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Allegory: a literary work that has a second meaning beneath the surface, often

relating to a fixed, corresponding idea or moral principle.

Alliteration: repetition of initial consonant sounds. It serves to please the ear and
bind verses together, to make lines more memorable, and for humorous effect.

Allusion: A casual reference in literature to a person, place, event, or another

passage of literature, often without explicit identification. Authors often use allusion to
establish a tone, create an implied association, contrast two objects or people, make
an unusual juxtaposition of references, or bring the reader into a world of experience
outside the limitations of the story itself. Authors assume that the readers will
recognise the original sources and relate their meaning to the new context.

Antagonist: the character or force opposing the protagonist in a narrative; a rival

of the hero

Assonance: the repetition of vowel sounds

Contrast---when two things that have very different qualities or associations are
described together. The quote, a kid like that/ with nothing/ giving stuff away.
uses contrast between nothing and stuff to reinforce the generosity of spirit

Couplet: two successive lines of poetry in which the ending words rhyme.

Dramatic monologue: A dramatic piece presented orally by only one person.

Elegy: a poem of mourning, usually over the death of an individual, usually ending in
a consolation (comfort).

Ellipsis (): Three dots placed together which signify one or more words that have
been left in order to suggest an continuation of thought or idea or to create

Enjambment---the continuation of a sentence or clause over a line-break in poetry in

order to continue meaning and sense from one line to the next without pause.

Flashback: a scene in a short story, novel, play, or narrative poem that interrupts the
chronological action and provides information about the past. Often a characters
recollections of the past.

Foreshadowing: clues in a literary work that suggest events that have yet to occur.

Form: external pattern or shape of a poem, describable without reference to its

content, such as: continuous form, fixed form, and free verse.

Framing: Using same features, wording, setting, situation, or topic at both the
beginning and end of a literary work so as to "frame" it or "enclose it." This technique
often provides a sense of cyclical completeness or closure. This is also called an
envelope structure or circular structure.

Free verse: poetry not written in a regular rhythmical pattern; non-metrical poetry in
which the basic rhythmic unit is the line and in which pauses, line breaks, and formal
patterns develop organically from the requirements of the individual poem rather
than from established poetic forms.

High modality---the use of language to suggest a high degree of certainty in the

opinion stated

Hyperbole: a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement is used in the service of

truth. E.g. when he said that I couldve died.

Irony: a contrast between what is stated and what is really meant

Juxtaposition---is created when two words or phrases with opposing meanings are
place in close proximity within a text. The effect of such contrast can help to
emphasise a particular idea. For example, a warm, safe little cave/ for children to
hide in/ when/ theyre scared and lonely/ and need somewhere safe to go. / Billys
cave. uses juxtaposition between the words safe and scared

Linear and non-linear structure---Linear structure is the arrangement of events in

chronological order in a narrative. Non-linear structure refers to the arrangement of
events not in chronological order. Flashback or cyclical structures are types of non-
linear narratives.

Metaphor---a comparison between two things when one thing becomes another.
The first thing takes on the qualities of the thing it is being compared with and words
that are associated with that other thing are often used.

Meter: rhythmical pattern of a poem

Motif: a recurring feature (such as a name, an image, or a phrase) in a work of

fiction. A noticeable recurring element, such as a type of incident, a device, a
reference, or verbal formula, which appears frequently in works of literature.

Onomatopoeia: use of a word whose sound in some degree imitates or suggests

its meaning.

Oxymoron: the combination of two terms that are ordinarily contradictory. E.g.
beautiful nightmare.

Paradox: a statement that reveals the truth, but at first seems contradictory. E.g. the
child is the father to the man.
Pathetic fallacy---a device which projects human emotions onto aspects of nature
(e.g weather like a storm occurring when a character is going through internal
turmoil) in order to reflect the actual emotion felt by the character. Herrick uses this
device in

Pathos - is the way an author uses events or descriptions to arouse emotion,

particularly emotions of sympathy, in their readers.

Personification: a figure of speech in which human attributes are given to an

animal, an object, or a concept.

Point of view: vantage point from which a narrative is told. These include the
personal, private thoughts to the reader.

Protagonist: the central character of a drama, novel, short story, or narrative

poem. The character that the readers USUALLY sympathises the most with.
Protagonists often have rivals or opposing characters called antagonists

Pun: a play on words. Involves using a word or a phrase that has two different
meanings at the same time. E.g. if you were whale watching and you said to
someone, Im having a whale of a time, you are using a pun.

Repetition refers to the use of a word, sound or phrase more than once in close
proximity for effect or emphasis.

Rhetorical question: when a question is asked that requires no one to answer it.

Satire: writing that ridicules or holds up to contempt the faults of individuals or


Simile: the comparison of two unlike things using the words "like" or "as".

Soliloquy: a long speech made by one character that is alone and thus reveals
his/her true self.

Symbolism---the use of an object (inanimate or animate) to represent something

else. Often it is a tangible object that stands for an intangible idea.

Tone: the attitude/feelings a writer takes toward his or her subject, characters, or
audience. The means of creating a relationship or conveying an attitude or
mood. By looking carefully at the choices an author makes (in characters,
incidents, setting; in the work's stylistic choices and diction, etc.), careful readers
often can isolate the tone of a work and sometimes infer from it the underlying
attitudes that control and colour the story or poem as a whole. The tone might be
formal or informal, playful, ironic, optimistic, pessimistic, or sensual.