Literary elements: the basic six
That guy is a _______________________; he never gets tired.
3. personification- The giving of human qualities to non-human things.
The stars winked at us, one by one. (winking is a human quality given to the stars)
Our old car died in the dead of winter. (dying is a human quality given to the car)
4. flashback- when an author goes back in time to reveal important
has a direct impact on the current events in the story.
I. Fill in the blanks in order to create similes of your own.
hard as ______________________
funny as ______________________
fly like _______________________
sweet as ________________________
eat like ________________________
swim like ________________________
1. Think of an object: umbrella
2. To what will you compare it? a roof
3. Write your metaphor: The umbrella was a roof over my head.
Her 10th birthday party had been the best time of all. Wearing her brand new blue and white dress which she had been given by her grandmother, Stephanie ran through the yard with her friends, laughing and skipping until she could hardly stand up. There was too much fun to spoil it even a little by stopping. The birthday cake was huge, chocolate, and delicious—an instant energizer for even the most tired child. Her first double-digit birthday, with double-digit trick candles to mark the occasion. “I can’t --- whoosh--- blow---whoosh--- these out!” she had complained. Nevertheless, the ingenuity of her double-digit brain found a way to extinguish the flames.
“It sure is creepy, aint it?” remarked Huck.
“I’ll bet it is,” replied Tom, “but you want that money, now, don’t you?”
The house was of the old-fashioned kind, with a sunken roof, rotting floors, and a rickety old staircase which led to the second floor. It was a wonder it didn’t all fall down at any moment. Instantly, the wish to be an explorer seized Tom, and he wanted to go upstairs. Huck held back.
“I don’t want to, that’s all,” he said. “There’s old ghosts up there, sure.”
“Ghosts in the day time? Let’s go.”
Huck reluctantly agreed, and the two ascended, an eerie creak mocking their every step.
The upstairs was as broken-down as the bottom floor. There was a single window, and a closet which Tom ventured to see. Just as he was about the open the door, a voice was heard:“WHAT! YOU come ON! This is a big job, and I’ll need your help in it!!”
Injun Joe! The boys instantly recognized the wicked villain’s voice and were gripped by terror. They didn’t dare move a muscle. “So much for our money, Hucky,” whispered Tom. “They’ll get it for sure.”
Injun Joe’s iron footsteps were approaching the house as he continued to speak. “That’s what it says! Right here…. now, get diggin’!”
“In the fireplace?” replied his partner.
“YES! Look here….’X’ marks it! Fireplace!”
They had the map! Tom and Huck’s hearts sank, in spite of their fear. They continued listening. After what seemed like an eternity of grumbling and old bricks hitting the floor, there was a sudden “Thump!”
“Ha, HA! THERE!” shouted Injun Joe, and the two men heaved the chest up onto the floor. It throttled the old boards with a jingle. Injun Joe shattered the lock and opened the lid. “Well, now look at YOU!” Mounds of gold coins ran through his greasy fingers.
“Now, what do we do with it? Bury it with the rest?” asked his partner.
“Yes!” replied Injun Joe, much to the delight of the boys. “Wait… no! NO! Those picks have fresh earth on them! Who brought those tools here?! Have you heard anybody? Seen anybody?!”
“I ain’t heard nothin’ at all,” said his partner.
“Do you reckon they could be upstairs?”
“Well, if they are, they’re in a mighty tight spot, ain’t they?”
“Wait here; I’ll go see. Hand me that knife!”
The boys’ breath completely stopped. Injun Joe was on his way up, and there was nowhere to go! Tom was just about to spring for the closet, when….
“Arghh!” came an angry cry. The staircase had completely collapsed, taking Injun Joe down with it!
“Now, what’s the use of all that? There ain’t nobody up there, anyway!” yelled his partner.
1. allusion- a reference in a literary work to another literary work, character,
historical event, figure, or object; the reader is expected to understand the implied
“A new horseman of the apocalypse” alludes to the four horsemen who are said to represent the forces
which will cause the end of the world, according to the Bible.
2. HYPERBOLE- intentional overstatement or exaggeration
Ex. We’re swamped! Mr. Struchen assigned us 1,000 essays this week!
Ex. I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.
3. idiom- words or phrases used in different ways than their literal meanings;
(snail’s pace is an idiom, making a reference to how slow a snail moves—there isn’t actually a
snail in the line)
4. irony- a reversal of expectation on the part of the characters and/or readers
TYPES of IRONY:
Sarcasm – a form of verbal irony; noted by a more obvious or biting tone
Ex. “They had to walk so far! I’ll bet they’re tired!”
5. mood- the atmosphere created in a story by the author’s use of words and
MOOD: dark, mysterious
6. tone- the attitude the author takes toward the audience, subject, or character.
“don’t use that tone of voice with me.”
7. SYMBOLISM- an item that is one thing, in and of itself, but that also stands for
EX: eagle = freedom
chains = slavery/oppression
road = life or life’s journey
intersection of roads = a decision in life
dove = peace
WHY ARE LITERARY ELEMENTS IMPORTANT?
Like ingredients in a cake, literary elements blend together to create a story that is rich and layered in meaning.
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