VHS 11th Grade Lit. Terms & Devices
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VHS 11th Grade Lit. Terms & Devices
These are the literary terms and literary devices you need to know for 11th grade English at VHS.
An extreme exaggeration (Ex. my backpack weighs 1,000 pounds).
Characteristic language of a particular region or social group.
A figure of speech that combines contradictory (opposite) statement/words (ex.: jumbo shrimp).
A short statement/saying that expresses a wise saying about life. It is often memorable even if out of context.
Consecutive/adjacent words that begin with the same VOWEL
A short saying/phrase honoring someone who has died. It is typically placed on the gravestone.
A literary work that ends happily.
Not to be confused with epitaph, this is a short quote at the beginning of a piece that introduces a theme.
When the author gives hints or clues about upcoming events in the story.
Portrayal of characters with exaggerated/ distorted physical traits (huge noses, squints).
Point of View
The perspective from which something is told.
- the speaker is talking from within - the use of the pronoun "I" is prevalent.
- is when the story is addressing the reader directly - talking to "you".
3rd person omniscient
- an all knowing outside narrator.
3rd person limited
- an outside narrator who only divulges information from certain characters' perspectives.
Two opposing forces. Could be external - meaning between a character and another character or some outside force. Could be internal where a character has a conflict within himself.
Descriptive language used to create a vivid picture in the mind of the reader. It should appeal to the readers senses.
Use of phrases or sentences that are similar in structure of wording. Often used for emphasis.
Use of language for persuasion. An author's appeal to reason, intellect, and emotion in an effort to convince an audience.
A 14 line poem with specific rhyme scheme and structure. Typically the rhyme scheme is:
abab, cdcd, efef, gg.
Repeating of a word, phrase, or concept with the purpose of emphasizing its importance.
The attitude of a writer toward a subject. Tone is usually implied.
The interruption in a story to reveal a past event (often before the story takes place).
A story in which the characters, actions, objects, or settings represent abstract or symbolic ideas.
The character opposed/in conflict with the main character.
The repetition of IDENTICAL CONSONANT SOUNDS that are
by different vowel sounds.
Group of lines in a poem that functions as one unit; like a paragraph in prose.
How an author develops the characters in a story. Can be direct or indirect.
Speech made by an actor along on stage, usually done to reveal a characters' feelings to the audience.
Basic or literal meaning of a word or expression - the dictionary definition.
How the reader feels when reading the passage. Mood is usually created by the tone.
Authors choice of words to provide a certain effect.
Alternating stressed and unstressed syllables.
Iambic couplet = usually the last lines in a poem when the lines are in iambic verse and the last words in each line rhymes with one another.
A reasonable conclusion about a character or an event drawn from the limited information presented by the author.
Emotional association or implication attached to a word or phrase (ex.: unique has a positive connotation, while strange has a negative connotation).
The pattern given to the rhyming patterns at the end of lines in a poem
When an author uses objects or descriptions to represent something else (ex.: white might stand for purity).
Language that suggests more than the literal meaning of the words.
Recurring feature (image, word, phrase, etc) in a literary work that contributes to the overall theme
Consecutive or adjacent words that begin with the same CONSONANT
A song-like poem that tells a story often dealing with adventure, romance; contains simple language, four to six line stanzas, rhyme, and regular meter.
Category or type of literature (ex.: poetry, prose, drama, short story, novel).
Reference to a historical, mythological, or literary person/place/or thing. It can also be a reference to a work of art.
Everyday spoken language of people in a locality, writing that imitates or suggests language.
Poetic lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter (containing 5 literary metric feet).
A rhetorical device used to appeal to an audience's emotion. When an author uses a short story in a speech or a piece of writing to emphasize a point.
Technique which employs wit to ridicule a subject, usually some social institution or human foible (minor flaw) with the intention to inspire reform.
An expression peculiar to a language; not literally translatable (ex.: a dime a dozen, a chip on his shoulder).
An underlying idea, moral, or lesson of a piece of writing.
The main character.
A stanza of four lines; rhymed or unrhymed.
A comparison of two unlike things NOT using "like" or "as"
Poetry which is unrhymed and unmetered.
The contract between what is stated and what is meant OR between what is expected to happen and what actually happens.
The time and place where the story takes place.
A comparison of two unlike things USING "like" or "as"
A pair of rhymed lines.
A work of serious fiction involving the downfall of hero(es).
Giving lifelike characteristics to something without life.
The grammatical structure of a sentence (the way the words in a sentence are arranged).
A question posed for effect. The answer is usually obvious.
Words that imitate the sounds they make (ex.: buzz).
An apparently untrue or contradictory statement or circumstance that proves true upon reflection.