(Quiz 1) Point of view (direction from which story is told)

  • Narrator / speaker: the one responsible for the telling of the story; not to be confused with author
  • 1st person, “I”: story told by a speaker about the self
  • 3rd person, “She / He”: story told by a speaker about a third party individual
  • Reliability: level of credibility of the information being narrated
  • Omniscient Narrator: A narrator who claims (unrealistically) to know the thoughts and feelings of all characters in a story; more likely to be found in science fiction or stories of fantasy
  • Limited Omniscient: narration of story about third person character in which the narrator is privy to intimate knowledge about the character’s thoughts and feelings
  • Dramatic / Objective: narration of story without implying any intimate knowledge of thoughts or feelings about any character
  • Apostrophe: a direct address to something or someone not present
  • Soliloquy: when a speaker speaks as if he or she is alone
  • Dramatic monologue: when a speaker speaks to an unresponsive audience, often unwittingly revealing much of the speaker’s personality (see Browning’s “My Last Duchess”)
  • In medias res: Latin for “in the middle of things”; when stories begin in the middle of scenes or events (Roman poet Horace advised aspiring epic poets to go straight to the heart of the story instead of beginning at the beginning)
  • Verisimilitude: the representation of true-to-life behaviors or events using natural language and familiar settings

(Quiz 2) Symbolism (presence of things, people, events, or actions which have representative value beyond the literal)

  • Traditional / universal: items whose symbolic value has been used or seen in previous literature (i.e. flags symbolizing patriotism or allegiance to a group)
  • Original / unique: items whose symbolic value either has never been seen before or has never been used in this way (i.e. a family heirloom)
  • Simile: comparisons between unlike things using “like” or “as” (i.e. “She ran as fast as lightning”)
  • Metaphor: comparisons between unlike things without using “like” or “as” (i.e. “My life is one long roller coaster ride”)
  • Conceit: when a simple metaphor extends throughout an entire work of literature (see Donne’s “The Flea”)
  • Metonymy: representing a thing by referring to something associated with it (i.e. “the crown of England”; “another meeting with the suits”)
  • Synecdoche: representing a thing by referring only to a part of it (i.e. “nice wheels”)
  • Analogy: drawing a comparison between things to make one of them clearer and more recognizable
  • Allusion: making reference to something from history as a means of establishing familiarity (i.e. literary, Biblical, religious, historical, biographical)
  • Allegory: a story which, in its entirety, has metaphoric value
  • Parable: a shorter story or tale which is allegorical and contains a moral or message (see Plato’s “Parable of the Cave”)
  • Fable: a short allegorical story utilizing animals as characters (see Aesop’s Fables)
  • Fairy tale: an allegorical story containing fantastic events and unrealistic settings (see Grimm’s Fairy Tales)
  • Archetype: a character which is modeled after an established literary form (see Understanding Literary Archetypes)

(Quiz 3) Style (method or manner in which writers distinguish themselves)

  • Colloquialism: slang; conversational speech (i.e. “what’s up?”)—(test your awareness of familiar colloquialisms)
  • Dialect: speech patterns which represent geographical or cultural regions
  • Rhythm: fluid quality of speech, particularly in poetry
  • Denotation: dictionary or universal meaning of a word
  • Connotation: usage or interpretation of a word in one particular instance
  • Ambiguity: when something appears to have more than one plausible meaning or interpretation
  • Vagueness: when not enough information is provided to establish meaning

(Quiz 3) Character (individual in a story who assists in moving along the plot)

  • Hero: once-used reference to character with wholly-positive qualities
  • Villain: once-used reference to character with wholly-negative qualities
  • Protagonist: main character with whom the reader associates; individual who experiences the greatest struggles or conflicts
  • Antagonist: main character (person, animal, climate, etc.) who creates the conflicts with the protagonist
  • Antihero: a protagonist who experiences conflict but who is not necessarily considered a positive individual (i.e. Holden Caulfield in Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye)
  • “static”: characters in a story who do not have the ability to change their beliefs or behaviors
  • “dynamic”: characters in a story who, because of experiences and events, have the ability to change their beliefs or behaviors, though they do not have to
  • Stereotype / stock: recognizable, familiar time-tested characters used as place-holders

(Quiz 4) Plot Elements (what happens in a story)

  • Exposition: first stage of traditional plot structure; introduces main characters; provides background information; sets scene; establishes potential for conflict
  • Rising action / Complication: second stage of plot; characters engage in conflicts; antagonism is heightened
  • Climax / crisis: third stage of plot; moment of greatest emotional intensity; turning point
  • Falling action: fourth stage of plot; immediate consequences of crisis
  • Resolution / Conclusion / Denouement: fifth stage of plot; unraveling of tensions; most questions answered; characters left to deal with consequences of conflicts
  • Conflict: struggle between or among characters or entities; how characters deal with conflict helps reader interpret or reconcile characters
  • Flashback: representation of past event as if it is happening in real time
  • Foreshadowing: references to things such as symbols that will have significance later in the plot

(Quiz 5) Forms of Irony (contrast between what happens and what was expected or intended)

  • Verbal: contrast between what a speaker says and what he intended to say (i.e. sarcasm); contrast between what a speaker says and what the listener expected him to say
  • Situational: contrast between what an individual does and what he intended to do; contrast between what an individual does and what a witness expected him to do
  • Dramatic: contrast between what a character believes and what the audience or readers know to be true
  • Cosmic: contrast between what a character hopes or wishes for and what uncontrollable fate causes or allows to happen

(Quiz 6) Introduction to the Elements of Poetry

  • Rhyme scheme: the pattern of end-rhymes in a poem
  • Line: words of a poem that stretch to the right margin of the paper
  • Stanza: a “paragraph” in poetry, identified by skipped lines
  • Meter: the pattern of beats within a line of poetry
  • Scansion: the analysis of a poem’s meter
  • Foot: grouping of syllables or beats which together make a line of poetry
  • Refrain: words or lines that are repeated in poetry
  • Motif: sense of mood or atmosphere used to set a scene (i.e. Mexican music and wall hangings in a restaurant)
  • End-stopped: when the ends of poetic lines signify the ends of complete thoughts
  • Enjambment: when complete thoughts run from one line of poetry into the next

(Quiz 7) Metrical Structures of Poetry

  • Anapest: poetic foot comprising three syllables with the meter syllable (        ), two unstressed syllables or beats followed by one stressed beat
  • Dactyl: poetic foot comprising three syllables with the meter ( ‘      ), one stressed beat followed by two unstressed beats
  • Iambic: poetic foot comprising two syllables with the meter (      ), one unstressed beat followed by one stressed beat
  • Trochee: poetic foot comprising two syllables with the meter (      ), one stressed beat followed by one unstressed beat
  • Spondee: poetic foot comprising two syllables with the meter (      ), two stressed beats
  • Iambic pentameter: popular meter used by Shakespeare; line of poetry containing 10 total syllables, 5 iambs ( - ‘ ) of two syllables each

(Quiz 8) Poetic Forms

  • English sonnet: popular 14-line poetic form made famous by William Shakespeare with the following rhyme scheme (abab cdcd efef gg); contains 3 quatrains and a rhyming couplet (see Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116)
  • Italian sonnet: popular 14-line poetic form made famous by Petrarch with the following rhyme scheme (abba abba cdc dcd); contains an octave and a sestet (see Donne’s [Batter my heart, three person’d God])
  • Villanelle: poetic form utilizing repeated lines (refrains) at the ends of alternating stanzas (see Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”)
  • Haiku: short form poetry originating in Asia; containing three lines with the meter (575)—five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, five in the third (see the History of Haiku)
  • Tanka: short form poetry originating in Asia; containing five lines with the meter (57577)—five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, five, seven, seven (see the History of Tanka)
  • Cinquain: short form poetry originating in Asia; containing five lines with the meter (24682)—two syllables in the first line, four in the second, then six, eight, and two in the fifth line (see Samples of Cinquains)

(Quiz 9) Rhyme and Stanza in Poetry

(Quiz 10) Figurative Language in Poetry

  • Hyperbole: exaggeration to the point of the ridiculous
  • Oxymoron: using two terms together which have opposing or conflicting meanings
  • Personification: attributing lifelike qualities to something not human
  • Onomatopoeia: words which signify the sounds they represent (i.e. “bark”)
  • Alliteration: when a series of words begin with a similar sound
  • Pun: a play on words
  • Assonance: when a series of words contain similar vowel sounds imbedded in them
  • Consonance: when a series of words contain similar consonant sounds imbedded in them