English literary devices

  1. theme
    author's key message that conveys a lesson or moral about human nature
  2. form
    a classification of the literature, the published format of the story (type)
  3. setting
    place and time of a piece
  4. style
    how the author chooses to express his/herself in the writing
  5. structure
    organization of the story. Development of the plot (how the author moves times)
  6. mood
    emotional climate of the work. References the readers' emotional reactions to the events occurring in the text.
  7. tone
    author's overall attitude toward the subject presented
  8. diction
    word choice
  9. emotive language
    language deliberately designed to arouse emotion
  10. euphemism
    a deliberate softening of a harsher truth (a nice way to say something)
  11. exclamation
    gives a sense of astonishment or urgency
  12. connotation
    the emotional impact of a word; the various overtones a word carries
  13. colloquialism
    word or phrase found chiefly in everyday speech, as opposed to writing (more informal)
  14. slang
    more extreme colloquialism; often racy, offensive, or abusive in nature
  15. cliche
    stereotyped, overused expression
  16. emphatic words
    used for the purpose of emphasis
  17. hyperbole
    an exaggeration
  18. litotes/understatment
    deliberate subtletly, often for comic or sarcastic effect; statement expressed by denying the opposite (not unattractive)
  19. syntax
    length and types of sentences created can effect the reading of the text and subtext
  20. subtext
    underlying message in words
  21. simile
    a comparison of two unlike things using "like" or "as"
  22. metaphor
    a comparison of two unlike things (not using "like" or "as").
  23. symbol
    a character, object, or event that has some meaning beyond itself
  24. imagery
    descriptions that specifically appeal to the senses
  25. personification
    description that gives human elements to something that is not human
  26. alliteration
    consecutive repetition of initial consonant sounds
  27. maxim
    a short but true statement about life (sometimes overlaps with cliche). Short version of theme, realization of life
  28. foreshadowing
    an early indicator what is coming up in a story. Can preview or hint at what is going to happen
  29. oxymoron
    two contradictory words fitted together for emphasis and impact
  30. onomatopoeia
    a word for a sound
  31. allusion
    a reference to some other source, which the reader is assumed to have knowledge of
  32. analogy
    a parallel case with one or more points of resemblance, often used by writers to understand a complex or abstract point
  33. irony
    words convey a meaning different from the apparent meaning used, sometimes to emphasize a point or situation
  34. pun
    a deliberate playing on two possible meanings of a word or similar sounds of two words usually used to create a comic effect
  35. paradox
    an apparent contradiction
  36. juxtaposition
    placing two items, words, or ideas side-by-side or closely together usually to make the reader consider a compare/contrast relationship
  37. Author vs. narrator
    writer vs. speaker
Card Set
English literary devices
English literary devices