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I spy

  • Course: Literature
  • Professor: Dilek İnan
  • School: Arizona State University at the West Campus, AZ
Page 1 of 11
A STUDENT’S GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS

Accumulation:
The enumeration of words (attributes) having a similar meaning. ”The process is wasteful, dangerous, messy, and sometimes tragic.” Acronym:
A single word, formed from the initial letters of other words (NATO = North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
Act:
The act is the major division of a drama/play, often divided further into scenes. Acting time:
The acting time is the time from the beginning to the end of an episode or episodes in a fictional text. The relationship between acting time and narrating time/reading time depends on the mode of presentation.

Action:
The action of a story is a series of events usually arranged so as to have three recognizable parts:
1. the beginning (introduction, exposition),
2. the middle (rising action, complication; crisis, climax, turning-point; falling action) 3. and the end (dénouement or solution, catastrophe, resolution). In contrast to real life, action in fiction is ordered; it "imitates in words a sequence of human activities, with a power to affect our opinions and emotions in a certain way". It is the basic principle in all fiction and arouses the reader's interest: it makes him eager to learn what is going to happen and/or how the problems faced by the characters are going to be solved. Action produces tension, suspense or surprise.

Allegory:
The allegory appears in fictional texts in which ideas are personified and a story is told to express some general truth. Examples:
Truth, Vice, Virtue, Justice.
Alliteration:
An alliteration is a repetition of sounds (consonants) at the beginning of neighbouring words or of stressed syllables within such words, e.g. ”fingers the small size of small spades.” Purpose: rhythm and stress.

Allusion:
An allusion is a direct or indirect reference to some well-known historical person or event, saying, proverb, line or sentence from a work of literature.

Anachronism:
An error in chronology: placing an event, item or...
A STUDENT’S GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS
Accumulation:
The enumeration of words (attributes) having a similar meaning. ”The process is wasteful, dan-
gerous, messy, and sometimes tragic.”
Acronym:
A single word, formed from the initial letters of other words (NATO = North Atlantic Treaty
Organization)
Act:
The act is the major division of a drama/play, often divided further into scenes.
Acting time:
The acting time is the time from the beginning to the end of an episode or episodes in a fictional
text. The relationship between acting time and narrating time/reading time depends on the
mode of presentation.
Action:
The action of a story is a series of events usually arranged so as to have three recognizable
parts:
1. the beginning (introduction, exposition),
2. the middle (rising action, complication; crisis, climax, turning-point; falling action)
3. and the end (dénouement or solution, catastrophe, resolution).
In contrast to real life, action in fiction is ordered; it "imitates in words a sequence of human
activities, with a power to affect our opinions and emotions in a certain way". It is the basic
principle in all fiction and arouses the reader's interest: it makes him eager to learn what is go-
ing to happen and/or how the problems faced by the characters are going to be solved. Action
produces tension, suspense or surprise.
Allegory:
The allegory appears in fictional texts in which ideas are personified and a story is told to ex-
press some general truth.
Examples: Truth, Vice, Virtue, Justice.
Alliteration:
An alliteration is a repetition of sounds (consonants) at the beginning of neighbouring words or
of stressed syllables within such words, e.g. ”fingers the small size of small spades.” Purpose:
rhythm and stress.
Allusion:
An allusion is a direct or indirect reference to some well-known historical person or event, say-
ing, proverb, line or sentence from a work of literature.
Anachronism:
An error in chronology: placing an event, item or expression in the wrong period. Shakespeare
referred to a cannon in King John, a play set in time long before those weapons were used in
England, and he placed a clock in Julius Caesar.
Anagram:
A word or phrase formed by the transposition of letters in another word. Samuel Butler’s novel
Erewhon derives its title from the word nowhere.
Anaphora:
The anaphora is a repetition of the same word or words at the beginning of neighbouring sen-
tences, lines, stanzas, etc.
And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun,
And she forgot the blue above the trees, ...
Anticlimax:
This is a stylistic device which involves a humorous descent from something serious or digni-
fied to something frivolous or trivial.
Antithesis:
A figure of speech in which opposing or contrasting ideas are balanced against each other in
grammatically parallel syntax.
Archaism:
The use of an old or obsolete word: albeit (though), quoth he (said he).
Aside:
In a play, words spoken by an actor which the other persons on stage are not supposed to hear.
Assonance:
The assonance is a repetition of similar vowel sounds within stressed syllables of neighbouring
words, e.g. ”on the dole with nowhere to go.”
Asyndeton:
A condensed expression in which words or phrases are presented in series, separated by com-
mas only: Caesar: Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered).
Atmosphere:
Atmosphere is a feeling or mood created by a writer or speaker to evoke the reader’s or lis-
tener’s emotions. It may be, for example, pleasant or gloomy, peaceful or violent.
Attitudinal adverb:
It is an adverb expressing a writer’s or speaker’s attitude towards his or her topic, e.g. ”certain-
ly”, ”honestly”, ”obviously”, ”simply”.