Literary Element Project

By: VanAnh Vuong

15 Literary Terms

  1. Theme- A central message or insight into life revealed through the literary work; a lesson about life or people.

  2. Personification- Writing that gives animals, inanimate objects, or abstract ideas human characteristics.

  3. Foreshadowing- The use in a literary work of clues that suggest events that have yet to occur.

  4. Character Motivation- A reason that explains a character’s thoughts, feelings, actions, or behavior.

  5. Point of View- The perspective from which a story is told

  6. Repetition- A device in which words, sounds, and/or ideas are used more than once to enhance rhythm and to create emphasis

  7. Metaphor- A comparison of two unlike things in which one thing is said to be another thing

  8. Simile- A comparison of two different things or ideas through the use of the words LIKE or AS

  9. Imagery- The words or phrases a writer uses to represent persons, objects, actions, feelings, and ideas descriptively by appealing to the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch); an author may also use animal imagery, as well as light and/or dark imagery

  10. Suspense- The quality of a literary work that makes the reader uncertain or tense about the outcome of events

  11. Tone- The writer’s attitude or feeling toward a person, a thing, a place, an event, or a situation

  12. Mood- The feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage

  13. Flashback- A reference to an earlier event

  14. Hyperbole- A deliberate, extravagant, and often outrageous exaggeration; may be used for either serious or comic effect or for emphasis

  15. Climax- The most critical moment in the story; the point at which the main conflict is at its highest point

The Dinner Party

Protagonist- The hostess because she seems to be the "good person" who proves the colonial official wrong.

Antagonist- The colonial official because he is the "bad person" who is against the hostess or protagonist.

Theme- Don’t be quick to judge others

Climax- The climax in this story was when the snake jumps out for the bowl of milk and the Colonel screams in fright.”The twenty people sit like stone images while he counts. He is saying “. . . two hundred and eighty. . .” when, out of the corner of his eye, he sees the cobra emerge and make for the bowl of milk. Screams ring out as he jumps to slam the veranda doors safely shut.”

Suspense- The suspense in this passage begins when the colonial official realizes that there is a cobra in the room and is tempted to jump back and warn the others. “His first impulse is to jump back and warn the others, but he knows the commotion would frighten the cobra into striking. He speaks quickly, the tone of his voice so arresting that it sobers everyone.”

Mood- I felt a little sense of superiority after reading this story because the hostess had triumphed over the colonial

Point of view- 3rd person because you can see everyone in the room and what they are doing.

Simile- When the colonial tells them to sit still and “The twenty people sit like stone images while he counts.” shows how still they were using the word like.

The Sniper

Protagonist- The Sniper because we follow his perspective and we only see his side of the story.

Antagonist- His brother because he is the person who the sniper wants to kill.

Theme- There aren’t truly any winners in war. This is shown when the sniper reveals that the other sniper is his brother and when he shoots an old lady just because she was informing aah the opposing side about his location.

Climax- The climax is happens when he is about to kill the other sniper to the point where he does succeed in killing him. “The Republican sniper smiled and lifted his revolver above the edge of the parapet. The distance was about fifty yards--a hard shot in the dim light, and his right arm was paining him like a thousand devils.”

Suspense- In this passage the suspense beings when he gets shot and he is injured “The blood was oozing through the sleeve of his coat. There was no pain--just a deadened sensation, as if the arm had been cut off.”

Point of view- Omniscient 3rd person “he struck a match, inhaled the smoke hurriedly and put out the light.”

Personification- An example of personification in The Sniper is, “He became bitten by remorse...”

Simile- A simile found in the passage is, “..he was slowly falling forward as if in a dream...”

Foreshadowing- “He paused for a moment, considering whether he should risk a smoke. It was dangerous. The flash might be seen in the darkness, and there were enemies watching. He decided to take the risk....” Foreshadows the first shot and how the sniper is in a dangerous position.

The Tell Tale Heart

Protagonist- Crazy Man is the protagonist because he ratted himself out to the police and turning himself in.

Antagonist- Crazy Man is the antagonist because he killed an Old Man just because he didn't like the Old Man's eyes.

Mood- This story made me feel very frightened from the crazy man killing an old man just because of his eye and I felt very confused at first when the crazy man said he heard the old mans heart beat when he was dead.

Simile-"His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness..” is a simile showing how dark his room is.

Theme- A guilty conscience will always came haunt you. Shown after the crazy man kills the old man and he rats himself out because he broke under the pressure of his conscience.

Personification- “Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim...” is personification because it is giving death human characteristics.

Foreshadowing- In the second paragraph “I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever...” shows the crazy mans intentions of killing or getting “rid” of the old man.

Point of view- The perspective of this story is told in first person because the narrator is telling the story using I, me, and my.

Character motivation- The crazy mans motivation to kill the old man was that he didn’t like how his eyes looked with cataracts.

Hyperbole- “For a whole hour I did not move a muscle..” shows how long he stayed still.

Imagery- “dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones…” is one of the five senses touch showing he is frightened.

Metaphor- “He had the eye of a vulture...” is a metaphor because the old man didn’t actually have the eyes of a vulture.

Repetition- In this passage Poe uses a lot of repetition to make the story more suspenseful an example would be, “I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder!” louder!”

Climax- The climax in this passage was when the crazy man suffocated the old man until he couldn’t hear his heart beating anymore.


Protagonist- Richard because he is the main character that we follow

Antagonist- Society or those who held resentment against Richard and “his kind”

Theme- People can be cruel and cold to those who are powerless or have less power than themselves.

Point of view- 1st person

Flashback- “It was on a Thursday. I was sitting in the back of the room, in a seat with a chalk circle drawn around it. The idiot's seat, the troublemaker's seat.” Shows the first time he felt ashamed.

Metaphor- In this passage Richard says, “I was pregnant with poverty.” which is a metaphor because you can’t actually be pregnant with poverty.


Protagonist- The Mom because we follow her throughout the story.

Antagonist- Laurie because he was making up lies about “Charles” while he was actually is Charles.

Point of View- 1st person view from the mom because they use words like I and he.

Theme- The theme of Charles is that people aren't always the way you think them to be.

Mood- After reading Charles I felt a little surprised that Charles wasn't a real person and that Laurie was actually Charles.

Tone- For the story Charles Shirley Jackson made the situation where Laurie would lie about a kid named Charles a funny situation while being serious at the same time showed when Laurie would go home and do funny things that Charles would do while also hinting that Laurie was showing some bad behavior shown when "who forgot to stop at the corner and wave good-bye to me".