Literary Terms and Concepts to Define

Topics: Metaphor, Literature, Meaning of life Pages: 4 (1267 words) Published: February 21, 2010

Allusion- An allusion is reference from one literary work to another. Most people use allusions in every day conversations, although they may not be aware of it. For example, Shakespeare’s famous line, “To be or not to be” has been used and reused in many different contexts.

An example of an allusion from Week one’s reading assignments comes from The Hack Driver by Sinclair Lewis. During the story, the author makes reference the express man. He comments on how this man will probably get to Heaven’s gate and call St Peter “Pete” (LaRocco & Coughlin, 1996, p. 59).

Connotation- Connotation is the meaning or implication that the author gives, and the reader receives while reading a literary work. Connotations are not difficult to spot, because they are usually presented in the form of an opinion or assumption. For example, To Be of Use, by Marge Piercy, refers to workers becoming natives to the elements of their work environment (LaRocco & Coughlin, 1996, p. 248). The entire poem places much emphasis on the positive aspects of good workers. As the author refers to these workers as natives, it implies that they perform their jobs easily and naturally, so the connotation is positive.

Denotation- A denotation is the actual meaning of a word used in a literary work. Denotations provide contrast within literature; because they possess a literal meaning, while almost everything else is comprised of figurative meanings. For example, To Be of Use, by Marge Piercy refers to workers that do not dally in the shadows (LaRocco & Coughlin, 1996, p. 248). The word “dally” has a literal meaning. It means to waste time by playing when there is work to be done. However, the term “in the shadows” is figurative. The fact that the denotation is placed in a figurative context gives the term more depth and meaning, because it gives the reader a sense of reality, but still leaves room for the imagination.

Figurative language- Figurative...

References: LaRocco, C. & Caughlin, J. (1996). The Art of Work: An Anthropology of Workplace Literature. Cincinnati, OH: Southwestern Educational Publishing
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