VJHS 8th Grade English Literary Terms
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The practice of BEGINNING
words with the same CONSONANT SOUND
- Ex.: Suzie sells sea shells by the sea shore.
- Hint: Consecutive = in a row.
- Adjacent = nearby.
A reference to a MYTHOLOGICAL, LITERARY, or HISTORICAL person, place, or thing (noun).
Ex.: "When she lost her job she acted like Scrooge and didn't buy anything." Scrooge was an extremely stingy character from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.
The CHARACTER who stands OPPOSED to the PROTAGONIST.
Hint: This is not the "bad guy" in the story because the book could be about a bad guy like the devil. In that case the antagonist would be the person opposing the devil like an angel.
The act of CREATING CONVINCING CHARACTERS.
The author does this by providing information directly or indirectly about the characters.
The point of GREATEST SUSPENSE or TENSION in a story. Sometimes referred to as the TURNING POINT.
The STRUGGLE between TWO (2) FORCES in a piece of literature.
An author's WORD CHOICE intended to give a CERTAIN EFFECT.
Ex.: Ominous glow versus beaming light. They both pertain to light; however, they create a different feeling due to the choice of words selected by the author.
The part of a novel where the CHARACTERS and SETTING are introduced.
(Often in the beginning of a novel, but not always.)
All EVENTS that FOLLOW the CLIMAX.
A scene that INTERRUPTS the action (plot) in a story to SHOW A PREVIOUS EVENT.
When an author gives HINTS or CLUES of COMING EVENTS.
An EXTREME EXAGGERATION.
(It is deliberate, extravagant, and somewhat outrageous.)
Ex.: My backpack weighs a thousand pounds.
The WORDS or PHRASES an author selects to represent PERSONS, ACTIONS, FEELINGS, & IDEAS by APPEALING TO THE SENSES!
Ex.: The hot July sun beat relentlessly down, casting an orange glare over the farm buildings, fields, and pond.
When a speaker SAYS (verbal) one thing but MEANS the opposite.
Ex.: In the Prologue of Act I in Romeo and Juliet which opens with "Two households, both alike in dignity, ..." When you first read this you think that the two households are equally dignified; but, as the play goes on you realize both families are violently competitive.
When a SITUATION turns out DIFFERENTLY than you would normally expect.
Ex.: An example would be a woman who is apprehensive about going to a wedding because she is single decides to go and meets her future husband.
When a CHARACTER (or speaker) says/does something that has a DIFFERENT MEANING from what he/she THINKS it means, although the AUDIENCE/other characters UNDERSTAND the FULL IMPLICATIONS of the speech/action.
Ex.: In Lemony Snicket's The Reptile Room, the protagonist says, "if you were in a restaurant and said out loud, 'I can't wait to eat the veal marsala I ordered,' and there were people around who knew that the veal marasala was poisoned and that you would die as soon as you took a bite, your situation would be one of dramatic irony."
A COMPARISON of TWO (2) UNLIKE THINGS NOT using "like" or "as."
Ex.: All the world's a stage. Compares the world and the people in it to being actors on a stage.
The ATMOSPHERE or predominant emotion in a literary work.
Ex.: whimsical, serious, satirical. These are the emotions the author makes the reader feel in indirect ways by the sounds of the words, the length and rhythm of the sentences, and the choice of images and their associations.
Words that MIMIC the SOUNDS they DESCRIBE.
Ex.: Bang, boom, hiss, splat.
A pair of OPPOSITE TERMS combined into a SINGLE EXPRESSION.
Ex.: Jumbo shrimp, living dead, liquid gas, deafening silence, seriously funny.
A kind of metaphor that gives INANIMATE OBJECTS or abstract ideas HUMAN CHARACTERISTICS.
Ex.: The trees whispered in the breeze. The walls spoke to me.
The SEQUENCE OF EVENTS or actions in a literary work.
Point of View
The PERSPECTIVE from which the story is told.
The MAIN or central CHARACTER in a literary work.
The deliberate use of ANY element of language MORE THAN ONCE. It can be a sound, word, phrase, or sentence.
All the EVENTS in a story that BUILD TENSION and LEAD to the CLIMAX.
The REPETITION of SOUND in two or more words.
Ex.: cat, bat, mat, hat, splat.
Rhyme that occures WITHIN A LINE.
Ex.: "While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,/ As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door."
Is APPROXIMATE RHYME.
Ex.: (From Emily Dickinson's "Hope is the thing with feathers") "Hope is the thing with feathers/ That perches in the soul,/ And sings the tune without the words,/ And never stops at all." (The underlined words represent the slant (approximate) rhyme.)
The PATTERN of END RHYME.
(Usually it is labeled with letters that indicate which lines rhyme like ABBA, or ABCABC.)
Is a form of verbal irony in which a person APPEARS to be PRAISING something, but is actually INSULTING it.
Is the TIME and PLACE of a literary work in which the EVENTS TAKE PLACE.
Is a CHANGE/MOVEMENT in a piece of literature that RESULTS from a REALIZATION/INSIGHT gained by the SPEAKER/READER.
A COMPARISON of two (2) unlike things USING "like" or "as."
Ex.: Amanda is like an onion; she has many layers.
Any object, person, place, or action that has BOTH MEANING ITSELF AND STANDS FOR SOMETHING LARGER than itself, like a quality, attitude, belief, or value.
Ex.: The American Eagle is a bird of prey, but it also symbolizes freedom.
The ARRANGEMENT of WORDS and the ORDER of GRAMMATICAL ELEMENTS in a sentence.
Ex.: Yoda says, "Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?" instead of the proper English snytax, "Size does not matter. Look at me. Do you judge me by my size?"
The CENTRAL MESSAGE in a literary work. It is the IDEA the AUTHOR wants to CONVEY about a SUBJECT.
Note: It cannot be expressed in one word. Themes are often NOT directly stated, but implied.
The writer's/speaker's ATTITUDE towards a SUBJECT, CHARACTER, or AUDIENCE.
It is conveyed through the author's choice of words and details.
Rhyme that occurs at the END
- Ex.: My black cat
- is so fat.
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