Allegory—An allegory is a literary work that has an underlying meaning beneath the literal meaning. Allegory relies heavily on symbolism to teach a lesson or illustrate an idea. Characters often represent abstract concepts such as truth

--schemes of omission-- a writer omits a word or phrase for emphasis. (zeugma, asyndeton


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3--schemes of omission-- a writer omits a word or phrase for emphasis. (zeugma, asyndeton,


4--schemes of repetition-- the use, more than once, of any element of language—a sound, word,

phrase, clause, or sentence. (anaphora)

5--scheme of sound-- a kind of repetition that is particularly effective n oratory is the repetition of

certain sounds within a paragraph or a sentence. Such use of sounds

reinforces meaning not only in orations, but in written prose as well.

However, sounds must serve a purpose. Meaningless repetition of sounds

would be monotonous, and to be effective, sounds must reinforce the

meaning in some way. (alliteration, assonance, consonance)

6--schemes of word order—the syntactical order of a sentence supports meaning. (anastrophe)
Science-fiction—combine the elements of fiction and fantasy with scientific fact. This type of writing is most

effective when the author create believable settings an characters, and balances new ideas

with familiar details. The story elements can be possible or impossible; settings are in the

Sensory Language—writing or speech that appeals to one or more of the five senses.

Setting—the time and place of the action. The setting includes all the details of a place and time—the year,

the time of day, even the weather. The place may be a specific country, state, region, community,

neighborhood, building, institution, or home. Details such as dialect, clothing, customs, and modes of

transportation are often used to establish the setting.

Shift—a change in tone, mood, setting, or characterization that affects the movement of the selection.

Short Story—a brief work of fiction that presents a sequence of events or plot. The plot deals with a central

conflict faced by a main character. A short story is concise and creates a single effect, or

dominant impression, on its reader. The events in a short story usually communicate a

message about life or human nature.

Simile---a comparison between two unlike things using the words like or as

  • The rugby ball was like a giant egg, which he held carefully while he ran.

Soliloquy—a long speech in a play or in a prose work made by a character who is alone. The character

reveals his or her private thoughts and feelings to the audience or the reader.

  • Shakespeare—Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello give soliloquies during the plays.

  • Milton—Satan’s Sun Soliloquy

Speaker—the imaginary voice assumed by the writer of a poem.
Sonnet—generally a fourteen-line lyric which uses any of several different rhyme schemes or structures

  • Shakespeare #18

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath too short a date:

Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Stage Direction—are notes included in drama to describe how the work is to be performed on stage. They are usually printed in italics and enclosed within parentheses or brackets.

Stanza—a group of poetic lines arranged into a pattern generally suggested by a rhyme scheme. Stanzas are

roughly the equivalent of paragraphs in prose.

Stream of consciousness---an author’s representation of the flow of inner thoughts, feelings, and memories

of a character, regardless of logical order and transitions. This approach is

based on the assumption that our half-conscious and even conscious thoughts

and feeling do not come to us in neat patterns or in carefully constructed plots.

  • William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury—Caddy uncaught me and we crawled through. Uncle Maury said to not let anybody see us, so we better stoop over, Caddy said. Stoop over, Benjy. Like this, see. We stooped over and crossed the garden, where the flowers rasped and rattled against us. The ground was hard. We climbed the fence, where the pigs were grunting and snuffing. I expect they're sorry because one of them got killed today, Caddy said. The ground was hard, churned and knotted. Keep your hands in your pockets, Caddy said. Or they'll get froze. You dont want your hands froze on Christmas, do you.

Stress—the emphasis placed upon syllables in poetry which are more dominant than others. The emphasis is

generally based on a common or accepted pronunciation of a word; however, the sense of a word,

its position in a line, or the rhetorical necessities involved in reading poetry aloud may alter the

accepted or dictionary stress patterns among the syllables. Stressing syllables to accommodate the

meaning or emotional content of a poem is probably more important than forcing stresses to fit

metrical patterns prevailing in a poem.

Structure—the basic organization or arrangement of events, details, words, or parts in a literary work.

Style—an author’s choice of words and their arrangements in various patterns of syntax, imagery, and rhythm

Surprise Ending—a conclusion that is unexpected. Sometimes a surprise ending follows a false resolution.

The reader thinks the conflict has been resolved but then is confronted with a new twist

that changes the outcome of the plot. Often a surprise ending is foreshadowed.

  • O. Henry “The Gift of the Magi”-- Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

    "Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

    Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

    "Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

Suspense—a feeling of anxious uncertainty about the outcome of events in a literary work.
Syllogism—a deductive system of formal logic that presents two premises, major or minor, that leads to a


  • All men are mortal; Greeks are men; so all Greek men are mortal.

Symbol—Symbol is any object, happening, person, or place which stands not only for itself but also for

something else.

  • The lamb is a symbol of innocence in William Blake’s “The Lamb.”

  • To Mr. Shimada and his faithful employees in Yoshiko Uchida’s “Of Dry Goods and Black Bow Ties,” the bow tie is a symbol of dignity, honesty, and respectability.

Synecdoche—related to classification and division; understanding one thing from another, thus a part is

substituted for the whole, or the species for the genus.

  • Thomas Campbell “Ye Mariners of England”—

With thunders from her native oak,

She quells the flood below.

Tall Tale—come out of oral tradition of the American frontier. They typically involve characters with highly

exaggerated abilities and qualities.

  • Mark Twain “The Celebrate Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”

Technique—any resources or any combinations of means used by an author to shape his material, such as

his choice and arrangement of words (style), his organization of his material (structure), or his

handling of characters (characterization).
Theme—The main idea of message a writer expresses in a work of literature. It is a writer’s perception about

life or humanity shared with a reader. Themes are seldom stated directly and may reveal

themselves only through careful reading and analysis.

  • A theme of Doris Lessing’s “A Mild Attck of the Locusts” is that life goes on.

Tone—Tone is the attitude a writer takes toward a subject. It might be humorous, serious, bitter, angry, or

detached among other possibilities.

  • The tone of Thomas Hardy’s “Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?” is one of bittersweet humor.

Tragedy—a work of literature, especially a play, that results in a catastrophe for the main character. In ancient

Greek drama, the main character was always a significant person—king, hero—and the cause of

the tragedy was a tragic flaw, or weakness, in his or her character.

  • In Macbeth, by Shakespeare, Macbeth’s tragic flaw is excessive ambition.

Tropes—involve the alterations in the usual meanings of words or phrases. (pun, metaphor, simile,

personification, irony, hyperbole, litotes, synecdoche, metonymy, oxymoron, paradox, onomatopoeia,

rhetorical question)

Understatement—the deliberate playing down of an emotion, thought, judgment, or situation. When emotion

is involved, an author will sometimes employ understatement to imply that the emotion is

too powerful or too vast to express. The lack of stress creates an ironic difference

between what the author actually says and what the circumstances would really allow him

to say.

  • In “Field Trip, Naomi Shihab Nye uses understatement when she says that the woman who cut off her finger was “distracted.”

Urban Legend—a contemporary story that is told in many versions around the world.
Wit—intellectually amusing language that surprises and delights the reader

  • Alexander Pope—

True wit is Nature to advantage dressed,

What oft was thought, but ne’er well expressed.

Zeugma—the writer uses one word to govern several successive words or clauses.

  • Miss Bolo went home in a flood of tears and a sedan.

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