Unit Vocabulary for
Local Color: a type of writing that shows the
speech, dress, customs, behaviors and
geography of a particular region
Dialect: an unusual variety of language
spoken which varies depending upon the
region of the country you’re from
Colloquialism: an expression used in informal
conversation, but not accepted as good
usage in formal language or writing
 Y’all, gonna, wanna
Irony: the opposite happens of what you expect
 Verbal: saying the opposite of what you mean for effect
▪ TV over homework
 Dramatic: when the audience knows something the
characters don’t know
▪ Horror movies
 Situational: the exact opposite of what is expected to
takes place (a twist at the end of the story; a surprise
▪ A fire station burns to the ground.
Pun: a play on words based on their double
 “I used to be a baker, but I didn’t make enough
Satire: a method of criticizing human failures
or society's weaknesses by poking fun at
them (the purpose is bring about change)
 Juvenalian: biting, bitter, angry
 Horatian: gentle and humorous
Malapropism: substituting one word for
another because they sound similar
 “California has a lot of electrical votes.”
Idiom: a phrase that you don’t take literally or
at its face value (regionally agreed upon)
 “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
Understatement: when something is
intentionally represented as less than it is
 Making something serious seem inconsequential
Hyperbole: to exaggerate for effect
Overstatement: to make a minor problem
seem critical
Melodrama: dramatic piece with
exaggerated characters and exciting events
to appeal to the emotions
Stereotype: popular belief about specific
social groups or types of individuals
Picaresque Novel
 Prose Fiction
 Satirical depiction of real-life occurrences through
a roguish hero of low social class who lives by wit
in a corrupt society.
 Novel that focuses on psychological and moral
growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood.
(Coming of Age)
▪ Character change is extremely important
 Main character, trying to accomplish a goal
 Protagonist’s opposition
 A character who contrasts with another character
to highlight various features of that other
character's personality, throwing these
characteristics into sharper focus.
▪ Physical, mental, emotional
 ≈ 1860 – 1890
 Depictions of contemporary life and society "as
they were.“
 Everyday experiences vs. romanticized events
 literature based on a journey, a road of trials in
which a hero hears a call and leaves his home—
alone or in the company of others—to search out
a treasure.
 Along the way he undergoes trials, receives aid,
fights enemies and may even die, and, if he
succeeds in attaining the treasure sought, may
change who and what he is.
Finish the rest of the vocabulary on your own.
Note: for characterization, make sure you can
differentiate between direct and indirect!