Short Story Literary Terms
Characterization (direct/ indirect)
The process of revealing the personality of a character.
Example - Langston Hughes characterizes Roger as timid because he's hungry and is afraid of what Mrs. Jones is going to do to him.
Example - In the movie Shrek, Shrek is the main character.
The person or thing that gets in the way of the main character
Example - In the movie Shrek, the antagonist is Lord Farquaad because he gets in the way of Shrek and the princess.
A simple character who does not display internal conflicts.
Example - Bruce from Nemo because we rarely see him and we don't understand why he does what he does. His motives are simple. When he gets hungry, he eats.
A complex character who displays internal conflicts.
Example - Woody from Toy Story because we know why he does what he does. He doesn't like Buzz because he feels he can be replaced by him or Andy will love him more. We see his weaknesses.
A character who stays the same throughout a story.
Example - Primrose Everdeen is a static character because throughout the story she didn't go through any dramatic character changes.
a character who changes throughout a story
Example - Shrek because throughout the story he becomes "softer" and more emotional.
a struggle that takes place within a character’s mind
Example- In the Hunger Games, Katniss has to decide whether to go in the games or not. It was an internal conflict.
a struggle that takes place outside of a character
Example - In the Wizard of Oz they all have external conflicts that need fixing so they travel. They are conflicts we can see.
Example - In the Wolf of Wall Street, everyone has filthy diction.
the dictionary definition of a word (non- debatable)
Example - When you hear the word "swag", you think cool and hip. But you can't deny that its denotation is actually an ornamental festoon of flowers
all of the emotional associations and societal assumptions connected with a word
Example - When I hear the word "dog," I think of ugly. That is just my connotation of the word.
First Person POV
the vantage point from which a story is told by one character – uses “I”
Example - The Fault in Our Stars is in Hazels POV. This is first person.
Third Person Limited POV
a story is told by a narrator who reveals thoughts of one character
Example - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry. We can read what he is feeling and know his thoughts before hearing his narrative.
Third Person Omniscient POV
he vantage point from which a story is told by an all-knowing narrator
Example - The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
when you expect one thing to happen and the opposite happens
Example - A vegan that eats a piece of pizza because they are so hungry.
when you say one thing but mean the opposite