Literature Grade 8 Holt McDougal Literary Concepts

Plot
The series of events in a story. Most have 5 stages: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Exposition
The first stage of a typical story plot. Provides important background information and introduces the setting and the important characters. May also introduce the conflict. If not, conflict will be introduced in the rising action.
Climax
The point of greatest interest in a story or play. Usually occurs near the end of a story, after the reader has understood the conflict and become emotionally involved with the characters. The conflict is resolved and the outcome of the plot usually becomes clear.
Theme
A message about life or human nature that the writer shares with the reader. In many cases, must be inferred by the reader. One way to figure it out is to apply the lessons learned by the main characters to people in real life.
Foreshadow
Occurs when a writer provides hints that suggest future events in a story. Creates suspense and makes readers eager to find out what will happen.
Conflict
A struggle between opposing forces. A main one, the main focus, is found in almost every story.
External Conflict
Involves a character who struggles against a force outside him- or herself, such as nature, a physical obstacle, or another character.
Internal Conflict
A struggle that occurs within a character.
Characterization
The way a writer creates and develops characters; does so by 4 different methods:
1. direct comments are made by the voice of the narrator.
2. description of the character’s physical appearance.
3. through the character’s own thoughts, speech, and actions.
4. through the thoughts, speech, and actions of other characters.
Point of View
Refers to the method of narration used in a short story, novel, narrative poem, or work of nonfiction.
1st Person Point of View
the narrator is a character in the story
3rd Person (limited)
the narrator tells what only one character thinks, feels, and observes.
3rd Person (omniscient)
an all-knowing point of view, where the narrator sees into the minds of all the characters.
Resolution
the final outcome of the story
Setting
The time and place of the action in a story, poem, or play. Sometimes is clear and well-defined, and at other times is left to the reader’s imagination.
Irony
A special kind of contrast between appearance and reality – usually one in which reality is the opposite of what it seems.
Situational irony
A contrast between what a reader or character expects, and what actually exists or happens.
Dramatic irony
the reader or viewer knows something that a character does not know.
Verbal irony
when someone knowingly exaggerates or says one thing and means another.