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Key Terms for Literature
Connotative- the quality of using the words of feeling associated with the word instead of its dictionary definition
Denotative- the quality of being a sign of; indicating
Pun- a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings
Homographic pun- a joke exploiting two or more words that are spelled the same but do not have necessarily the same pronunciation or meaning
Homophonic pun- a joke exploiting two or more words that have the same pronunciation but do not necessarily have the same spelling, origin, or meaning
Comedian- an entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh.
Humor- the quality of being amusing or comic, esp. as expressed in literature or speech
-a mood or state of mind
Humorist- a humorous writer, performer, or artist.
Cartoon- a simple drawing showing the features of its subjects in a humorously exaggerated way, esp. a satirical one in a newspaper or magazine
-a motion picture using animation techniques to photograph a sequence of drawings rather than real people or objects.
- a full-size drawing made by an artist as a preliminary design for a painting or other work of art
Comic strip- a sequence of drawings in boxes that tell an amusing story, typically printed in a newspaper or comic book
Character- the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual
-a person in a novel, play, or movie.
-a printed or written letter or symbol.
Flat Character- a minor character in a work of fiction who does not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story; minor character
Protagonist- the leading character or one of the major characters in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text; major character
Conflict- a struggle between opposing forces
Internal Conflict- A struggle that takes place in a character's mind
Point of View- a particular attitude or way of considering a matter
Editorial- an article in a newspaper or other periodical presenting the opinion of the publisher, editor, or editors
Symbolism- using something specific to stand for something else, especially an idea. A symbol is a person, place, object or action that for something beyond itself
Irony- a contrast between what is expected and what actually exists or happens. Irony spices up a literary work by adding unexpected twists and allowing the reader to become more involved with the characters and plot.
Verbal Irony- when the speaker means something totally different than what he or she is saying and often times the opposite of what a character is saying is true.
Situational irony- the difference between what is expected to happen and the way events actually work out.
Dramatic Irony- occurs when facts are not known to the characters in a work of literature but are known by the audience.
Exaggeration- a figure of speech in which the truth is stretched for emphasis or humorous effect. (hyperbole)
Understatement- a statement that is restrained in ironic contrast to what might have been said; the opposite of hyperbole, usually used for a humorous effect.
Mood- a mood or atmosphere is the feeling that a literary work conveys to readers. Mood is created through the use of plot, character, the author’s descriptions, etc
Tone- the writer’s attitude or feeling about his or her subject.
Flashback- an interruption of the chronological sequence (as in a film or literary work) of an event of earlier occurrence. A flashback is a narrative technique that allows a writer to present past events during current events, in order to provide background for the current narration.
Foreshadowing- when the writer provides clues or hints that suggest or predict future event in a story.
Static character- a character who does not change or who changes very little in the course of a story.
Round Character- is a character who is fully described by the author
Antagonist- a character in a story or poem who deceives, frustrates, or works against the main character, or protagonist, in some way. The antagonist doesn’t necessarily have to be a person
External Conflict- the problem or struggle that exists between the main character and an outside force
Theme- a common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work. A theme is a thought or idea the author presents to the reader about life or human nature.
Generally, a theme has to be extracted as the reader explores the passages of a work
Characterization- all of the techniques that writers use to create characters -describe the distinctive nature or features of
Allusion- a reference