Literary Terms Analysis With Examples

.. line, in Mark Twain’s An Encounter with an Interviewer, exhibits a paradox-a person cannot speak at their funeral. 14) Parallelism is a case where two events mirror each other in terms of the fact that they have similarities. It is used to further the plot in a literary work. Example: In Hamlet, the situations of Hamlet and Fortinbras mirror one another, although they have different outcomes.

Both Hamlet and Fortinbras are princes who will inherit the thrones of their countries when the kings of their countries die. Both want to avenge their fathers, Hamlet wants to get revenge on Claudius for killing his father, and Fortinbras wants to get country which his father lost in war, Denmark, back. Since their situations mirror one another, this is an example of parallelism. 15) Personification is giving human aspects to animals or objects. Example: True, I talk of dreams,/ Which are the children of an idle brain.

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In this passage in Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare personifies dreams, stating that they are children of a lazy mind. 16) Plot is what happens in a literary work; the literal chain of events that occur. Example: In The Pearl, Kino finds an expensive pearl, but is not willing to sell it for the low price that the local pearl buyer is willing to pay. Thus, he goes out and tries to get to where he can sell it for a higher price. After infuriating the buyer, his house is destroyed, and his canoe wrecked.

Near the end of the book, his son dies in his mother’s arms. Trying to break the cycle of poverty, Kino, in the end, finds himself in a position lower than where he was in the beginning of the novel. 17) Poetic Justice is the concept that all stories must end with the rewarding of good and the punishment of evil. Although some or even the majority of popular literary works do not follow this principle, it is based on the stories of the Old Testament and is often used in love stories and feel good type of stories. Example: In the classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes is sent to prison on the day of his wedding, an arrest provoked by his enemies. In the notorious Chateau d’If, Edmond is supposed to spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement.

His only companion in the prison is the priest Faria, who shares with Edmond a secret plan of escape and a map to the hidden riches on the island of Monte Cristo. When Faria dies, Edmond escapes and becomes the second richest man in Europe after fourteen years of unjust imprisonment. He returns to Parisian society as the refined nobleman-the Count of Monte Cristo. Over several years, Edmond gains revenge over enemies (Danglars, Mondego, Villefort, and Caderhousse) who had long forgotten him, and greatly helps the son of M. Morrel, the owner of the ship Dantes had been a sailor on, who had tried his best to explain that Dantes was innocent.

All evil is punished, and the protagonist and the good are rewarded, thus making this an example of poetic justice. 18) Poetic License is the situation in which the rules of conventional writing are bent to establish a certain style for artistic purposes. It gives the author a sort of artistic reputation describing the way s/he writes. Example: In Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger forms a specific writing styles that have since not been match.

Salinger gets inside the mind on Holden Caufield, writing some sentences that are short and to the point-basically simple writing and including swear words in his sentences, not accepted by the authors of the time. However, with distinct and universal themes, and remarkable descriptions, Catcher in the Rye has proved to be one of the best books for adolescents of all times. Salinger established a poetic license by bending the rules of literature to his advantage and forcing the reader to remember (or compare) their adolescence while looking at Holden. 19) Point of View is the prospective from which a book was written. It gives a literary work a direction and shows the reader what she can expect as the work progresses. Example: In Willa Cather’s My Antonia, the main narrator, Jim Burden, arrived in Nebraska as a child and found the new landscape and its people different from those in his native Virginia.

Since Jim’s marriage is falling apart and he doesn’t like his life, his view of his childhood is a romantic one. 20) The protagonist is the good guy in a literary work-who is in a constant struggle with the antagonist. The protagonist gives a work a course-s/he is the main character whose path the reader follows throughout a literary work. Example: In Alexander Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes is the protagonist, an honest sailor, who is unjustly thrown into prison by spiteful enemies on his wedding day. He later gets out of prison and gets revenge on the antagonists-the enemies who threw him into prison. 21) Setting describes the Time and Place in which a literary work is said to have taken place in. It provides a backbone for the events which occur in the novel.

Example: Night begins in the town of Sighet in Transylvania (modern-day Romania), in the 1930s. As the book progresses it goes into the concentration camps in Poland in WWII and ends with the liberation of Buchenwald in 1945. 22) A simile is using the words like or as to compare two separate objects. A simile shows the reader a comparison and gives the reader a better sense of the object being described. Example: In the first book of Virgil’s Aeneid, Aeneas compares Tyrian workers in Carthage to bees.

Just as their work wearies bees in the sunlight/ of young summer on blossoming farms where the old ones/ lead out the hive’s young or pack syrupy honey/ in cells, filling the hives with nectar-like sweetness:/ they either take on loads from arrivals or form up/ ranks to keep the lazy group of drones from storage:/ the work teems amid fragrant, thyme-scented honey. Since two different things are being compared using the word as, the passage is a simile. 23) Subtlety is a quality of being hard to understand. Something that is subtle is hard to detect; it is not obvious. Example: In The Unvanquished, Drusilla is subtle when she speaks with anger, cynicism, and bitterness within for the loss of her husband-to-be.

Although she does not lose control in the novel, she subtly reproaches the war-blaming it for the loss of her pre-programmed life. 24) A symbol depicts an image that has more than a simple literal meaning to a literary work. It describes something that is important in the novel. Examples: Underground movements in Night and the pearl in The Pearl are symbols of the hope that there is a better life ahead for the characters in the books. Going forward against what is told for them to do, the characters in the novels expect to better their lives by not following orders and what is preset for them by the setting they are in.

25) Syntax is a demonstration of how the author of a literary work strings words together. Example: Somebody slipped into the seat beside him. In this line, Cormier uses ambiguity (somebody) and a verb often attributed to slyness (slipped) to make the effect of a line that uses syntax which makes it sound as if it were happening. 26) Theme is the general idea expressed by a literary work. The theme of the work is the unifying idea for that work. Examples: In The Human Comedy, The Unvanquished, and Night, the primary theme is that growing up takes place quickly in a time of war.

In The Human Comedy, Homer had to fend for himself after his brother, the man of the house, went off to war. The reader experiences Homer’s having to take care of his family and his transition from boyhood into manhood. In The Unvanquished, the reader sees Bayard’s growing up in the time of the Civil War. Lastly, in Night, the reader experiences a stunning reversal of roles-from a son growing up in a normal family, with a father mother and sibling, to where the son has to take care of his father in the concentration camps of WWII Europe. 27) Tone is the author’s attitude toward the reader. It makes the reader form an opinion of the author outside the bounds of the literary work she is reading. Example: In Lord of the Flies, the tone is gloomy, depressed, melancholy and most of the time-forcing the reader to see that as the author’s general state of being. 28) The vernacular used in a literary work is the characteristic of colloquial (everyday) speech that is used in the work.

The vernacular is established by using the setting of the literary work. Example: In The Unvanquished the vernacular is the speech used by most of the characters in the novel-stereotypical modern-day Southern speech for the whites, and stereotypical modern-day ebonics for the blacks. Bibliography n/a Philosophy Essays.


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