Literary Terms

Literary Terms

LITERARY TERMS PLOT Exposition the beginning of the story where the characters and setting are introduced

Rising Action the bulk of the story (where most events take place) events leading up to the climax Climax The turning point of the story. If this event did NOT happen, we would NOT have an interesting story.

PLOT Continued Falling Action the events that come directly after the climax Denouement/Resolution the last part of

a story; this is where all conflict is resolved. It is usually only the last or last TWO events in a story. THEME A truth about life or people that we

discover as we share the characters experiences EX dont judge a book by its cover, power of words, quest for power, etc Symbol

Persons, places, or things that function as themselves but also stand for larger ideas. EX Harry Potter: phoenix; The Hunger Games: mockingjay Motif

Common features in a piece of literature EX The Hunger Games: fire; Harry Potter: darkness point of view whos telling the story

1st person someone in the story is telling the story (uses I/me/we/us) 3rd person someone who is NOT in the story is telling the story (uses he/she/them)

Main Idea Most important information showing the overall understanding Motivation of character Why does the character do _______?

EX why does Katniss volunteer for the hunger games? Summarize Telling the most important information in a text or piece of literature

EX summarize Frozen Foreshadowing Clues hinting at what will happen next Can you think of your own example?

Irony Convey (or show) a meaning that is opposite of the literal meaning. Tone The feeling the AUTHOR presents with

his/her words EX solemn, sad, enthusiastic, sarcasm Mood The feeling that YOU, THE READER, gets after reading

EX Are you happy? Anxious? CONFUSED IS NOT A MOOD Simile Comparison using like or as EX - You are as beautiful as a sunset.

Metaphor Comparison not using like or as EX Your eyes are the ocean. Suspense

Makes listeners wonder what will happen next (Anxious, curious, scared) Suspense can occur in stories that are not scary. Anachronism

When a person, thing, or idea from a different historical period is used in a story Can you think of any on your own? Allusion Making a reference to another person,

place, event or literary work. Inference Educated guessed based on information you already have. EX - If someone has a Lamborghini or a

Porsche, you might make an inference that they have a lot of money. Flashback When the narrator goes back to an earlier time to tell a story that relates to the main


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