Literary Terms MP4

- A series of related events which form a story. The usual pattern of plot is (conflict), introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion.

Poetry- writing that formulates an imaginative awareness in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm

Point of view - is the viewpoint from which an author presents a story.

1. First person – The narrator “I” is a character in the story who can reveal only his own thoughts and feelings and what he/she sees. “I couldn’t believe my eyes and wondered how she could let that happen.”

2. Third person objective – The story is told by someone outside of the story. The outsider can only report what he/she sees and hears: “He scanned the crowded restaurant, obviously searching for a familiar face.”

3. Third person omniscient – The voice telling the story can enter the minds of all or most of the characters. This POV is able to relates feelings, thought, and emotions of all the characters with a god-like intuition: “Gary was afraid; he had never felt like this before. His heart felt like it would beat right out of his chest. She silently took his hand and instantly understood. They both knew they would never forget what happened.”

4. Third person limited – The narrator is an outsider who can only enter the minds of a limited number of characters. (Knows the thoughts of 1 or 2 characters) “Lynn looked very angry and David instinctively knew he shouldn’t mess with her when she got that way.”


Protagonist - is the chief or main character in a short story, play, or novel.

Pun – A play on words…humorous use of words that have different meanings. (ex. “A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it’s two tired.”)

Resolution- the part of the story's plot line in which the problem of the story is resolved or worked out

Rising action -
includes events that complicate the conflict and it leads the story to the climax. This is where the tension builds and the suspense grows in a story.

Saga- a lengthy narrative or legend about heroic or historical events

Satire- a story written to ridicule some vice or imperfection

Setting – The time and place in which the action of a narrative occurs.

Science Fiction- Writing based on real or imaginary scientific developments and often set in the future

Short Story- a fictional narrative generally centering on one climactic event

SimileA figure of speech involving a comparison using the words like or as.

Soliloquy- is a reflective monologue given by a character when he or she is alone on the stage

Stereotype – A conventional character or plot with little or no individuality 

Style- a distinctive manner of expression, a distinctive technique

Suspense- That quality of a literary work that makes the reader or audience uncertain or tense about the outcome of events

Symbol – Something concrete, such as an object, person, place or happening, that stands for or represents something beyond itself. For example, a dove is a bird, but it may also be a symbol for peace. 

Theme - The central idea or underlying meaning of a work. It is the message about life or human nature, but it is not always directly stated.

Third Person Narrator- The person telling the story is not a figure in the story, but an "observer" who is outside the action being described.

Third Person Omniscient Narrator- is a method of storytelling in which the storyteller knows the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters in the story. They are not a figure in the story, just an observer.