All students should:
    • Know the following elements
    • Be able to recognize them when they appear in literature
    • Write about how an author’s use of literary elements affects the piece of literature and the reader’s understanding of the piece.
    • Strive to learn even more literary terms by clicking on the AP Terms page




    Novel – your basic book that gives a life lesson – To Kill A Mockingbird


    Drama (play) – The Tragedy of Hamlet, A Raisin in the Sun, The Crucible


    Poems  - titles go in quotation marks!


    Essays – usually nonfiction, can be narrative, personal, memoir -- titles in quotation marks!


    Short Stories – brief work of fiction – titles in quotation marks!



    Point of View/Narration – who is telling the story, whose eyes do we see something through, in poetry this is called the speaker


    Characters – the people in a story,  - Major or Minor


    Characterization – the description of a character:  “John Proctor is characterized as a man of great integrity, tortured by his own inner guilt.”


    Protagonist – the main character, action revolves around them, reader wants them to succeed


    Antagonist – opposes the protagonist and hinders their success


    Tragic Hero – main character who has a downfall, partly as a result of their own actions


    Tragic flaw – the trait that brought them down – Brutus – easily manipulated


    Setting – the time and place of a story


    Plot – order of events in a work of literature


    Climax – the turning point of a work of literature


    Theme- the life idea or lesson the reader learns in a work of literature


    Conflict – the struggle between opposing forces in work  Internal – man vs. self              

    External – man vs. man, society, nature


    Mood – the emotional quality of a literary work.  Created by author’s use of imagery, diction (word choice), events in story, etc…


    Irony – the contrast between expected and actual meaning or situation.  Ex:  It was ironic that the character only found meaning in his life by dying.


    Foreshadowing – clues or hints of upcoming events


    Suspense – feeling of anticipation the writer creates, makes reader want to keep reading


    Repetition – use of words or phrases over again to create an effect


    Imagery – descriptive writing that paints a picture in the reader’s head and calls to any one of the five senses


    Tone – the attitude of the speaker toward the subject, the feeling of a work


    Symbolism – using objects to represent something else


    Figurative Language -  Includes metaphor, simile, and personification, hyperbole.  Any expression with a meaning other than literal


    Metaphor – comparing something to something else without using like or as Ex:  Life without love is an empty field.


    Simile  - comparing something to something else using the words like or as Ex:  What happens to a dream deferred?  Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?


    Personification – giving human qualities to inhuman things

    The clock laughed, mocking me as I rushed to finish the assignment.


    Hyperbole – exaggeration for effect

    I am so hungry I could eat everything in the restaurant!


    Onomatopoeia – use of words that imitate sounds – buzz, snap, crackle


    Rhyme - lines end with same sound


    Stanzas – group of lines in a poem