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Elements of Literature

Terms and elements of literature - particularly short stories - are reviewed.

settingtime and place of story
plotseries of events that make up the action
characterizationauthor's way of explaining the characters
themeauthor's message or subject being written about or discussed
internal conflictconflict that takes place inside the character's mind
external conflictcharacter struggles against some outside force
moodthe feeling a reader gets from the story
ironycontradiction between what a character thinks and what the audience thinks or knows to be true
symbolsomething that stands or represents something else
stereotypefixed way of thinking about a person without regard to individual differences
inferenceconclusion or opinion arrived at by reasoning
flashbackinterruption of the sequence of events to relate an event from an earlier time
short storybrief work of fiction usually meant to be read in one sitting - contains a plot which usually deals with a central conflict
suspensefeeling of anxious uncertainty about the outcome of events
climaxhighest point in the action of a story
resolutionsatisfying end of a play or story - the part in which the problems are solved
expositionpart of a story that explains the background and setting of the story
rising actioncentral part of the story during which various problems arise
falling actionthe action or dialogue necessary to lead to a resolution or ending
chronological orderorder in time in which events occured
major charactermain character - most important character in a story, poem, or play
minor characterone who takes part in the action but who is not the focus of attention
antagonistperson or thing fighting against the hero of the story
protagonisthero of the story
dialoguerefers to the talking that goes on between characters in a story

Mrs. Johnson

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