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Rhet. and Lit.

Terms 2019
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1. Abstract Conceptual, on a very high order; often, 20. complications Events that create problems for the main
general (plot ) characters in a work.
2. Allegory Work that works on a symbolic level 21. Concrete Specific, detailed
3. allusion Reference to a well-known person, 22. conflict Struggle between opposing forces, usually
place, event, or work of art. An allusion characters. Conflicts often develop plots.
brings to mind complex ideas simply
23. connotation Loose definition of a word, based on ideas
and easily and brings the energy of the
associated with the word.
alluded work to the allusion.
24. Deduction argument that moves from the general to
4. Analogy Literary device that compares, usually
the specific
involving a comparison between two
different items. 25. denotation Dictionary definition of word, independent
of other associations that the word brings
5. anecdote Brief story about an interesting event.
to mind.
6. antagonist Character who opposes the protagonist.
26. denouement Events occurring after the resolution of the
7. Antecedent The noun or phrase to which a pronoun central conflict.
27. Description A rhetorical mode that visually presents a
8. Anthropomorphism Ascribing human forms or emotions to person, place, event, or action. Also, one
animals or inanimate objects of the four types of composition with a
purpose of depicting a setting.
9. anticlimax Unexpected letdown at the point where
the reader usually expects the climax. 28. dialogue Conversation between characters.
10. Antithesis Direct contrast; opposition. In Hegelian 29. diction Word choice that determines a writer's
scheme, a thesis countered by an style and tone.
antithesis results in a synthesis.
30. Didactic Focusing on moral or instructive concerns
11. archetype Patterns, designs, or images recurring in
31. direct Creation or development of a literary
a variety of cultures, including myths
characterization character through direct statement of the
and dreams.
character's traits.
12. Argumentation One of the four types of composition
32. drama Story written to be performed by actors.
with a purpose of validating or
invalidating a position. 33. dramatic irony Difference or distance between what a
character in a work knows and what the
13. atmosphere Mood, or feeling created in a reader by
audience or reader knows.
a literary passage.
34. dynamic Character who changes in the course of
14. Binary opposition Balanced, contrary pairing
character the work.
15. character Person who takes part in the action of a
35. epic Long narrative or narrative poem about
literary work.
the deeds of gods or heroes.
16. characterization Creation or development of a literary
36. epiphany Moment of insight when a character
recognizes some truth.
17. Classical appeals The means by which an argument
37. Ethos The quality or character of a speaker or
enhances the credibility of the writer
writer; credibility
(ethos), uses emotional cues to the
audience (pathos), and addresses the 38. Euphemism More acceptable, more pleasant way to
form and content of the argument express an uncomfortable or inappropriate
(logos). subject

18. climax High point of interest or suspense in a 39. exposition Writing or speech that explains or informs.
work. In literature, exposition often conveys
background information. Also, one of the
19. comedy In drama, a work that ends happily for
four types of composition with a purpose
the characters, often with a marriage,
of explaining.
signaling making peace with society.
40. external Struggle between a character and another
conflict character or force.
41. fable Brief story that teaches a lesson or moral. 63. literal Words used in their ordinary, denotative
language senses.
42. falling action Events that follow the climax.
64. literary Written tradition of literature, distinguished
43. fantasy Imaginative writing containing elements
tradition from oral tradition.
not found in real life.
65. Litotes Understatement that affirms a position by
44. fiction Prose writing about imaginary characters
denying its opposite (e.g., "not a bad idea" =
and events.
"good idea")
45. figurative Writing or speech not meant to be
66. logos The rational appeal of an argument
language interpreted literally. Writing or speech that
is structured for a certain rhetorical effect. 67. metaphor 1. Figure of speech
2. Figuratively implying a comparison between
46. first-person Perspective of a story as told by one of
two unlike elements, without using like or as.
point of view the characters.
68. Metonymy Figure of speech where a substituted term
47. flashback Interruption of the plot sequence to
represents an object closely associated with
recount an event or thought from an
that term: e.g., White House for President;
earlier time.
table for teacher
48. flat character One-dimensional character.
69. monologue Speech by one character in a drama or poem.
49. foil Character, often minor, who contrasts with
70. mood Atmosphere, or feeling created in a reader by a
another, often major, character; the
literary passage.
contrast helps define, by negation, the
major character. 71. moral Lesson taught by a literary work.
50. foreshadowing Use of clues to suggest events yet to 72. Motif A unifying image or idea that develops theme
occur. or characters
51. genre Type of literature, such as poetry, prose, or 73. motivation Explanation of a character's thoughts, feelings,
drama. actions, or speech.
52. hero/heroine Major character of a work whose actions 74. myth Tale that explains the actions of gods or the
are inspiring or noble. causes of natural phenomena.
53. Hyperbole Exaggeration; in an extreme form, 75. narration Writing that tells a story. Also, one of the four
hyperbole can be humorous or ironic. types of composition with a purpose of
recounting an event or series of events.
54. image Word or phrase appealing to one of the
senses. 76. narrative Story told in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or
55. imagery Descriptive language used to reflect and
re-create sensory experience. 77. narrator Speaker or character who tells a story.
56. Implication Conveying or suggesting a thought or 78. novel Long work of fiction with a plot that explores
idea without stating it outright characters in detail.
57. indirect Development of a literary character 79. omniscient Perspective of story told by an outsider whose
characterization through his or her actions, thoughts, third- knowledge is extends to the internal states of
feelings, words, and appearance, or person all characters in the work.
through another character's observations point of
and reactions. view
58. Induction Argument that moves from the specific to 80. oral Passing of songs, poems, and stories from
the general tradition generation to generation by word of mouth.
59. Inference General conclusion drawn from details 81. Oxymoron Self-contradictory combination of words: e.g.,
"bittersweet" or "oxymoron" (Greek, sharp-dull)
60. internal conflict Struggle within a character.
82. parable Simple, brief narrative teaching a lesson by
61. irony Difference or distance between
using characters and events to stand for
appearance and reality, expectation and
abstract ideas.
result, meaning and intention.
83. Pathos The quality in a work that evokes emotional
62. limited third- Perspective of story told by an outsider
responses, like sympathy, empathy, sorrow or
person point of whose knowledge is confined.
84. personification Figurative language in which a nonhuman 107. style Writer's way of writing, determined by
subject is given human characteristics or factors such as diction, imagery, syntax,
form. tone, and organization.
85. plot Sequence of events in a literary work. 108. subgenre Subdivision of a genre; fiction's subgenres
are novel, novella, short story, and short
86. point of view Perspective or vantage point from which a
short story.
story is told.
109. surprise ending Conclusion that violates the expectations
87. protagonist Main character in a work
of the reader.
88. Qualifier Limit, modification, or restriction of an
110. suspense Feeling of growing uncertainty about the
argument, sometimes by contrast or
outcome of events.
111. Syllogism Format of argument consisting of major
89. resolution End of the central conflict, often following
premise, minor premise, and conclusion
the climax.
112. symbol Object that stands for something else.
90. Rhetoric The process of persuasion; the art of using
language to persuade others 113. Synecdoche Figure of speech where the part stands
for the whole (or occasionally, the whole
91. Rhetorical Causation, definition, comparison,
for the part)
modes exemplification, description, division and
classification, process analysis 114. Syntax Grammatical structure of sentence—
ordering, grouping, and placing
92. rising action Events that lead up to the climax.
115. thematic topic Important quality expressed in a work,
93. round Complex, multifaceted, realistic character.
usually expressed as a word or phrase.
116. theme Central message or insight about life in a
94. Sarcasm Ridiculing by caustic disapproval, often
work, usually expressed as a sentence.
using verbal irony to seem to praise
117. Thesis Main idea of a piece of writing; the
95. satire Irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack
author's assertion or claim
or expose folly.
118. tone Writer's attitude toward his or her subject
96. science fiction Writing that tells about imaginary events
and audience: e.g., formal or informal,
involving science or technology.
serious or playful, bitter or sympathetic,
97. sensory Writing or speech appealing to one or straightforward or ironic.
language more of the senses.
119. tragedy Literary work, often a play, that ends
98. setting Time and place of a literary work. unhappily or catastrophically for the main
99. short story Brief work of fiction. character, isolating him or her from
100. simile Figure of speech comparing two basically
dissimilar elements using like or as. 120. tragic flaw Character weakness that causes a hero's
101. situational Difference or distance between an
irony expected situation (often the ending) and 121. tragic hero Character, usually of high state, who ends
the situation that occurs. up disastrously, isolated from society.

102. Socratic irony Claiming ignorance while questioning in 122. Understatement Figure of speech where the language falls
search of the truth short of the magnitude of the intention;
restraint of expression for rhetorical or
103. soliloquy Monologue in drama, addressed only to
artistic effect
123. verbal irony Difference or distance between what a
104. speaker Voice of narrator of story or poem, not to
word or phrase means and what it
be confused with the author of the work.
ordinarily means.
105. stage Information in a play about costumes,
124. Voice The "sound," the manner of a writer's style
directions lighting, scenery, properties, setting, or
or expression. Relationship between
characters' movements, speech, and
subject and verb (in active voice, the
subject acts; in passive voice, the subject
106. static Character who does not change in the is acted upon)
character course of the story.