in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning may have moral, social, religious, or political significance and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas such as charity, greed, or envy
The people and events in a story are symbols of real people and events that have lived or occurred The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is an allegory of how the logging industry is destroying the environment that should be protected Alliteration The repetition of initial sounds in neighboring words
The first sound you hear in a word is repeated in the next few words The big black bear babbled to the bored bald bat till the bored bald bat bawled Allusion An implied or indirect reference in literature to a familiar person, place, or event
A reference (that the reader may or may not catch) to something else (hopefully) well-known When will I ever find my Romeo? Archetype A very typical example of a certain person or thing A character who is the stereotype of a group of people The Breakfast Club has archetypes built around the stoner
kid, the rebel, the popular girl, the nerd, and the jock Aside A characters dialogue is only to specific character(s) on stage; not heard by everyone on stage When two or more characters are whispering to each other and the audience can hear but not all characters on stage Think back to Macbeth!
When Macbeth and Banquo have a private conversation that the Thane of Rosse cant hear Assonance The repetition of vowel sounds within or at the end of words within a phrase or sentence The vowel sounds in neighboring words are repeated, but not necessarily the consonants
The bed is wet where Jed is headed. Authors Purpose The authors intent either to inform or teach someone about something, to entertain people, or to persuade his/her audience to do or not do something Authors have these three purposes only: To inform
To entertain To persuade In your career research essays, your purpose was to inform, while in your creative writings your purpose is to entertain. Characterization The method an author uses to reveal characters and their
various traits and personalities, done both directly and indirectly How an author builds a character with a personality Direct: directly stating a fact about a character Indirect: Speech, Thoughts, Emotions of others, Actions, Looks Jenny is so rude, Erica said while punching babies.
Clich An expression that has been used so often that its meaning and impact are no longer effective A phrase thats said so much that its less meaningful Jenny says every guy is her knight in shining armor. Conclusions To make a judgment or decision based on reasoning rather
than direct or implicit statement A judgment or decision made that was based on the evidence youve been given instead of directly stated By seeing Erica punch babies, I know she is a cruel person Conflict A struggle or clash between opposing characters, forces or emotions
The problem of a story
Person vs. Person Person vs. Self Person vs. Society Person vs. Technology Person vs. Nature Person vs. Supernatural Erica needs to run away because theres an angry mob
chasing her for punching babies Connotation The range of associations that a word or phrase suggests in addition to its dictionary meaning A meaning of a word that is not its literal definition Ratchet is used as an insult, similar to haggard, but that is not the literal definition of the word
Consonance The repetition of consonant sounds within or at the end of words in a phrase or sentence The consonant sounds in neighboring words are repeated, but not necessarily the vowels The trek Nick took needed a clock for the sick Brock.
Cultural Significance The generally accepted importance of a work representing a given culture A piece of literature is important to a culture, but wouldnt carry the same meaning across the world Spongebob Squarepants is only culturally significant since its unknown to the rest of the world
Denotation The explicit, literal meaning of a word or phrase; the meaning of a word as it is found in the dictionary The literal meaning of a word Ratchet literally refers to a tool Dialect A variety of language distinct from the standard variety in
pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary The way a group of people talks that is different than perfect English Howdy yall! Where ya gon git dat hooch tonigh? Diction An authors choice of words, phrases, sentence structures and figurative language, which combine to help create
meaning and tone The way an author writes that shows the reader his meaning Choosing to use short sentences to show anger in a character Id like you to leave now. You. Out. Now. Drama
A genre of literature represented by works intended for the stage; a work to be performed by actors on stage or television; plays Something meant to be acted out, like a play or show Medea Dynamic Character A character which changes during the course of a story or
novel. The change in outlook or characters is permanent A character who undergoes a change in his personality during the actions of the story More realistic! Said is a dynamic character, while Tarzan is not Flashback
An organizational device used in literature to present action that occurred before current (present) time of the story. Often introduced as the dreams or recollections of one or more characters Learning about a characters past by seeing a scene from it A dream that shows you the relationship two characters have that helps you understand why theyre rude to each other now
Flat Character A character who reveals only one or two personality traits in a story or novel, and the traits do not change A character who we know little about; they do not change or grow, and we dont know their character motivations Sana is a flat character, but Said is not
Foil A character whose purpose is to highlight one or more attributes of the main character by providing a contrast A character who shows you how a main character is the opposite of them Dumbledore and Voldemort are foils Dumbledore does whats best for the world/school/the ones he loves
Voldemort does whats best for Voldemort Foreshadowing An organizational device used to create expectation or to set up an explanation of later developments An event in a story gives you a hint of whats going to happen later The witches prophesies in Macbeth
Generalizations A conclusion drawn from specific information that is used to make a broad statement about a topic or person Using limited evidence to draw a conclusion about a larger topic or person Claiming All Muslims are terrorists simply because some extremists have done terroristic things
Genre A category used to classify literary works, usually by form, technique, or content (prose, poetry, etc.) A category of literature that can be very broad or specific Fiction Non-fiction Poetry
Medea was fiction Hyperbole An exaggeration or overstatement An exaggeration or overstatement I could eat a horse!
Idiom An expression common to those familiar with a language or dialect where the meaning cannot be determined by the literal definition of the words it contains A regional expression that requires an understanding of the connotation and not just the definition of the words Its raining cats and dogs
Imagery Descriptive or figurative language in a literary work; the use of language to create sensory impressions Descriptions that help build an image in your mind, playing off all five senses I could hear the waves and taste the salt in the air as the warm sun mirrored off the water that splashed up on my feet.
Inferences A judgment based on reasoning rather than on direct or explicit statement. A conclusion based on facts or circumstances; understanding gained by reading between the lines Drawing a conclusion based on evidence youve already received I can infer that today will be a good day because Im getting
paid and will pick up my new puppy. Irony The use of word or phrase to mean the exact opposite of its literal or usual meaning; incongruity between the result of a sequence of events and the expected result Dramatic Irony A difference between what the audience knows and what the
characters know Situational Irony A difference between what you expect to happen and what actually happens Verbal Irony A difference between what you say and what you mean
All three are in Shrek! Metaphor The comparison of two unlike things in which no words or comparison are used (like or as) Comparing two things by avoiding the words like and as Your eyes are the ocean on a cloudy day
Monologue An extended speech spoken by one speaker, either to others or as if alone One characters extended, uninterrupted speech to others on stage A general giving his troops a pep talk before they march into battle
Mood The prevailing emotions or atmosphere or a work derived from literary devices such as dialogue and literary elements such as setting. The mood of a work is not always what might be expected based on its subject matter The way a reader is supposed to feel about a piece of literature
The mood of The Thief and the Dogs may change depending on a reader Motif A recurring subject, theme, or idea in a literary work A recurring subject, theme, or idea in a piece of literature The motif of love is found throughout The Thief and the Dogs
Onomatopoeia The written word describing an auditory experience The way a sound is written Pow! Bam! Crack! Oxymoron The combination of two words or contrasting meanings to
convey a single idea or thought A single phrase that uses multiple ideas that dont make literal sense Jumbo Shrimp Paradox A statement that initially seems to contradict itself but, in fact, includes a fundamental truth
Something that seems like it cannot literally be true, but has a deeper meaning to it that makes sense She felt alone in the crowded room Personification An object or abstract idea given human qualities or human form An object or idea is given human qualities
Any animal sidekick in Disney movies Plot Sequence The structure of a story. The sequence in which the author arranges events in a story. The structure often includes the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the resolution. The plot may have a protagonist who is opposed by the antagonist, creating conflict
The plot elements of a story, including Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution Medea had all of these! Point of View The position of the narrator in relation to the story, as indicated by the narrators outlook from which the events are depicted. The perspective from which a speaker or author
recounts a narrative and presents information. The authors manner in revealing characters, events, and ideas; the vantage point from which a story is told. The perspective a story is told through, including 1 st person, 2nd person, 3rd person, limited or omniscient Parts of The Thief and the Dogs was in 1st person, part was in 3rd person
Propaganda Information aimed at positively or negatively influencing the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people Advertisements or information thats purpose is to persuade or influence people Types include Name Calling, Bandwagon, Red Herring, Emotional Appeal, Testimonial, Repetition, Sweeping Generalization, Circular Argument, Appeal to Numbers and
Statistics Propaganda: Name Calling An attack on a person instead of an issue All democrats/republicans are dumb Propaganda: Bandwagon Tries to persuade the reader to do, think, or buy something
because it is popular or because everyone is doing it Im not going to TJs party because no one else is Propaganda: Red Herring An attempt to distract the reader with details not relevant to the argument If you dont like bananas, youre just as bad as Hitler!
Propaganda: Emotional Appeal Tries to persuade the reader by using words that appeal to the readers emotions instead of to logic or reason Look at this poor, helpless, abused kitten! Donate now so you can save it! Propaganda: Testimonial Attempts to persuade the reader by using a famous person
to endorse a product or idea Im Shaq, and I use Icy Hot since Im old! Propaganda: Repetition Attempts to persuade the reader by repeating a message over and over again 5, 5 dollar, 5 dollar foot long, Any, any any
Propaganda: Sweeping Generalization Makes an oversimplified statement about a group based on limited information All women are bad drivers Propaganda: Circular Argument States a conclusion as part of the proof of the argument
I know God is real because he wrote the Bible and the Bible tells me hes real Propaganda: Appeal to Numbers and Statistics Attempts to persuade the reader by showing how many people think something is true Over 1 million sold!
Quatrain Stanza or poem of four lines in any kind of rhyme scheme In poetry, a stanza that is four lines long I think I thought some thoughtful thoughts I think I thought up three But now I think about those thoughts Do those thoughts think of me?
Shel Silverstein Repetition Repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer Repeating words or phrases for emphasis I have a dream
Round Character A well-developed character who demonstrates varied and sometimes contradictory traits; usually dynamic A well-developed character who has realistic characteristics who we know a lot about Very realistic! Medea and Said are both round characters
Satire A literary approach that ridicules or examines a human vice or weakness Literature that ridicules or shows the flaws of something Saturday Night Live Setting
The time and place in which a story unfolds Both the time AND place a story is set 1950s in Cairo, Egypt was the setting for The Thief and the Dogs Simile A comparison of two unlike things in which a word of comparison is used (like or as)
Comparing two things by using like or as Youre as beautiful as the morning sun Soliloquy A dramatic speech, revealing inner thoughts and feelings, spoken aloud by one character while alone on the stage One characters extended, uninterrupted speech to himself or the literal audience outside the context of the play
A Disney hero singing to himself about how he can go the distance while hes alone Static Character A character that remains primarily the same throughout a story or novel. Events in the story do not alter a static characters outlook, personality, motivation, etc. A character that does not change throughout a story
Tarzan from The Thief and the Dogs is static, while Said is not Style The authors choice regarding language, sentence structure, voice, and tone in order to communicate with the audience The way an author writes including word choice, word order, rhythm, and tone
Naguib Mahfouz has a style much different than Shakespeare or Euripides Symbolism A device in literature where an object represents an idea When an object or character in a piece of literature represents an idea as well The color red may symbolize anger, or the slums of Cairo
may represent Saids current lifestyle Theme A topic of discussion or work; a major idea broad enough to cover the entire scope of a literary work. A theme is stated or implied. Clues to the theme may be found in the prominent and/or recurring ideas in a work The single word that describes what the whole piece of
literature is about One theme of Medea could have been Revenge Tone The attitude of the author toward the audience, characters, subject, or the work itself The authors attitude of a piece of literature The tone of The Thief and the Dogs should be desolate and
depressed for everyone Universal Character A character that symbolically embodies well-known meanings and basic human experiences, regardless of when or where he/she lives A character that everyone can relate to in terms of their problems and/or personalities
Everyone can relate to Saids desire for revenge after hes been done wrong Universal Significance The generally accepted importance or value of a work to represent human experience regardless of culture or time period A piece of literature is important so important that any culture
from anywhere or any time can find the value of it All cultures can understand the universal significance of the Bible Voice The fluency, rhythm, and liveliness in a text that makes it unique to the author The way a character writes that makes it unique to him
Shakespeare has a different voice than Euripides or Naguib Mahfouz
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