Short story literary terms study guide

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You should review your character chart and short story review chart.

You will need to know the stories and be able to define and apply all the below terms.

Helpful hints:

  • Complete this review.

  • Review The Necklace, The Sniper, The Most Dangerous Game, The Flowers, and Through the Tunnel.

  • Review all story vocabulary.

Write the correct literary term in each blank.

_________________ conflict is introduced

_________________ early part of the story that sets the tone, establishes setting and characters

introduces characters, and gives important background information

_________________ turning point; something happens that determines the outcome

_________________ after the climax, when the conflict begins to resolve

_________________ biggest part of the story; the conflict develops and there could be minor conflicts that are developed

_________________ the solution to the conflict


_________________ main character that the story centers around

_________________ opposes the protagonist

_________________ character that does not change in an important way during the story

_________________ when you have to figure out character traits based on ex. what others say about

that character, what he says, etc.

_________________ character that changes in an important way during the story

_________________ character who displays many different aspects of his personality

_________________ character who displays a single quality and is predictable and not developed

_________________ when the author tells you a character’s traits


_________________ where the story takes place

_________________ feeling or atmosphere that the writer creates. Examples: horrific, romantic, gloomy

_________________ when the story takes place

Point of View

_________________ narrator tells the story using pronoun "I"

_________________ narrator is outside the story and relates it by limiting the viewpoint

to one character's perspective

_________________ narrator is outside the story but is able to penetrate the thoughts

and describe the actions of any character as the need arises


_________________ conflict between two or more characters

_________________ character battling a force such as old age, snow, animals

_________________ character battling a computerized device

_________________ decision or problem within a character's mind

_________________ character battling culture, such as Holocaust, racism, social class

_________________ character battling God, gods, magical beings, or ghosts

_________________ character battling an outside force


_________________ something happens that is the opposite of what you might expect

_________________ a character says one thing but the opposite is true

_________________ the reader knows something that a character does not know

Other Terms

_________________ insight or meaning behind the story; the writer's "message"

_________________ hints or clues of what is to come later in the story

_________________ break in the story that takes us back in time; different from a


_________________ an object that is itself but also represents something more than

itself. Examples: green = envy, eagle = freedom

_________________ what makes the reader want to read your writing

_________________ the feeling the author creates using descriptive words and figurative language

_________________ the excitement you feel as you read the story

Short Answer. Write two to three sentences to answer each question below. Use the definition of the term in your answer!

  1. Describe the situational irony in “The Necklace.”

  1. What is the point of view of “The Most Dangerous Game”? Explain.

  1. Give one example of a dynamic character from any story. Explain why the character is dynamic using examples.

  1. Explain the theme of “The Necklace.”

  1. Give one example of foreshadowing in “The Most Dangerous Game” and “The Necklace.” Explain what these examples foreshadow.

  1. Choose one symbol from any story. Identify the symbol, and explain its meaning.

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