Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lit Terms 6

Last lit terms list! That means we've mastered them ALL :D

All definitions are from the lit terms pdf (which I actually still have on my computer from the summer before English 3).

01) simile def: a figure of speech comparing two essentially unlike things through the use of a specific word of comparison
ex: I'm actually struggling to think of a Romeo & Juliet example for this one because Shakespeare prefers straight metaphors without "like" or "as"... ooh, thought of one! "O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught? [...] And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone, as with a club, dash out my desp'rate brains?"
02) soliloquy def: an extended speech, usually in a drama, delivered by a character alone on stage
ex: How about two for the price of one? The quote above for simile is from Juliet's soliloquy in Act 4, Scene 3, when she speaks of all her fears of what might happen when she drinks the Friar's potion.
03) spiritual def: a folk song, usually on a religious theme
ex: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" <-- (we sing this in choir!)
04) speaker def: a narrator, the one speaking
ex: in R&J, this would probably be the Chorus (which is actually one person, as I recently learned O.O)
05) stereotype def: cliché; a simplified, standardized conception with a special meaning and appeal for members of a group; a formula story
ex: the Nurse is the stereotypical "crazy old lady" (no really, when Romeo asks her about Juliet in the party scene, she's immediately like, "yeah, I breastfed her!")
06) stream of consciousness def: the style of writing that attempts to imitate the natural flow of a character's thoughts, feelings, reflections, memories, and mental images, as the character experiences them
ex: make that three for the price of one. As seen in my examples for simile and soliloquy, in this monologue Juliet is speaking of her fears exactly as they occur to her.
07) structure def: the planned framework of a literary selection; its apparent organization
ex: R&J is organized into 5 acts, which are further broken down into scenes (24 total)
08) style def: the manner of putting thoughts into words; a characteristic way of writing or speaking
ex: Shakespeare has a very distinctive style of writing — his style includes heavy use of iambic pentameter, archaic English, occasional rhyming, and a particular affinity for strings of oxymorons
09) subordination def: the couching of less important ideas in less important structures of language
ex: consider the two sentences, "I really want a cookie, but I'm on a diet." vs. "I'm on a diet, but I really want a cookie." The first sentence suggests the speaker will not eat the cookie (because she's on a diet), while the second sentence suggests the speaker will eat the cookie (ignoring her diet). This is because sentences of the form "Blah blah blah, but yada yada yada" emphasise "yada yada yada" over "blah blah blah." In other words, "blah blah blah" is SUBORDINATED. So that's how two sentences that are exactly the same except backwards can seem to mean two different things.
10) surrealism def: a style in literature and painting that stresses the subconscious or the irrational aspects of man's existence characterized by the juxtaposition of the bizarre and the banal
ex: Drawing Hands by M.C. Escher
11) suspension of disbelief def: suspend disbelief in order to enjoy something
ex: how about I give an anti-example: when you're playing a video game and someone tells you "press A button to jump!" and you're like "pththththth, that's so lame, if this was real life no one would tell me to press A button to do anything"
12) symbol def: something which stands for something else, yet has a meaning of its own
ex: like everything in Lord of the Flies
13) synesthesia def: the use of one sense to convey the experience of another sense
ex: a loud shirt
14) synecdoche def: another form of name changing (metonymy), in which a part stands for the whole
ex: "let's go get a burger" = "let's go get a burger and fries and a soda and maybe a milkshake too just 'cause"
15) syntax def: the arrangement and grammatical relations of words in a sentence
ex: in Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky", the poem's syntax allows the reader to figure out what words are nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc. even though it's almost entirely gibberish
16) theme def: main idea of the story; its message(s)
ex: the theme of R&J is don't have feuds because they kill people (although despite Mercutio's poetic "a plague o' both your houses!!" his death was his own damn fault)
17) thesis def: a proposition for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or disproved; the main idea
ex: the last sentence of your first paragraph if you're doing it APWH-style
18) tone def: the devices used to create the mood and atmosphere of a literary work; the author's perceived point of view
ex: the tone of R&J is pretty gloomy; the main characters actually predict their own deaths, several times actually
19) tongue in cheek def: a type of humor in which the speaker feigns seriousness; also called "dry" or "dead pan"
ex: Mercutio's all yelling at Benvolio about how he gets into fights too much, when really he could be describing himself
20) tragedy def: in literature: any composition with a somber theme carried to a disastrous conclusion; a fatal event; protagonist usually is heroic but tragically (fatally) flawed
ex: what if I didn't use Romeo & Juliet for this example, that would be funny actually
21) understatement def: opposite of hyperbole; saying less than you mean for emphasis
ex: when you say "wow, that's not weird at all" when the thing that just happened was REALLY WEIRD
22) vernacular def: everyday speech
ex: I don't know man, when all else fails just write whatever comes to your head, and if you're lucky it'll turn out all like meta and stuff
23) voice def: the textual features, such as diction and sentence structures, that convey a writer's or speaker's persona
ex: I personally think that this term, even more than all the others, is particularly relevant to the Internet (specifically email, chat, Facebook, etc.), where you can "talk" to people without being there in person. Even when language is stripped of all personal cues (facial expressions, intonation, etc.), you can still tell from the words what kind of person it was that wrote them.
24) zeitgeist def: the feeling of a particular era in history [German for "spirit of the time"]
ex: compare the confident and hopeful zeitgeist of the Age of Reason with the pessimistic zeitgeist of the Age of Uncertainty

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