Wolverine Pathways Basic Literary Terms-7

  1. 1.

    What happens in a story:  the events or conflicts.  If the action is well organized, it will develop into a pattern or plot.  (See PLOT.)
  2. 2.

    The person or thing working against the protagonist of the story.
  3. 3.  

    The method an author uses to reveal or describe and the characters' various personalities.

    In DIRECT characterization, the author tells the reader what the character is like.

    In INDIRECT characterization, the character is revealed by his/her appearance, speech, private thoughts, or actions.
  4. 4.

    The people, animals, and things presented as persons in a work of literature.

    *DYNAMIC (round) characters - change in some fundamental way during the course of the story.

    *STATIC (flat) characters - remain the same.
  5. 5.

    The high point, or turning point, in a story - usually the most intense point.
  6. 6.

    The problem or struggle in a story that triggers the action.  EXTERNAL conflicts take place between the characters(s) and things outside of them like nature and society.  INTERNAL conflicts take place within the character.  There are 5 basic types of conflict:

    • Person vs. Person
    • Person vs. Society
    • Person vs. Self
    • Person vs. Nature
    • Person vs. Fate (God)
  7. 7.

    The set of facts or circumstances surrounding an event or situation in a piece of literature.
  8. 8.

    (solution, resolution) The final solution or outcome of a play or story. (See PLOT.)
  9. 9.

    The conversation carried on by the characters in a literary work.
  10. 10.

    The author's choice of words based on their correctness, clearness, or effectiveness.
  11. 11.

    Parts of the story that provide information about the setting and what happened before the story begins.
  12. 12.

    The presentation of information that gives clues as to what will come later.  Foreshadowing is a way to draw readers into a work and prepare them for the action to come.
  13. 13.

    The particular value or lesson the author is trying to get across to the reader.  The "moral of the story" is a common phrase in many older fables, however, the moral isn't spelled out for the reader in most literature.
  14. 14.

    NARRATOR (Point of View)
    The person who tells the story - NOT the author.  The voice IN the story who is relating the events.

    FIRST PERSON narrator - The narrator is IN the story saying "I" as they tell it.

    THIRD PERSON - OMNISCIENT - These narrators know all and see all.  They can tell you what every character does and thinks.

    THIRD PERSON - LIMITED - Only knows what one character thinks or feels.
  15. 15.

    The sequence of related episodes that make up a story.  Plots may be very simple or they may be complex and contain a number of subplots.  There are five basic elements in a plot line:  exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
  16. 16.

    The main character(s) in a story.  The character(s) the story follows who are not necessarily "heroic."
  17. 17.

    The TIME and PLACE in which the action in a story takes place.  This is vitally important because what is expected to happen and to be real depends on WHERE you are in the world and WHEN.  (Not to be confused with CONTEXT.)
  18. 18.

    The central or dominating idea in a work of literature.  Theme usually involves some insight into life or human behavior.  It is seldom expressed directly, but there are usually key passages to indicate theme.
Card Set
Wolverine Pathways Basic Literary Terms-7
Literary terms