Foreshadowing: When hints or clues are given about events that will happen later in the story. Example: A character breaks a mirror, a black cat crosses his path and then later on in the story something bad happens to him/her. Flashback: A useful device that provides information about an earlier event; the writer shifts from the present to the past to illustrate an important point. The story is told in the past tense and relived through a character’s memory. Irony: A contrast between what is said and what is meant or between expectations and reality. Example: “I was never nicer to the old man as I was the week before I killed him.” Verbal Irony: Occurs when a character says one thing literally, but really means something else. There is an implied meaning opposite to what is said. Example: When you don’t complete your homework, and I say with sarcasm, “I can see that you are really working hard in this course!” Situational Irony: The actual outcome is different from what is expected. Example: Olympic swimmer drowns in bathtub. Firemen dies in house fire. Policeman robs a bank. Dramatic Irony: When we the reader or audience member is aware of something that is about to occur, but the character in the text is not. Example: In the Shakespearean play Othello, the audience knows Iago’s evil plan, but the other characters do not. Tone: The attitude the author has towards the subject. This is most often created through the author’s choice of words. Example: Dark Light Depressing Symbol: An object, image, character, or action that stands for an idea beyond its literal meaning. Example: Rose = Love Cross = Sacrifice Lamb = Gentleness Allusion: When casual reference is made to a famous historical or literary figure or event. Example: Christ Greek gods (Zeus) “Oh how I long for my own Rapunzel!” Protagonist: The main character in a story. Example: Little Red Riding Hood Antagonist: The character who opposes the protagonist. This character works as a contrast to the protagonist. Example: The Wolf Metaphor: Comparing two things WITHOUT using “like” or “as”. Example: I am a bear in the morning. My students are angels. Simile: Comparing two things USING “like” or “as”. Example: “Our love is like a warm fire.” “She her smile was as bright as the sun.” Hyperbole: An exaggeration or overstatement. Example: “I called you a thousand times last night.” “I am starving!” Alliteration: The repetition of the initial letter or sounds in two or more words in a line or group of lines. Or repetition of consonant sounds within the words. Example: “He is a witty, whiny, worthless young man.” “Betty Boop bought some butter” Oxymoron: Two contrasting words/ideas put together. Example: Jumbo Shrimp Cold Heat Hard Love Bitter Sweet Onomatopoeia: Words that sound the way they are spelled. Example: Bang Boom Buzzzzz Anecdote: A brief story that retells a memorable personal event. Example: “I remember when...” “When I was your age...” Diction: The author’s choice of words, which can create the tone or atmosphere. Example: Sharp words Kind words Analogy: A comparison between two things that are different but have one thing in common. Example: An extended simile – He was like Christ in that he sacrificed everything he had for his friends. Imagery: When images are created by a writer using concrete details, adjectives, and figures of speech. Example: Blossoming flower, reaching towards the sun. Archetype: A basic patter or concept common to people of different times and cultures. A pattern, character, or situation frequently found in literature. Example: Mother Hero Christ figure Pathetic Fallacy: When nature mimics what is happening in the story. Example: Rain when a character is sad or depressed. A hail storm when a character is experiencing a crisis. Pathos: When the author writes in such a way as to arouse feelings of pity or sympathy in the reader. Example: He was tortured, beaten, utterly alone. Hubris: Pride or supreme confidence. Catharsis: Purification of emotions through a reader’s/ spectator’s involvement in a novel/play. Example: After a long scene of intense drama, the lovers finally embrace. Rain after a confession. Sun after a dark period. Personification: When something non-human is given human qualities. Example: Death is knocking at my door. The sun extended its hand to keep me warm that day. Paradox: A phrase that seems to be contradictory, but actually does hold some truth. Example: To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting. Juxtaposition: Putting opposites beside each other in order to show the differences. Example: Comparing a pure character with an evil one, to emphasize how good the pure character is. Understatement: Saying less than what is true for effect. Example: My parents were disappointed when I smashed their new car! Genres: The types or categories into which literary works are grouped. Examples: Science fiction, horror, romance, comedy, novella, poem, short story, novel, etc. Do you have any questions or concerns? Complete the literary devices activity sheet! Soon you will be an expert on literary devices! Graffiti Activity: Located around the room are literary devices on chart paper. For each literary device, write your own example. Every student will need their own marker.