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Literary terms for 8th graders

Use your Literature book and other library references to learn the definitions of your 50 flashcard terms. Reinforce your memorizing by
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short storya narrative; must have a beginning, middle and an end
expositionstory beginning where characters are introduced, the time and place are told, and conflict is introduced
resolutionthe final solution to the story's problem
falling actionoccurrences after the climax which bring about the final resolution
rising actiontells how the conflict builds and becomes complicated
conflicta problem or struggle between opposing forces
person v. selfinternal struggle; character struggles against conscience, for example
person v. personexternal struggle; one character opposes another
person v. naturea character struggles to survive against weather or animals, for example
person v. unknowncharacter struggles to overcome an unreal force or evil
person v. societya character does not want to conform to the rules of a group or laws of family or society
person v. technologycharacter struggles to overcome mechanical strength or artificial intelligence
plotthe sequence of events in a story
themethe message about life or human nature that a reader learns from a story
dynamic characterthis character grows and changes significantly in the story
static charactercharacter who changes little or not at all during the story
genrea major category of literature
protagonistthe main character who is confronted with a problem or condition which must be solved
antagonistpresents the problem; the force working against the main character
settingthe time and place at which the events of a story happen
author's purposeto entertain; to explain or inform; to express an opinion or to persuade, for example
characterizationa writer's techniques used to create and develop interesting characters
flashbacka scene that interrupts the present to describe an earlier event in a story
foreshadowingauthor's use of hints to suggest what will happen later in a story
idiomExample: Mike said, "When I'm mad I get really hot under the collar!"
inferencea logical guess or conclusion based upon evidence given in a story or article
ironythe contrast between what we expect to happen and what really happens in a story
metaphora strong comparison of two unlike things; does NOT use the word "like" or "as"
point of viewthe perspective from which a story is told; e.g. - first person
first personthe narrator is the main character and uses the pronouns "I/me"
third personthe narrator is NOT in the story and relates the tale using pronouns "he/she/it"
third person limitedthe narrator is able to read into the mind and feelings of only ONE character in the story
third person omniscientthe narrator is all-knowing; knows everything about all character and can see into their minds and feelings
moodthe atmosphere or feeling created in a story
dialoguea conversation between two or more characters
similea comparison to two unlike things; uses "like" or "as" to compare
stereotypea broad generalization about groups of people; used to judge a person, usually unfairly, based on group characteristics such as race, or physical appearance, etc.
imagerywords and phrases that appeal to a reader's senses and allow imagining about how things look, feel, smell, sound, and taste
plot linea diagram that shows the pattern of main events in a story
fictionwriting that tells an imaginary story
biographythe story of a person's life written by another person
alliterationthe repeating of consonant sounds at the beginnings of words; e.g. Regina raised a rosebush for Renee.
proseordinary spoken and written language; NOT poetry
poetryexpresses ideas in compact, imaginative and rhythmic language; sometimes rhymes
onomatopoeiathe use of words that imitate sounds to suggest what they mean; e.g. "hiss" and "sizzle"
personificationthe giving of human qualities to an animal or item of nature; e.g. The hurricane is an agile dancer that whirls on the tip of its toes.
nonfictionwriting that tells about real people, places, and events
hyperboleextreme exaggeration made for humorous effect; e.g. Is this porridge or cement?
symbola person or object that stands for something else; e.g. our flag symbolizes freedom
climaxhigh point of tension in a story; it brings about the solution to the story's problem

Patti Boddy

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