The third-person omniscient is a narrative mode in which a story is presented by a narrator with an overarching point of view, seeing and knowing everything that happens within the world of the story, including what each of the characters is thinking and feeling. It is the most common narrative mode found in sprawling, epic stories such as George Eliot's Middlemarch.
The godlike all-knowing perspective of the third-person omniscient allows the narrator to tell the reader things that none of the characters know, or indeed things that no human being could ever know (e.g., what the first conscious creature felt like as it climbed out of the primordial ooze, in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Hence the third-person omniscient is most often associated with sweeping, epic stories, in contrast to third-person limited narratives, which do not stray beyond the characters' knowledge and experiences, and are most often associated with more intimate stories. Nevertheless, Jane Austen's novels are third-person omniscient, sometimes giving us information that the character of focus (as opposed to the point of view character) could not be aware of, but Austen's novels typically focus on a small number of characters.
*Masculine rhyme: A rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable (a.k.a., regular old rhyme). *Means, Meaning: This is the big one, the one task you have to do all the time. You are discovering what makes sense, what’s important. There is literal meaning which is concrete and explicit, and there is emotional meaning. *Melodrama: A form of cheesy theater in which the hero is very, very good, the villain mean and rotten, and the heroine oh-so-pure. (It sounds dumb, but melodramatic movies make tons of money every year.) *Metaphor and simile: A metaphor is a comparison, or analogy that states on thing is another. His eyes were burning coals, or In the morning, the lake is covered in liquid gold. It’s a simple point, so keep it straight: a simile is just like a metaphor but softens the full out equations of things, often, but not always by using like or as. His eyes were like burning coals, or In the morning the lake is covered in what seems to be liquid gold. *Metaphysical conceit: see conceit
*Metonym: A word that is used to stand for something else that it has attributes of or is associated with. For example, a herd of 50 cows could be called 50 head of cattle. This is Greek for "name change," and denotes a closely related word for something. For example, a crown is a metonym for a king, and a cane, a metonym for old age. Also, books are metonyms for knowledge. Metonyms work to give you a more abstract stance, while still stating your concrete thought. The Oval Office=the activity of the presidency. *Mood: the atmosphere of a story. The feeling created in the reader by a literary work. See tone. *Nemesis: The protagonist’s arch enemy or supreme and persistent difficulty. *Neologism: See coinage
*Non-Sequitur. The term non sequitur literally means "it does not follow". *Objectivity and Subjectivity: An objective treatment of subject matter is an impersonal or outside view of events. A subjective treatment uses the interior or personal view of a single observer and is typically colored with that observer's emotional responses. *Onomatopoeia: Words that sound like what they mean. Examples: Boom. Splat. Babble. Gargle. Sizzle. Buzz. Roar. *Opposition: This is one of the most useful concepts in analyzing literature. It means that you have a pair of elements that contrast sharply. It is not necessarily “conflict” but rather a pairing of images (or setting or appeals, etc.) whereby each becomes more striking and informative because it’s placed in contrast to the other one. This kind of opposition creates mystery and tension. Oppositions can be obvious. Oppositions can also lead to irony but not necessarily so. *Oxymoron: A phrase composed of opposites; a...
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