Short Stories- English I Honors 2010-2011
Literary Terms Short Stories- English I Honors
Characters Every person or animal in a story.
Round Characters: a character in fiction whose personality, background, motives, and other features are clearly defined by the writer. Flat Characters: a literary character whose personality can be defined by one or two traits.
Protagonist The central character in a story or drama. The audience should sympathize with the protagonist.
Antagonist A person or force that opposes the central character in a story or drama.
Characterization The act of developing a character; the method by which character traits are revealed.
Setting The time and place a story takes place. It can include time of day, week, year, or time in history. It can be a very specific, or a very general place as well.
External Conflict A struggle between a character and a force outside of that character. Man vs. Man- two people struggling. Man vs. Nature- a person struggling with some aspect of the natural world. Man vs. Technology- a person struggling with some aspect of technology. Man vs. Society- a person struggling with his or her society.
Internal Conflict A struggle within a character. Man vs. Self
Point of View The vantage point or perspective from which the story is told. First person: narrator is a character IN the story. He or she can reveal only personal thoughts and feelings. Third person objective: narrator is an outsider who can report only what he or she hears or feels. Third person limited: narrator is an outsider who sees into the minds of one of the characters. Third person omniscient: narrator is an all-knowing outsider who can tell what multiple characters are thinking or feeling.
Flashback Takes place when a scene is interrupted to show an event that happened in the past.
Theme The central idea or insight about life that a writer wishes to share with the reader.
Satire A style of writing that uses humor to criticize people, ideas, or institutions in hopes of improving them.
Symbolism When a person, place, event or object has a meaning itself but suggests other meanings as well. Red rose= love Darkness= evil
Foreshadowing The use of clues by the author to prepare readers for what will happen in a story.
Mood The atmosphere or feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage. Example: If you are watching a horror movie, you would have a different feeling than you would if you were watching a love story.
Plot The plan of action in a story. Includes: Exposition Rising Action
Climax Falling Action Resolution
Exposition The way in which an author begins a piece of fiction. In the exposition, typically the characters and setting are described.
Rising Action All the events in a piece of fiction which take place after the exposition and before the climax. The complications and twists in a story meant to build suspense or interest for the reader.
Climax The point of highest interest or intensity in a piece of fiction. This is where the plot begins to change. A character makes a decision, or an event takes place to change/further the course of action in the story.
Falling Action The logical result of the climax.
The effect of the events taking place during the climax. (If the climax is a cause, the falling action is an effect of that cause.)
Resolution The outcome of a piece of literature.
Also known as the Denoument.
Static Character A character that does not undergo any type of change throughout the course of a literary work.
Dynamic Character A character that does undergo a change during the course of a literary work.
Dialogue A conversation between characters in a literary work.
Diction A writer or speaker’s choice of words and the way in which they arrange words in sentences. For example, in “The Cask of Amontillado,” by Poe there will be more formal diction. In “The Euphio Question,” there was more informal diction.
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