IDEA Literary Terms: Novel

By: Haley Sloop

Flashback

a scene set in a time earlier than the main story

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Example: There is an example of a flashback in the beginning of the movie "Up".

Foreshadowing

a hint about what is going to happen later in a story

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Example: An example of foreshadowing is when Violet eats the gum that Willy Wonka instructs her not to.

Euphemism

a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant

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Example: To say someone is "with child" is a euphemism for saying that they are pregnant.

Style

the particular way in which a writer uses language; created through diction (word choice) or figurative language

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Example: An example of style is how a writer relays facts in informative literature.

Structure

the way in which the author organizes a piece of literature

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Example: The author may begin with a question as an opening statement

Inference

a conclusion reached that is based on evidence and reason
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Example: making inferences in literature requires background knowledge and the ability to read between the lines

Imagery

visually descriptive or figurative language; the senses are used to create an image in a reader’s mind

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Example: Imagery in literature is often found in nature. Diction can help a reader visualize a peaceful and idyllic scene.

Simile

comparing two things using “like” or “as”

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Example: The simile "as strong as an ox" uses the word "as" to compare, although it is not literal.

Metaphor

comparing two things without using “like” or “as”

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Example: The common saying "apple of my eye" is a metaphor because it compares without using "like" or "as".

Personification

giving human characteristics to inanimate objects

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Example: The entirety of the movie "Cars" is an example of personification because cars can neither talk or think for themselves.

Allusion

a reference to a statement, person, place, or an event from literature, history, religion, mythology, politics, sports, science, or pop culture