Allegory: Where every aspect of a story is representative, usually symbolic, of something else, usually a larger abstract concept or important historical/geopolitical event. Lord of the Flies provides a compelling allegory of human nature, illustrating the three sides of the psyche through its sharply-defined main characters. Alliteration: The repetition of consonant sounds within close proximity, usually in consecutive words within the same sentence or line. Antagonist: Counterpart to the main character and source of a story’s main conflict. The person may not be “bad” or “evil” by any conventional moral standard, but he/she opposes the protagonist in a significant way. (Although it is technically a literary element, the term is only useful for identification, as part of a discussion or analysis of character; it cannot generally be analyzed by itself.)
Anthropomorphism: Where animals or inanimate objects are portrayed in a story as people, such as by walking, talking, or being given arms, legs, facial features, human locomotion or other anthropoid form. (This technique is often incorrectly called personification.) • The King and Queen of Hearts and their playing-card courtiers comprise only one example of Carroll’s extensive use of anthropomorphism in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Blank verse: Non-rhyming poetry, usually written in iambic pentameter. • Most of Shakespeare’s dialogue is written in blank verse, though it does occasionally rhyme. Character: The people who inhabit and take part in a story. When discussing character, as distinct from characterization, look to the essential function of the character, or of all the characters as a group, in the story as a whole. • Rather than focus on one particular character, Lord assembles a series of brief vignettes and anecdotes involving multiple characters, in order to give the reader the broadest possible spectrum of human behavior. Golding uses his main characters to represent the different parts of the human psyche, to illustrate mankind’s internal struggle between desire, intellect, and conscience.