Pages in this set

Page 1

Preview of page 1


Narrative - a sequence of events that a narrator tells in story form. - a storyteller of any
kind, whether the authorial voice in a novel

Point of View - the perspective that a narrative takes toward the events it describes.

First-person narration: A narrative in which the…

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Stream-of-consciousness narration: The narrator conveys a subject's thoughts,
impressions, and perceptions exactly as they occur, often in disjointed fashion and without
the logic and grammar of typical speech and writing. Molly Bloom's monologue in the final
chapter of James Joyce's Ulysses is an example of stream of consciousness. While…

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Conflict: The central struggle that moves the plot forward. The conflict can be the
protagonist's struggle against fate, nature, society, or another person. In certain
circumstances, the conflict can be between opposing elements within the protagonist.

Rising action: The early part of the narrative, which builds momentum and develops…

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Figures of Speech
Figures of speech are expressions that stretch words beyond their literal meanings. By
connecting or juxtaposing different sounds and thoughts, figures of speech increase the
breadth and subtlety of expression.

Aposiopesis: A breaking-off of speech, usually because of rising emotion or excitement.
For example, "Touch me…

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Mixed metaphor: A combination of metaphors that produces a confused or contradictory
image, such as "The company's collapse left mountains of debt in its wake."

Metonymy: The substitution of one term for another that generally is associated with it.
For example, "suits" instead of "businessmen."

Pathetic fallacy: The attribution…

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Literary Techniques
Whereas figures of speech work on the level of individual words or sentences, writers also
use a variety of techniques to add clarity or intensity to a larger passage, advance the plot
in a particular way, or suggest connections between elements in the plot.

Allusion: An implicit…

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Brontë's Wuthering Heights, the nightmares Lockwood has the night he spends in
Catherine's bed prefigure later events in the novel.

In medias rest: Latin for "in the middle of things." The term refers to the technique of
starting a narrative in the middle of the action. For example, John…

Page 8

Preview of page 8

aware of. "Baldricks bullet"When used in tragedy, dramatic irony is called tragic
Cosmic irony: The perception of fate or the universe as malicious or indifferent to
human suffering, which creates a painful contrast between our purposeful activity
and its ultimate meaninglessness. Thomas Hardy's novels abound in cosmic irony.…

Page 9

Preview of page 9

Thematic Meaning
Literature becomes universal when it draws connections between the particular and the
general. Often, certain levels of a literary work's meaning are not immediately evident. The
following terms relate to the relationship between the words on the page and the deeper
significance those words may hold.


Page 10

Preview of page 10

Common Literary Forms and Genres

Aphorism: A concise expression of insight or wisdom: "The vanity of others offends our
taste only when it offends our vanity" (Friedrich Nietzsche,Beyond Good and Evil).

Autobiography: The nonfictional story of a person's life, told by that person.

Ballad: Traditionally, a folk song telling…


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »