Study Notes for Final Exam (Literary Technique)
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An implicit reference within a literary work to a historical, classical, or Biblical person, place, or event. Authors use allusions to add symbolic weight because it makes subtle or implicit connections with other works. An Allusion can create an instant image or give significant information without the author having to explain because the reader already has that knowledge.
An author's deliberate use of hints or suggestions to give a preview of events or themes that do not develop until later in the narrative.
Device in which a writer describes significant events of an earlier time or actually retunrs the plot to an earlier time. Flashback enables the author to inform the reader of significant happenings that influence later action. Vehicles that writers use to return to earlier times include dreams, memories, and stories told by the narrator or a character. A Walk to the Jetty, by Jamaica Kincaid has many examples of this.
In Medias res:
Latin for "in the middle of things." The term refers to the technique of starting a narrative in the middle of the action. Homer uses this device when beginning the Odyssey and the Iliad.
A prayer for inspiration to a god or muse, usually placed at the beginning of an epic. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey both open with invocations.
A wide-ranging technique of detachment that draws awareness to the discrepancy between words and their meanings, between expectation and fulfillment, or most generally, between what is and what seems to be. We studied irony with Oedipus.
The use of a statement that, by its context, implies it's opposite.
A technique in which one understanding of a situation stands in sharp contrast to another, usually more prevalent, understanding of the same situation.
The technique in which the author lets the audience or reader in on a character's situation while the character himself remains in the dark. With dramatic irony, the character's words or actions carry a significance that the character is not aware of.
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