AP Language Literary Terms

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gorerama
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102211
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AP Language Literary Terms
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2011-09-17 15:56:54
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Literary terms
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Literary Terms for my junior AP Language class
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  1. $$ ABSTRACT
    opposed to concrete, not quantifiable
  2. AESTHETIC
    the study of beauty in art, literature, and nature
  3. $$ ALLEGORY
    form of extended metaphor in which objects, persons, and actions in a story are equated with meanings that lie outside the story itself
  4. $ ALLITERATION
    repetition of initial consonant sounds
  5. $ ALLUSION
    reference to historical figure, literary figure, event, or object
  6. AMBIGUITY
    having more than one meaning; used in verbal, written, and nonverbal communication
  7. ANACHRONISM
    placing something in time where it does not belong
  8. $$ ANALOGY
    comparison of two things, alike in some respects
  9. ANALYSIS
    to separate into parts for inspection and evaluation
  10. $$ ANECDOTE
    a short narrative detailing the particulars of an event
  11. $ ANTAGONIST
    • the
    • force against the protagonist; a person, nature,

    or the person’s psyche
  12. $ ANTI HERO
    a protagonist who is graceless, inept, stupid, or dishonest
  13. $$ ANTITHESIS
    figure of speech; uses strongly contrasting words, clauses, sentences, or ideas
  14. APHORISM
    short witty statement
  15. APOLOGY
    • a
    • written or spoken defense
  16. $ APOSTROPHE
    someone (usually but not always absent), some abstract quality, or some nonexistent personage is directly addressed as though present
  17. $ ARCHETYPE
    • brought to literary criticism from Carl Jung; blocked off memory of a past or pre-human experience; type
    • of struggle or character to which a culture relates without prior knowledge
  18. ASSONANCE
    same or similar vowel sounds in stressed syllables that end with different consonant sounds (“lake” and “fate”)
  19. $ ATMOSPHERE
    prevailing mood of a work; particularly when established in part by setting or landscape (mood)
  20. $ ATTITUDE
    author’s or speaker’s feeling toward the subject; attend to distance when discussing attitude (tone)
  21. $$ AUDIENCE
    intended receiver for a speaker’s or writer’s message
  22. BILDUNGSROMAN
    a coming of age novel; the story of a person’s development (aspects seen in The Catcher In The Rye and Huck Finn)
  23. CANON
    • accepted
    • list; religious canon: Matthew, Mark,
    • Luke, John
  24. CARPE DIEM
    literally “seize the day”; the philosophy of living for the day and not thinking of tomorrow
  25. CATHARSIS
    moral and spiritual cleansing received when watching a protagonist overcome great odds to survive
  26. $ CHARACTER OR CHARACTERIZATION (STATIC, DYNAMIC)
    • person described as a individual with reference to characterization; making an imaginary
    • person seem life-like
    • --static character: a character changes little if at all
    • --dynamic character: a character develops and changes throughout the plot
  27. $ CHRONOLOGICAL
    in the order of time; simplest way to structure a narrative
  28. COLLOQUIAL (FAMILIAR)
    informal conversation; differs from formal language in grammar, vocabulary, syntax, imagery, or connotation
  29. CONCEIT
    a type of metaphor that is strikingly odd and thoughtful (love compared to a motorcycle)
  30. $$ CONCRETE
    opposed to abstract; quantifiable
  31. CONFIDANT (CONFIDANTE)
    personwho partakes little in the action; is close to the protagonist; hears all the intimate secrets of the protagonist
  32. $ CONFLICT
    clash between the protagonist and antagonist; anytime these two come into the same arena there is some form of conflict
  33. $ CONNOTATION
    emotional implications and associations that words carry
  34. CONSONANCE
    • relation between words in which the final consonants
    • in the stressed syllables agree but the vowels that precede them differ (“add” and “read”)
  35. CRISIS
    point of highest clash; usually pertains to plot
  36. CRITICISM
    the analysis, study, and evaluation of individual works of literature
  37. $$ DEDUCTIVE
    reasoning from the general to the specific (students are bad drivers, aaron drives recklessly, aaron hits small animals daily)
  38. $$ DETAIL
    (DESCRIPTIVE,CONCRETE)
    • specific items placed in a work for effect and meaning
    • --descriptive detail: used in sensory description
    • --concrete detail: used in a persuasive paper to attempt to convince a reader (evidence)
  39. $ DENOTATION
    the basic meaning of a word independent of its emotional coloration or associations
  40. $ DEUS
    EX MACHINA
    • literally “god in the machine”; greek idea from when the gods would come on stage to rescue the hero; now it
    • applies to any time a hero is saved by a miraculous
    • or improbable event
  41. $ DEVICE
    • stylistic elements (speech, syntax, diction)
    • --narrative device: ordering of events, withholding
    • information, tools of the storyteller
    • --persuasive device: strong connotations and logic of argument
    • --stylistic device:
    • a combination of the elements of language
    • (connotation, tone, etc.)
  42. $ DICTION
    word choice; know “denotation” and “connotation”
  43. DIDACTIC
    a teaching type of tone; usually lesson-like or boring in nature (a driver education film)
  44. DIGRESSION
    insertion of material not closely related to work or subject
  45. DISCOURSE
    • there are several modes or types of discourse; each mode uses its own devicesand techniques
    • --expositive
    • --descriptive
    • --narrative
    • --persuasive
  46. $$ DOPPELGANGER
    literally “double goer”; mysterious twin or double fighting against good work
  47. $$ DYSTOPIA
    literally “bad place”; an imaginary world which was constructed to be perfect yet failed; present tendencies are carried out to their intensely unpleasant end
  48. ELEMENTS
    techniques, features, devices
  49. $$ ELLIPSE
    • the
    • omission of one or more words
  50. EPIPHANY
    sudden understanding or realization which previously was not thought of or understood
  51. ETHOS
    emotions of the writer reflected in speech or in writing; character of the writer reflected in speech or in writing
  52. EUPHEMISM
    device where being indirect replaces being direct in order to avoid unpleasantness
  53. $ FANTASY
    from “fancy”; usually breaking away from reality
  54. FEATURES
    parts of tone (diction, imagery, details, language, sentence structure, etc.)
  55. $ FIGURE
    OF SPEECH
    • use of language which departs from customary construction (metaphor, simile, hyperbole, personification,
    • etc.)
  56. $
    FLASHBACK
    device by which a work presents material that occurred prior to the opening scene of the work
  57. $
    FORESHADOWING
    presentation of literary material in such a way that readers are prepared for later events in the work
  58. FORM
    • organization of the elementary parts of a work of art in
    • relation to its total effect
  59. GENRE
    particular type or category of writing (tragedy, comedy, epic, short story, historical fiction, didactic, etc.)
  60. $$ HAMARTIA
    from greek; translated in New Testament as “sin”; literally means an error, mistake, frailty, or misstep; a protagonist’s hamartia will cause his or her downfall
  61. HOMILY
    oral religious instruction given by a minister to a church; gives practical moral counsel rather than discussion of doctrine
  62. $ HYPERBOLE
    to overstate an issue, exaggeration
  63. $$ IMAGERY (CONTROLLING IMAGE)
    • literally a collection of images within a work; specifically, descriptive details which use figures of speech to explain a concept, person, or thing
    • --controlling image: an image that runs throughout the entire work
  64. $ IN
    MEDIA RES
    literally “in the midst of things”; starting a story in the middle of the action; later the first part will be revealed (the first scene of Star Wars)
  65. $$
    INDUCTIVE
    reasoning from the specific to the general
  66. $
    INFERENCE
    to conclude by reason an idea, attitude, or tone which is not directly stated by the author
  67. INVECTIVE
    violent verbal attack; used to describe tone
  68. $ IRONY
    • a recognition of reality different from the appearance; unexpected
    • --verbal irony: actual intent is opposite of what is said; not as harsh as sarcasm
  69. $$ JUXTAPOSITION
    • placing two or more things side by side (particularly the
    • contrasting scenes in The Great Gatsby)
  70. KITSCH
    • literally “gaudy trash”; shallow flashy art designed to
    • have a mass appeal
  71. $$ LANGUAGE
    (RESOURCES
    OF LANGUAGE)
    • style of sentence and vocabulary used in conversation
    • and written communication (slang, formal, parental, didactic, common, etc.)
    • --resources of language: diction, syntax,sentence structure, figures of speech
  72. $ METAPHOR
    • identifying one object with another and ascribing to the first object one or more of the qualitiesof the second;
    • a special comparison
  73. METONOMY (SYNECDOCHE)
    substitution of the name of an object with a word closely associated with it (“white house” for the presidency “crown” for the royal family or queen)
  74. $ MOOD
    emotional and intellectual feelings of the author toward the subject (atmosphere)
  75. $ MOTIF
    simple device that serves as a basis for an expanded narrative; it is a recurring feature in the work
  76. $$ OBJECTIVE
    • tone of fairness and even discussion of a subject; usually
    • suggests that there is distance between the author
    • and the subject being discussed; this type of tone can be cold and impersonal
  77. $ ONOMATOPOEIA
    words that by their sound suggest their meaning (“hiss”, “buzz”, “whir”)
  78. $ OXYMORON
    a self contradictory combination of words
  79. $ PARADOX
    statement that seems to be contradictory or absurd; however, on closer examination it is found to be true
  80. PARALLELISM
    coordination of sentence syntax, word order, and ideas; it is used for effect and emphasis (thesis statement)
  81. PARODY
    writing which imitates another serious piece and pokes fun at the original (the rewritten movies in Mad Magazine)
  82. PATHOS
    greek for “feeling”; quality that stimulates pity, tenderness, sorrow
  83. PEDANTIC
    bookish and scholarly in tone; often boring and dull due to little interest on the part of the listener
  84. $
    PERSONIFICATION
    • human-like
    • qualities are given to inanimate objects
  85. $ PLAGIARISM
    • literary theft; using someone’s ideas and style and passing
    • them off as your own
  86. $ POINT OF VIEW (OMNISCIENT, NAIVE, STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS)
    • point from which an author presents a story (can be close, distant, within a character, etc.)
    • --omniscient narrator: all-knowing
    • --naive narrator: character does not comprehend implications which are plain to the reader
    • --stream-of-consciousness: the total range of awareness and emotive-mental response
    • of an individual
  87. $ PLOT (SUBPLOT)
    • framework upon which a story is placed; once story is finished, a definite beginning, middle, and end can be found (chronological, flashback, in media res, etc.)
    • --subplot: secondary story within a story
  88. $ PROTAGONIST
    “pro” means first, “agon” means contest; the main character of a work who has some type of contest to complete (mental, spiritual, physical, natural)
  89. $ PUN
    • a play on words based on the similarity of sound between
    • two words with different meanings
  90. REALISM
    • realistic works depict the reality of a harsh world and its
    • effects upon the luckless protagonist
  91. $
    REPETITION
    repeating a word, sound, phrase, or idea; used for emphasis; excellent in persuasive speeches
  92. RHETORIC
    • art
    • of persuasion and employing devices to persuade; clear
    • language
  93. $ RHETORICAL
    QUESTION
    • question
    • used by the speaker or writer to achieve an awareness in the
    • listener or reader; no reply is expected
  94. $$
    SARCASM
    • a
    • bitter expression of disapproval, sometimes intended to be
    • harsh and hurtful; levels of intensity exist
  95. SATIRE
    • a way of writing or speaking which censures things, activities, persons, or
    • ideas; it is accomplished with

    humor and wit
  96. SEMANTICS
    • study
    • of meaning (sometimes linguistics, sometimes to discriminate between surface and
    • substance)
  97. $ SETTING
    (ARTIFICIAL,
    NATURAL)
    • background against which action takes place
    • --artificial setting: not natural; made by man
    • --natural setting: all setting that is produced through nature (weather, light, darkness)
  98. $ SIMILE
    • metaphor;
    • comparison of two things using “like” or “as”
  99. $
    SHIFT
    • changing from one tone, attitude, or distance to another;
    • look for little words (but, however, even though,
    • although, yet)
  100. SPATIAL
    • distance
    • between characters, ideas, and things within a story; characters can be close physically, but
    • emotionally distant; language explains distance
  101. STRUCTURE
    • planned
    • framework of a piece of literature; to analyzerhetorical structure images,
    • details, and arguments
    • must be studied
  102. $$ STYLE
    • combines
    • two elements: the idea to be expressed and the
    • individuality of the author
  103. $$
    SUBJECTIVE
    • expressing
    • in a personal manner convictions, beliefs, and ideas; when a subjective response occurs it is
    • likely to be
    • emotional
  104. SYLLOGISM
    • formula
    • for presenting a logical argument;
    • demonstrates logic through analysis (assertion,
    • proof, commentary)
  105. $ SYMBOL (TENOR, VEHICLE)
    • thing
    • that in and of itself stands for something else; symbol will be in the form of objects, places, events, time,
    • weather, and people; symbols use tenor and
    • vehicle

    --vehicle: the physical item (the flag . . .)

    --tenor: the abstraction (. . . represents freedom)
  106. $$ SYNOPSIS
    • summary
    • of the main points of a story
  107. SYNTAX
    • physical
    • arrangement of words in a sentence
  108. SYNTHESIS
    • joining
    • of at least two ideas, arguments, and abstracts to produce a new idea, argument, or
    • abstract
  109. TECHNIQUE
    (NARRATIVE
    TECHNIQUE)
    • sum
    • of working methods or special skills; refers to how something is done rather
    • than to what is done
    • --narrative technique: style of the story; the
    • writer’s order of events and details
  110. $ THEME
    • central
    • idea of a story or essay
  111. $$ THESIS
    • an attitude or position taken by the speaker or writer (thesis sentence details the
    • main idea of a formal paper)
  112. $ TONE
    • the
    • attitude of the author toward the audience (attitude)
  113. TRANSCEDENTAL (ANTI-TRANSCEDENTAL)
    • movement
    • that believed in reliance upon conscience and
    • intuition; a form of idealism; romanticism (Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau)

    --anti-transcendental: opposite of transcendental;

    • a negative
    • outlook (Herman Melville and

    • Nathaniel
    • Hawthorne)
  114. $$ TRANSITION
    • a
    • word or phrase that links different ideas
  115. $ UNDERSTATMENT (LITOTES)
    • an
    • actual statement which falls under the magnitude Of the actual event
  116. $$ UTOPIA
    • perfect
    • world; Utopias usually become Dystopias
  117. WIT
    Intellectual humor

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