Literary Terms and Definitions for The Old Man and the Sea

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Literary Terms and Definitions for The Old Man and the Sea
Aristotelian Tragedy - The disaster which comes to those who represent and who
symbolize those flaws and shortcomings which are universal in lesser form. The
greater the person, the more acute their tragedy. The bigger they are the harder
they fall.
Allegory - A story in verse or prose with a double meaning: a primary or surface meaning
and a secondary or under-the-surface meaning.
Allusion - Usually an implicit reference, perhaps to another work of literature or art, to a
person or event. It is often a kind of appeal to the reader to share some
experience with the writer.
Conflict - The tension in a situation between characters, or the actual opposition of
characters.
Dynamic Character – A character who changes throughout the course of the story.
Mood - A feeling, emotional state, or disposition of mind--especially the predominating
atmosphere or tone of a literary work. Most pieces of literature have a
prevailing mood, but shifts in this prevailing mood may function as a
counterpoint, provide comic relief, or echo the changing events in the plot;
often used synonymously with atmosphere and ambiance.
Motif – Any recurring element that has symbolic significance. It could be a thing, place
or statement.
Novella - A fictional narrative of indeterminate length; it is often used to distinguish a
Long short-story from a short-story and a short novel from a full-dress novel.
Omniscient Viewpoint - The author moves from character to character, place to place,
and episode to episode with complete freedom, giving himself access to
his character’s thoughts and feelings whenever he chooses and providing
information whenever he wishes.
Parable - A short and simple story related to fable and allegory, which points a moral.
Tone - The reflection of a writer’s attitude, manner, mood and moral outlook in his work;
even perhaps the way he personally pervades the work.
Tragic Hero - a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that,
combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy
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