A struggle between two opposing forces.
Character vs. Character
When a character has a problem with another character.
Character vs. Nature
 WHen a character has a problem with a force of nature, such as cold, storms, earthquakes, etc. 
Character vs. Society
When a character has a problem with a tradition or rule of society.

The backround against which action takes place.

  • the geographical location

An event in which the essential nature of something – a person, a situaion, an object- is suddendly understand in a ne way; a sudden realization; an “ah ha!” moment
The use in literary work of clues that suggest events the have yet to occur.
Character vs. Fate
When a character has a problem with something he can’t do anything about, such as god, luck, death, etc.
The character opposing the protagonist; can be a person, idea, or force.
Writing that gives animals, inanimate objects, or abtract ideas human characteristics.
Character vs. Self
When a character must make a decision about a problem/struggle he is having within himself.
A comparison of two unlike things or ideas NOT using like or as.
A comparison of two different things or ideas through the use of the words LIKE or AS.
Figures of Speech
Words or phrases that describe one thing in terms of something else; always involve some sort of imaginary comparison between seemingly unlike things; not meant to be taken seriously.
Facts revealed by the author or speaker that support the additude or tone in the work.
A device in which words, sounds, and/or ideas are used more the once to enhance rhythm and to create emphasis.;
The use of any object, person, place, or action that both has a meaning in itself and that stands for something larger then itself, such a quality, attitude, belief, or value.
A contrast between apperance and reality- usually one in which reality is the opposite from what it seems; when one thing is expected to happen or be, and the exact opposite occurs.
A reference to a literary, mythological, or historical person, place, or thing.
The central character, and focus of interest, who is trying to accomplish or overcome and adversity, and has the ability to adapt to new circumstances.
A deliberate, extravagant, and often outrageous exaggeration;may be used for either serious or comic effect.;
An accepted phrase or expression having a meaning different from the literal.
THe feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage.
Point of View
The perspective from which a story is told.
The central message or insight into life revealed through the literary work. A lesson about life or people.
A writer’s attitude or feeling toward a person, a thing, a place, an event, or a situation.
The quality of literary work that makes the reader uncertain or tense about the outcome of events.
A recurrent element in a literary work. A pattern or strand of imagery or symbolism in a work of literature.

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The emotions or associations a word normally arouses in people using; hearing or reading the word.

  • A word may have a POSITIVE connotation, a NEGATIVE connotation, or a NEUTRAL connotation.

The specific dictonary definition of a word.
Word choice. An author often chooses a word because it suggests a connotative meaning that somes from it’s use in various social context.
Static Character
A character that does not grow or change throughout the story, that ends as he/she began.
Dynamic Character
A character that undergoes a change in actions, or beliefs during the course of a story.
A reason that explains a character’s thoughts, feelings, actions, or behavior.

The methods used by an author to create a character including:

  • character’s physical apperance
  • the character’s own speech, thoughts, actions, and/or feelings
  • OTHER characters’ speech, thoughts, actions, and/or feelings
  • direct comments by the author about the character


When important aspects of a story are given inportant positions and in-depth development.

  • Emphasis is created by the use of
  • repetition
  • abundant detail
  • contrast
  • mechanicaldevices, such as, capitalization, italics, symbols, and/or different colors in ink

The words or phrases a writer uses to represent persons, objects, actions, feelings, and ideas discriptively by appealing to the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch). An author may also use animal imagery, as well as light and/or dark imagery.
The problem set up in the inciting incident is unraveled; there is a revelation of meaning.
The;most critical moment in the story; the point at which the main conflict is at it’s highest point.
Inciting Incident
Interrups the peace and balance of the situation and one or more of the characters comes into conflict with an outside force, himself, or another character.
Falling Action
Events that occur after the climax and lead up to closure and conclusion of the story.
Rising Action
The actions and events that take place in the story and build up to the critical moment when the main conflict is confronted.
A type of character, action, or situation, that occurs repeatedly in literature; a pattern or example that occurs in literature and life.

The author lays the groundwork for the story by revealing the

  • setting
  • relationship between the characters
  • situation as it exists before conflict begins

A play on words that are identical or similar in sound but have sharply different meanings. Puns can have serious as well humorous uses.
A form of paradox that combines a pair of opposite terms into a single unusual expression.