Foundational Literary AnalysisTerms

Foundational Literary AnalysisTerms

Foundational Literary Analysis Terms LITERARY ANALYSIS TERMS

Plot sequence of events in a story Exposition the beginning of a story that introduces the characters, setting and basic situation Setting - the time and place of the action of a story Flat character character with little or no depth and few known character traits Round character character that is like a real person with many character traits; has many known faults and virtues

Static character character does not change much in the course of the story Dynamic character character who changes as a result of the storys events Indirect characterization author reveals the character by SHOWING the audience his/her actions, thoughts and/or words Direct characterization author DIRECTLY tells reader about the character Protagonist main character in the story; often (but not always) the hero Antagonist major character or force who opposes or is in conflict with the main character Internal Conflict human vs. self; protagonist faces difficult decision or dilemma External Conflict human vs. __; protagonist faces opposition from outside sources Rising action all events after exposition and leading to climax of story Climax / turning point Falling action decrease of tension or action of conflict; events after climax leading to resolution Resolution - the moment at which all problems or conflicts are resolved; the close of the story Theme statement (sentence) of a central idea, message, or insight into life revealed through the story Suspense a feeling of uncertainty, anxiety, or curiosity about what is going to happen next or about the outcome of events Verbal irony words to suggest the opposite of what is meant

Dramatic irony when the audience or reader knows something important that the main character in the story does not know Situational irony an event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader and/or the audience Flashback section of literary work that interrupts the sequence of events to relate an event from an earlier time Foreshadowing use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in the plot Mood the atmosphere or the feeling created by the writer in the story (author designs / reader experiences) Tone choice of words by the author that reveals his/her attitude toward the subject (reader infers) Imagery descriptive language that appeals to any of the 5 senses Simile a comparison of two things to add meaning using connective words (like / as) Metaphor a comparison of two things to add meaning NOT using connective words Personification - when an animal, object or force is given human personality traits or abilities Symbolism a person, place or thing that stands for itself and for something beyond itself, usually an idea or abstract noun PLOT

sequence of events in a story Exposition the beginning of a story that introduces the characters, setting and basic situation Setting

the time and place of the action of a story Flat vs. Round character FLAT: character with little or no depth and few known traits ROUND:

Character that is like a real person with many traits; has many known faults and Static vs. Dynamic Character STATIC: character who does not change much

in the course of the story DYNAMIC: character who changes as a result of the storys events Direct vs. Indirect Characterization DIRECT: author directly TELLS the

reader about the character INDIRECT: author reveals the character by SHOWING the audience his/her actions, thoughts and/or words, and audience makes own conclusion Protagonist Vs. Antagonist

PROTAGONIST: main character in the story; often (but not always) the hero/heroine ANTAGONIST: major character or force who opposes or is in conflict with the main character

Internal vs. External Conflict INTERNAL: human vs. self; protagonist faces a difficult decision or dilemma EXTERNAL: human vs. ___ (human, nature, society, technology, etc.); protagonist faces opposition from outside sources

Rising action increase in tension; all events after the exposition and leading to the climax of a story Climax / Turning Point

the highest point of tension, suspense or interest in a story; point at which the conflict/proble m turns toward its resolution Falling Action a decrease of

tension or action of conflict; events after climax leading to resolution Resolution / Denouement the moment at which all problems or conflicts are

resolved; the close of the story; the close of the story, including the demonstration of how the protagonist has changed as a result of the Theme a statement

(sentence) of a central idea, message, or insight into life revealed through the story suspense a feeling of uncertainty, anxiety or curiosity about

what is going to happen next or about the outcome of events irony an event or occurrence that highlights or signals the difference between

appearance and reality; when the opposite of what is expected actually happens Verbal irony words to suggest the opposite of what is meant

Dramatic irony when the audience or reader knows something important that the main character in the story does not know Situational irony

an event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader and/ or the audience flashback section of a literary work that interrupts

the sequence of events to relate an event from an earlier time foreshadowing use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in the plot Mood vs. tone

MOOD: the atmosphere or the feeling created by the writer in the story (author designs / reader experiences) TONE: authors choice of words that reveals his/her attitude toward the

subject (reader Point of view the way an author allows the reader to experience the story Omniscient allknowing/all-seeing; can read thoughts and emotions Limited can only experience one characters thoughts/emotions; narrates action

1st person story is told by a character within it 2nd person author uses you and your (rare) 3rd person story is imagery descriptive language that appeals to any of the 5 senses

simile vs. metaphor SIMILE: a comparison of two things to add meaning using connective words (like or as) METAPHOR: a comparison of two things to add meaning NOT using

connective words, as if one was equal personification when an animal, object or force is given human personality traits or abilities symbolism an authors

portrayal of a person, place, or thing that stands for itself and for something beyond itself, usually an idea or abstract noun NOTE This

is the first in a series of lists of Literary Analysis Terms. You will be adding to this list in many ways as you continue your thinking journey!

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