exam final

Literary terms


A brief and indirect reference to a person, historical event, cultural event, political event, or idea.


The device of using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent an abstraction in addition to the literal meaning.


Comparing two objects for the purpose of explaining something. For example: a heart and a pump.

Deus ex machina:

 circumstance where an implausible concept or a divine character is introduced into a storyline for the purpose of resolving its conflict and procuring an interesting outcome.


 The insertion of an earlier event into the normal chronological sequence of a narrative. Example Going back to a previous time or event in the story.


a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one. Ex: a metrical foot consisting of an accented and unaccented syllable: APP-le / SO-rry / COW-ard.


A speech by a character alone onstage in which he or she utters his or her thoughts aloud. Helps give audience insight into a characters inner life, private motivations, & uncertainties.


A concrete or real object used to represent an idea.
Example Bird, because it can fly = freedom.


 device that can be defined as a line in verse or poetry that has five strong metrical feet or beats.

Dramatic Monologue:

a poem in the form of a speech or narrative by an imagined person, in which the speaker inadvertently reveals aspects of their character while describing a situation or series of events.


a long speech by one actor in a play or movie, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast program.

                                                            Literary Movements


·love, nature, women, children, & common people

·quality of literature: emotional, introspective, passionate, spontaneous, irregular


·the human mind, violence, death, war, mass media, feminism, political change, loneliness, outcasts

·Quality of Literature: abstract, unique, innovative, fragmented, disconnected, surreal, absurd

Dark Romanticism:

·adapted images of anthropomorphized evil in the form of Satan, devils, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and ghouls” as emblematic of human nature.

·Sin, guilt, and self-destruction

Types of Criticism


Is a school of criticism that focuses on the form of a literary work. A key method that formalists use is close reading, a step-by-step analysis of the elements in a text.


The practice of analyzing a literary work by using knowledge of the authors life to gain insight. The biography of the author provides the practical assistance of underscoring but important meanings


The practice of analyzing a literary work by investigating the social culture, and intellectual context that produced it including the authors biography.


Analytical tools of psychology and psychoanalysis to authors or fictional characters in order to understand the underlying motivations & meaning of a literary work.


Analyzing a literary work by looking for recurrent universal patterns. Explores an individual’s imagination using myths and symbols shared by different cultures.


Literary work by examining the cultural, economic, & political context in which it was written or received. Primarily explores relationship between the artist and society.


Sexual identity influences the creation, interpretation, & evaluation of literary works. Feminism, gay culture, and men’s movement all play key roles.


Describing what happens in the reader’s mind while interpreting the text, no literary text exists independently of readers interpretations and that there is no single fixed of any literary work.


Criticism that rejects the traditional assumption that language can accurately represent reality. Critics believe literary texts can have no single meaning so they concentrate their attention on HOW language is being used in a text rather than what is being said.

Cultural Studies:

Field of academic study that focuses on understanding the social power encoded in “texts” which may include any analyzable phenomenon from a traditional poem to an advertising image or actor’s face.

What is Existentialism?

·Finding self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility.

·The belief is that people are searching to find out who and what they are throughout life as they make choices based on their experiences, beliefs, and outlook.

What is & isn’t existentialism:


·Human free will

·Human nature is chosen through life choices

·A person is best when struggling against their

·individual nature, fighting for life

·Decisions are not without stress and consequences

·There are things that are not rational

·Personal responsibility and discipline is crucial

·Society is unnatural and its traditional religious and     

·secular rules are arbitrary

·Worldly desire is futil


·Wealth, pleasure, or honor make the good life

·Social values and structure control the individual

·Accept what is and that is enough in life

·Science can and will make everything better

·People are basically good but ruined by society or external forces


What is drama?

·Also, known as “play”

·Specific mode of fiction

·Comes from a Greek word meaning “action”

·Divided by comedy & tragedy

What are the 3 unities?

•Unity of Action
Action revolves around a single plot.

•Unity of Place
Action takes place in one setting.

•Unity of Time
Action occurs within the span of a single day.

What is plot & theme?

Plot: The plan, design, scheme or pattern of events in a play that advance the action of the story. Plot is the cause‐and‐effect sequence of events in a story.

Theme:  The subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person’s thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic.

  • Themes can be divided into two categories: a work’s thematic concept is what readers “think the work is about” and its thematic statement being “what the work says about the subject”
  • The most common contemporary understanding of theme is an idea or point that is central to a story, which can often be summed in a single word (e.g. love, death, betrayal).

What is Characteristics?

•           It is a literary element and may be employed in dramatic works of art or everyday conversation.

•           Characters may be presented by means of description, through their actions, speech, thoughts, and interactions with other characters.


Chorus > Originally, a group of performers at a religious ceremony. In drama, the chorus represents the citizenry and voices their communal opinions, values, or beliefs.

Strophe > Meaning “turn,” Strophe refers to a specific dance pattern the chorus would perform while singing.

Antistrophe > Meaning “counterturn,” antisrophe refers to a dance pattern that is the reverse of the strophe. 

What is Narration?

·the use of a written or spoken commentary to convey a story to an audience.

·Narrative point of view: the perspective (or type of personal or non-personal “lens”) through which a story is communicated

·Narrative voice: the format (or type presentational form) through which a story is communicated

·Narrative time: the grammatical placement of the story’s time-frame in the past, the present, or the future

What is POV?  

Consisting of 5 methods

·1st person > narrator reveals the plot by referring to this viewpoint character with forms of “I” or, when plural, “we”.

·2nd person > in which the narrator refers to him- or herself as ‘you’ in a way that suggests alienation from the events described, or emotional/ironic distance.

·3rd person > is referred to by the narrator as “he”, “she”, “it”, or “they”

Which story was for setting?
Barn Burning by Faulkner uses setting to evoke the class distinctions that fuel Snopes’s deep resentment. The Snopes family lives in dire circumstances that are vastly different from the lifestyles of the landowning families for whom they work as sharecroppers, and the story hinges on Snopes’s destruction of property and violation of the home.

Hemingway & Faulkner > Tone & Style

Glaspell & Euripides > Plays

Kafka, London, & Eliot > Setting

Updike A&P > Character analysis

Hawthorne > critical analysis

Vohnegut > Genre

Sherly Jackson > Symbolism

What are the subsets of Fiction?

Science Fiction:

´Tell about science/technology of the future

´Settings are what differentiate sci fi from other subsets

Historical Fiction:

´Set in a time in history

Realistic Fiction:

´Stories take place in modern times

´Characters are involved in events that could happen


´Talking animals

´Set in a fantastical universe

´Magical powers



´Solving a puzzle

´Centered around a person obtaining secret information

What is literary fiction?

´Is usually identified by excellent writing

´Includes originality of thought and style

´Raised above the level of ordinary written works

Know what are the 4 types of poetry?

Dynamic > a poetry that has a lot of passion in it and is very energetic

Narrative > a poem which tells a story. Most commonly, the stories involve heroic events or are of cultural or national (or some degrees even local) importance.

Lyric > are poems focused on thought and emotion. The poems may be songs—and songs may be any other genre.

Dramatic > is written in verse that is meant to be spoken. It generally tells a story, but can also simply portray a situation.

Ex: “the use of vivid, sometimes violent images, or the creation of those images, within a poem to evoke an equally dynamic change in the readers perspective”.

Elements of fiction


·Point of view