Literary Terms


1)       metaphor- word for one thing used for another; a comparison; symbol

2)       hyperbole- exaggeration for effect]

3)        simile- a likening of dissimilar things

Ex: snorting into the water like a horse- of mice and men

4)        tone- sad, happy, regretful, bland

Ex: peaceful with rising tension, lonely- of mice and men

Ex: serious- the chosen

5)       setting- time, place

Ex: few miles south of Soledad, California (south) in the late 1920’s- early 1930’s (great depression) - of mice and men

Ex: 1944-1945, Williamsburg, New York – the chosen

6)       Irony- 1. event that is opposite of what was expected

           2. Expression in which what is meant is the opposite of what was said

            Ex: Lennie is big and George is small but Lennie is killed by George-of mice and men

 Ex: the lady buys a real necklace for her friend bec she lost her other one and the one she borrowed was really fake- the necklace

7)     foil- two characters who are joined but are opposite

Ex: Lennie- George

Ex: Danny- Rueven

Ex: Rueven- his father

Ex: Gene- Finny

Ex: Brinker- Finny

Ex: Crooks- Slim

Ex: Brinker-Finny

8)     conflict-the problem in the story

                        1. Internal conflict- man vs. himself

Ex: candy- kill dog?

Ex: Rueven- becoming Danny’s friend?

Ex: gene- join army?

Ex: gene- is Finny jealous?

Ex: George- kill Lennie

2.      external conflict- man vs. man or society

     Ex: Gene- Finny

     Ex: Lennie- Curley

     Ex: Rainsford- General Zariff

     Ex: Danny- Rueven

         9) Point of view- style of narration

a. 1st person-I

    Ex: the chosen

    Ex: a separate peace

               b. 3rd person-omniscient-all knowing- limited

                     Ex: of mice and men

                     Ex: the necklace

                     Ex: the most dangerous game

         10) motif- recurring pattern in story

Ex: silence vs. talk- the chosen

Ex: the story of the rabbits (farm) - of mice and men

         11) moral-lesson

         12) Dynamic character- character that undergoes a change

                        Ex: Danny

13)Static character- character that stays the same during the course of the story

Ex: Mr. Malter

       *14) flat character- don’t know well- don’t have a lot of  characteristics

       *15) Round character- has a lot of characteristics- know well

16) Symbolism-use of symbols; set of symbols

Ex: Rueven’s eyes- he appreciated his eyes and what he can see

Ex: baseball game- war

Ex: war and peace – war with finny and gene

17) Allusion- reference to another story

  Ex: Anteaus- the name was given to this story because of a powerful man who was only powerful because he was on the ground and when he was off the ground he was powerless. In the story when T.J. was in control but then when he was separated from the ground- his crops- he was sad and unhappy and powerless like Anteaus

               Ex: a separate peace- the tree is an allusion to the story of Adam and chavah

               Ex: of mice and men is an allusion to the mouse (the poem)

18) Personification- represents as a person; take characteristics of human and put it into inanimate objects

               Ex: of mice and men- rabbits

19) Flashback- interruption in a story by a return to some earlier episode

               Ex: a separate peace

               Ex: of mice and men – weed

20) Epiphany- a moment of clarity

               Ex: when rainsford figures out that General Zariff hunts people

21) theme- a central idea

               Ex: friendship- the chosen

               Ex: peace vs. war- a separate peace

               Ex: father son relationship- a separate peace

               Ex: depression- of mice and men-

Ex: love- of mice and men

        22) pun- a play on words

                        Ex: the most dangerous game

        23) protagonist- main character; hero

                        Ex: Gene

                        Ex: Curley

                        Ex: Rainsford

        24) antagonist- against protagonist; villain

                        Ex: George & Lennie

                        Ex: Finny

                        Ex: General Zariff

        25) Foreshadowing- when the author hints what’s going to happen

                        Ex: most dangerous game- the gunshot

                        Ex: of mice and men- come back to the brush

   Ex: of mice and men- when George says look out for Curley’s wife


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