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					  Literary Dictionary                                                                Page 1
Literature is constructed using a variety of conventions and devices. As a reader, recognizing these
conventions and devices, will enhance the full appreciation and impact of the author’s work. This is not a
comprehensive list, but knowledge of these conventions and devices will form a basis for literary analysis
as a skill.


                                        Elements of Literature
Term                 Definition
Plot                 The sequence of events or actions in a short story, novel, play or narrative poem.
Conflict             The problem the main character must resolve. All stories must have a conflict. A
                     struggle between two opposing forces. Most literature will have multiple conflicts in
                     a story.
Setting              The background against which action takes place.
                          The geographical location.
                          The occupations and daily manner of life for the characters.
                          The time or period in which the action takes place.
                     The general environment of the characters, i.e. social, moral, emotional.
Character            The people, animals, or fantastic creatures that perform the action in a story. See
                     Characterization section for detailed information.
Theme                A central message or insight into life revealed through the literary work. A lesson
                     about life or people. A universal truth.
Point of View        The perspective from which a story is told. (1st, 2nd or 3rd person)
Mood                 The feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage. The mood maybe
                     constant or shift.
Tone                 The author’s attitude or feeling toward a person, event, a thing, a place, or a
                     situation.
Style                The writer's characteristic manner of employing language. It can be related to the
                     time in which the writer wrote.

                        Plot Elements (In usual order of occurrence)
Term                     Definition
Exposition                The author lays the groundwork for the story by revealing the
                           Setting
                           Relationships between characters
                          Situation as it exists before the conflict begins
Inciting Incident         Interrupts the peace and balance of the situation and one or more of the
                          characters comes into conflict with an outside force, himself, or another
                          character.
Rising Action             The action and events that take place in the story and build up to the critical
                          moment when the main conflict is confronted.
Climax                    The most critical moment in the story; the point at which the main conflict is at
                          it’s highest point
Falling Action            Events that occur after the climax and lead up to the closure and conclusion of
                          the story. The Road back in the Hero’s Journey.
Denouement                The problem set up in the inciting incident is unraveled; there is a revelation of
(Day Nu Ma)               meaning. Also known as the resolution.
Resolution




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  Literary Dictionary                                                                   Page 2
                                            Types of Conflict
Term                        Definition
Character vs. Self          When a character must make a decision about a problem or struggle he is
(Internal)                  having within himself.
Character vs.               When a character has a problem with another character.
Character
(External)
Character vs. Fate          When a character has a problem with something he can’t do anything about,
(External)                  such as God, luck, death, etc.
Character vs.               When a character has a problem with a force of nature such as cold, storms,
Nature (External)           earthquakes, etc
Character vs.               When a character has a problem with a tradition or rule of society.
Society (External)
Nature vs.                  Nature is the good force battling technology and society (organizations) are
Mechanistic World           bad.
(External)
Society vs. Society         When the protagonist is a group, which has a problem with a tradition or
(External)                  rule of an opposing society.


                               Characters and Characterization
Term                        Definition
Characterization            The methods used by an author to create a character, including
                             The character’s physical appearance
                             The character’s own speech, thoughts, actions, and/or feelings.
                             OTHER character’s speech, thoughts, actions, and/or feelings about the
                                character.
                            Direct comments by the author about the character.
Antagonist *                The character opposing the protagonist; can be a person, idea, or force.
Character Trait             A distinguishing quality that is specific to a character. Bob is lazy.
Direct                      When the author describes a trait of a character clearly.
Characterization
Dynamic or Round            A character that undergoes a change in actions or beliefs during the course of
Character                   a story. The character is also capable of inconsistencies.
Flat or two-                A character that stays the same through the entire story
dimensional
Character
Foil                        A character that lightens the mood of the story through comedy.
Indirect                    When the author describes and event and expects the reader to INFER a
Characterization            character trait.
Motivation                  A reason that explains a character’s thoughts, feelings, actions, or behaviors.
                            Why!
Protagonist                 The central character, and focus of interest that is trying to accomplish or
                            overcome ad adversity, and has the ability to adapt to new circumstances.
Static or Flat              A character that does not grow or change throughout the story, that ends as
                            he/she began.
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  Literary Dictionary                                                                   Page 3
                               Characters and Characterization
Term                        Definition
Character
Stereotypical or            Characters that are true to a general pattern of behavior by a group.
Stock Character

                               How Characters are revealed:
                                                         Examples
What they say                       Speech               “I lie to myself all the time”. Conflicted
What they do                        Actions –            “I felt my ears get hot.” Embarrassed
                                    Behavior
What they look like                 Appearance           “just like we wear our hair long and dress in blue
                                                         jeans and T-shirts” Rough
Where they go / live                Setting &            “It’s like the term ‘greaser’, which is used to class all
                                    Environment          of us boys on the East Side.”
What others say about               Others               “You’ve seen too much to be innocent. Just . . . not
                                    Evaluation           dirty.” Experienced
the character
What they think and                 Feelings and         “That didn’t make me feel so hot.” Embarrassed
                                    Emotions
feel

                                           Character Archetypes
Term                        Definition
Allies                      Provide assistance and direction for the initiate.
                            Appear throughout the journey.
Creature of                 Some sort of monster-like creature that threatens the life of the Hero.
Nightmare
Damsel in Distress          Vulnerable figure that must be rescued by the Hero.
                            Often used as a way to trap the Hero.
Earth Mother                Symbolizes abundance and fertility. She offers spiritual and emotional
                            nourishment. Hera from Greek Mythology.
Enemies                     Seek to hinder the Hero on his journey and/or do harm to the Hero and their
                            Allies.
Evil Adversary /            Represents the forces of evil and is almost as strong as the Hero.
Shadow / Devil              Offers worldly goods, fame or knowledge to the hero in an effort to bring him/her
                            over to the evil side.
Figure                      Must be destroyed or neutralized.
also antagonist
Evil Figure with the        An evil figure saved by the nobility or the love of the hero. Such as Scrooge or the
Ultimately Good             Grinch.
Heart
Faithful                    Loyal companions who are willing to risk or face any number of perils in order to
Companions                  be together.
Friendly Beast              An animal, which befriends man.
Herald                      Issues the call that begins the hero’s journey.
                            Can be a person or a piece of information.
                            Upsets the balance of the Hero’s world


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  Literary Dictionary                                                                  Page 4
                                           Character Archetypes
Term                        Definition
Hero                        Man or Woman of great courage and strength, not always physical.
                            Known for honorable purposes.
                            Characterized by self-sacrifice, and is willing to endure hardship, even risk their life
                            for the good of all.
Initiate                    Young Hero or Heroine who must face challenges and temptations in an effort to
                            reach their goal.
Loyal Retainer              Somewhat like a servant who is heroic.
                            Duty is to protect the hero and reflect his nobility.
Mentor                      Counselor, teacher and role model for the Hero.
                            Provides assistance, guidance, and a gift (weapon, food, magic, information, etc.)
Messenger                   This character provides information to the initiate. Also consider the bringer of
                            news or knowledge.
Nurturer                    Represents the character that seeks to help others. They strive to create harmony
                            and are vulnerable to over committing to help and becoming resentful.
Old Crone/ Potion           Represents frightening knowledge and the wisdom of experience and age.
Maker/ Wise
Woman
Outcast                     A figure that is banished from a group for some crime.
                            Usually destined to become a wanderer from place to place.
Platonic Ideal              A woman who inspires the Hero. She is intellectually attractive.
Princess in the             Represents the unattainable woman.
Tower
Professor                   This character is obsessed with knowledge, learning how and why things work,
                            and will neglect personal relationships and a social life for the comfort of books.
Scapegoat                   The character whose death in a public ceremony pays for a taint or sin within the
                            community. Their death makes them a more powerful force in society.
Star-crossed                Two characters involved in a love affair, that will end tragically for one or both due
Lovers                      to disapproval from family, society, or friends.
Temptress                   A beautiful woman that will cause the Hero’s downfall.
Threshold                   People, beings or situations that block the hero’s passage into the journey.
Guardians                   Have 2 functions.
                            Protect the hero from taking the journey before they are ready.
                            Once the Hero is ready, they point the way.
Unfaithful Wife             A woman married to a man who is dull, distant, or unattractive. She is attracted
                            to more interesting men. (Aphrodite from Greek Mythology.)
Warrior                     Noble, honorable, courageous, self-reliant.
                            A protector, quick to aid those in distress.
                            Stands against unfair authority; fights to ennoble others.
                            Must at some time confront their own inner dragons (problems).
Witch                       Represents the scary or angry aspect of women.


                                             Figures of Speech
Term                      Definition
Figures of                Words or phrases that describe one thing in terms of something else; always
Speech                    involve some sort of imaginary comparison between seemingly unlike things; not
                          meant to be taken literally.

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  Literary Dictionary                                                                   Page 5
                                             Figures of Speech
Term                      Definition
Colloquialism             A local or regional dialectical expression. It is not known widely like an idiom.
Euphemism                 The substitution of a more acceptable or pleasant term in place of a less
                          acceptable term. Ex. ‘h’ ‘e’ ‘double hockey sticks’
Hyperbole                 A deliberate, extravagant and often outrageous exaggeration; may be used for
                          either serious or comic effect.
Idiom                     An accepted phrase or expression having a special meaning that cannot be
                          understood from the individual meaning of the words in the expression.
Metaphor                  A comparison of two unlike things not using the words LIKE or AS. Such as: Soccer
                          is life.
Metonymy                  A substitute word used to refer to something. Such as “the throne” representing
                          the king.
Oxymoron                  A form of paradox that combines a pair of opposite terms into a single unusual
                          expression.
Paradox                   When elements of a statement contradict each other; may appear illogical,
                          impossible, or absurd, but turns out to reveal a hidden truth.
Personification           Writing that gives animals, inanimate objects, or abstract ideas human
                          characteristics
Pun                       A play on words that are identical or similar in sound, but have sharply different
                          meanings. Puns can have serious as well as humorous uses.
Sarcasm                   The use of language, sometimes ironic to cause pain or hurt to another person.
Simile                    A comparison of two different things or ideas through the use of the words LIKE or
                          AS. Such as: Life is like a box of chocolates.
Synecdoche                The term for part of something is used to represent the whole item. Such as:
                          “daily bread” referring to a man’s need for food.
Tropes                    A figure of thought. Trope is a Greek word for “a turn”. Figures of thought
                          include METAPHORS, SIMILES, PARADOX, OXYMORON, PERSONIFICATION, METONYMY, AND
                          SYNECDOCHE.


                                   Literary Devices and Terms
Term                        Definition
Literary Device             Any literary technique used to achieve a specific effect.
Alliteration                The repetition of the initial letter within a sentence or phrase in poetry or
                            narrative
Allusion                    A reference to a literary, mythological, or historical person, place, or thing.
Anecdote                    A short narrative of an interesting, amusing or biographical event.
Aside                       A character addresses the reader or the audience.
Assonance                   Repetition of vowel without repetition of consonants used as an alternative to
                            rhyme in verse. Ex: purple curtain
Connotative                 The emotions or associations a word normally arouses in people using, hearing,
Meaning                     or reading the word.
                            A word may have a POSITIVE connotation, a NEGATIVE connotation, or a
                            NEUTRAL connotation.
Consonance                  Repetition of consonants especially at the end of stressed syllables without
                            similar vowels. (Such as the final sound of ‘east’ and ‘west.’)
Denotation                  The specific dictionary definition of a word.
Detail                      The facts revealed by the author or speaker that support the attitude or tone in
                            the work.

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  Literary Dictionary                                                                 Page 6
                                   Literary Devices and Terms
Term                        Definition
Dialect                     A form of language spoken by a group of people in a particular region or group.
Aka-Accent
Dialogue                    A conversation between characters. In poems, novels, and short stories the
                            exact words spoken are set off with quotation marks. In plays the dialogue
                            follows the name of the character speaking.
Diction or Word             An author often chooses a word because it suggests a connotative meaning that
Choice                      comes from its use in various social contexts.
Donnee                      A set of assumptions in a fiction work or drama.
Double entendre             A word or expression with two possible meanings, and one is risqué. It comes
                            from the French word entendre meaning understanding.
Drama                       A story written to be performed. It is written with dialog and stage direction.
Editorial                   The opinion supported by a publication such as a newspaper or a magazine.
Emphasis                    When important aspects of a story are given important positions and in-depth
                            development. Use of 1) repetition, 2) parallelism, 3) extensive detail, and 4)
                            mechanical devices.
Epiphany                    An event in which the essential nature of something – a person, a situation, an
                            object is suddenly understood in a new way; a sudden realization; an “ah ha!”
                            moment.
Essay                       A short written composition expressing an opinion, or trying to convince the
                            reader to hold the same opinion as the author.
Expository Text             Books that write about real people (biographies), subjects (science, history), and
                            includes textbooks.
Extensive Detail            More detail than normal.
Fairy Tale                  Magical tales that contain supernatural beings.
Fables                      Animal stories that teach a lesson, moral, of virtue.
Fiction                     The major class of writing that contains made-up parts. It can be prose or
                            poetry.
First person                The narrator of the story is a character in the story and refers to themselves as
                            ‘I’.
Flashback                   The use in a literary work that refers to an event prior to the beginning of the
                            story.
Folklore                    A story that has been composed orally and is passed down from one generation
                            to the next. Most folklore is highly entertaining, and includes fables, fairy tales,
                            legends, myths, and tall tales.
Folk Tales                  Stories about ordinary people, that reveal the culture’s values and traditions.
Foreshadowing               The use in a literary work of clues that suggest events that has yet to occur.
Genre                       A division of literature into groups. The 3 major groups of literature are poetry,
                            prose, and drama.
Historical Fiction          A fictional story that elements from history. The setting, events, and conditions
                            actually occurred.
Imagery                     The words or phrases a writer uses to represent persons, objects, actions,
                            feelings, and ideas descriptively by appealing to the five senses (Sight, sound,
                            smell, taste, and touch). An author may also use animal imagery, as well as
                            light and/or dark imagery.
Imaginative                 A fictional narrative that provides the reader insight into real world situations.
Rehearsal
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  Literary Dictionary                                                                 Page 7
                                   Literary Devices and Terms
Term                        Definition
Irony                       A contrast between appearance and reality – usually one in which reality is the
                            opposite from what it seems; when one thing is expected to happen or be, and
                            the exact opposite occurs.
Juxtaposition               Placing two different ideas in parallel. A hot and cold or dark versus light
                            contrast.
Legend                      Stories that are believed to be based on real-life events or people. The heroes
                            are large-than life people, and the stories are widely told within a culture and
                            highlight character traits valued by the culture.
Life Lesson                 A lesson learned by a character that can be applied to another person’s life. It
                            can frequently be considered a universal truth. See Universal Truth Definition.
Magic Three                 See Tricolon definition.
Mechanical Device           Such as capitalization, italics, symbols, and / or different colors of ink. The way
                            the print appears.
Meter                       The rhythmic pattern of a poem. The pattern is determined by the stresses or
                            beat in each line.
Milieu                      The physical or social setting in which something occurs or develops.
                            Synonyms: Environment or background
Moral                       A lesson taught by a literary work. Most lessons are universal truths.
Motif                       A recurrent element in a literary work. A pattern or strand of imagery or
                            symbolism in a work of literature.
Myth                        A fictional tale, usually anonymous, that explains the actions of heroes, and
                            gods, or the origins of life, or elements of nature. These stories contain
                            suspense and action; and stress cultural ideals or values.
Narrator                    The person telling the story.
Non-Fiction                 The major division of writing that includes all items that are real, factual, and
                            true.
Non sequitur                A statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly
                            related to anything previously stated.
Onomatopoeia                The use of words that imitate sounds. Such as buzz.
Op-ed.                      Abbreviation for the page of a newspaer dedicated to editorials and opinions.
Parallelism                 The arrangement and repetition of words, phrases, or sentence structures.
                            Parallelism adds rhythm and emotional impact to writing.
Poetry                      Writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in
                            language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through
                            meaning, sound, and rhythm. Types of poetry include lyric, concrete, dramatic,
                            narrative, and epic.
Point of View               It is the perspective used to tell the story. 3 common points of view are
(POV)                       1) First person. The narrator is either the main character or a participant in
                            the story.
                            2) Third person limited. The narrator reports only what can be seen and
                            heard; no thoughts of characters are given except as spoken.
                            3) Third person omniscient. The all-knowing narrator (like God) gives
                            thoughts of and judgments about the characters as well as details of action and
                            dialogue.
                            4) Second Person. The narrator tells the story to another character using
                            "you," so that the story is being told through the addressee's point of view.
                            Second person is the least commonly used POV in fiction



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  Literary Dictionary                                                                 Page 8
                                   Literary Devices and Terms
Term                        Definition
Prose                       Literary medium appearing separate from poetry by more use of irregular
                            rhythm and a variety of organization more closely related to everyday speech.
                            Usually organized in to paragraphs. Prose includes both fiction (novels, and
                            short stories) and non-fiction (biography, autobiography, letters, essays, and
                            reports.
Repetition                  A device in which words, sounds, and or ideas are used more than once to
                            enhance rhythm and to create emphasis.
Rhyme                       The repetition of sounds at the ends of words. Poets use rhyme to create a
                            song like quality to their verses.
Rhythm                      The pattern of beats or stresses in spoken or written language.
Satire                      A literary work holding up human vices or folly to ridicule or scorn. Frequently
                            used in political writing.
Shift                       A place where the author makes a significant change in his composition. A
                            tonal shift is a change in the author’s tone.
                            A style shift is a change in the author’s style of writing.
Suspense                    The quality of a literary work that makes the reader uncertain or tense about the
                            outcome of events.
Symbol or                   The use of any object, person, place, or action that both has a meaning in itself
Symbolism                   and that stands for something larger than itself, such as a quality, attitude,
                            belief, or value
Tall Tales                  Primarily from the US, are a combination of fact, history, and myth.
                            Usually the tale is an exaggeration of an actual event. The
                            protagonist is given superhuman abilities or qualities to solve a real
                            problem. Gave early settlers symbols of strength and used humor
                            during difficult times.
Third Person-               The narrator relates the inner thoughts and feelings of only one character, and
Limited                     the story is viewed from this character’s vantage point.
Third person-               The narrator knows and tells how all of the characters think and feel.
omniscient
Tricolon                    A series of three words, three clauses, or three phrases are called the “Magic
                            Three.” It is used to emphasis that portion of text.
Universal Truth             A behavior, belief, or idea that is considered to be true in multiple cultures, and
                            time periods. Example: Lying to people or betraying friends are universally bad.

                                             Archetype Terms
Term                        Definition
Archetype                   A type of character, action, or situation that occurs over and over in literature;
                            a pattern or example that occurs in literature and life.
Allies                      Provide assistance and direction for the Initiate; appears throughout the
                            journey.
Battle Good/ Evil           Represents the battle between the two most important forces in life.
                            Goodness often encounters great odds in its battle with evil.




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  Literary Dictionary                                                                  Page 9
                                             Archetype Terms
Term                        Definition
Call to Adventure           Invites the Initiate into the adventure, offers the opportunity to face the
                            unknown and gain something of physical or spiritual value.
                                  Comes as a realization of an imbalance or injustice in their life.
                                  Something has been taken from the Initiate.
                                  The Initiate senses that there is something lacking in their life.
                                  The Initiate wants to save or restore honor.
                            The Initiate realizes that something is not permitted to members of their
                            society.
Castle *                          A strong place of safety
                                  May hold treasure, princess.
                            May be enchanted or bewitched.
Challenges and                    Situations that put the Initiate at risk, emotionally and physically, forcing
Temptations                        him to change and grow.
                                  Strike the Initiate’s greatest weakness, poorest skill, shakiest knowledge,
                                   and most vulnerable emotions.
                            Prepare the Hero for the greater Ordeal yet to come, and/or seek further
                            training from the Mentor.
Crossroads *                A place of decision, when a realization is made, and a change or penance
                            results.
Darkness *                  Symbolizes the unknown, ignorance, evil, despair
Dream                       Used by the hero to explore their unconscious mind. Possibly allowing the
                            discovery of thoughts and ideas that they cannot handle when awake or
                            conscious.
Epiphany                         A sudden, dramatic change in the way the initiate thinks or views life.
                                 An insight or discovery about himself or life.
                            An Initiate may have many revelations on his journey to heroism.
Force of Change             A person, situation, or event that acts upon characters to cause them to
                            change as the story moves to its conclusion. Forces can be positive or
                            negative.
Haven                       A place of safety.
                            The opposite of wilderness.
Ice/Snow *                  Symbolizes lack of feeling, death, sterility, and indifference.
Light *                     Symbolizes and / or suggests hope, goodness, knowledge, renewal.
Loss of Innocence           This is an experience where the initiate/hero loses his innocent perspective
                            through dishonesty, betrayal, or violence.
Magic Weapon *               Symbolizes the extraordinary powers of the Hero
                             Usually given by the mentor
                             Only the hero can use it to its fullest potential
Ordeal                           The greatest challenge of the Journey.
                                 The Initiate must overcome their greatest fears, and they must face
                                  them alone.
                            A moment of ‘death’ and rebirth; a part of the Initiate dies so that the new
                            part, the Hero, can be born.
Ordinary World              The safe haven upon which the Special World and the Journey’s outcome is
                            compared. The Journey begins in the Ordinary World, travels to the Special
                            World, and returns to the Ordinary World.
Refusal of the Call         Often when the call is given, the Hero temporarily refuses to heed it. There
                            may be many reasons for this, but the Journey cannot progress until the Hero
                            accepts the Call.

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 Literary Dictionary                                                               Page 10
                                             Archetype Terms
Term                        Definition
Reward/ Boon                     The Hero is granted greater power or insight, knowledge or treasure or
                                  perhaps some sort of talisman as a result of the Ordeal.
                            The Hero has earned the reward he has sought and has been transformed by
                            the lessons and insights they have learned in the Special World.
Road Back                   The final stage of the Journey.
                            The Hero returns to the known and his everyday life with a boon bestowed
                            upon him based on his new level of skill and awareness.
                            A Hero’s success in the Special World may make it difficult to return to the
                            Ordinary World. (See Falling Action and Denouement)
Special World               This is the world the hero/initiate enters on their journey. This world contains
                            challenges and temptations, epiphanies, the ordeal, and the fall. It is in this
                            world the hero proves or develops their heroic qualities.
Supernatural                A supernatural force intervenes on the side of the hero-and sometimes against
Intervention                him.
The Fall                    1)   May occur at any time during the Journey.
                            2)   A descent from a higher to a lower state of being.
                            3)   Loss of innocence or protection.
                            4)   Involves expulsion from a kind of paradise as punishment for disobedience
                                 and or moral wrongdoing.
The Initiation              This rite usually takes the form of initiation into adult life. The adolescent
                            becomes aware of adult problems, along with new hope for community. This
Aka Rite of                 is also used to describe movement from one base of knowledge to the next.
Passage                     Ex: Moving from elementary school to middle school.
The Journey                 1) A Hero goes on a trip to find some truth or information that is needed to
                                return society to balance or tranquility.
                            2) Use of the trip is to isolate the characters into a microcosm of society.
The Quest                   The Hero searches for SOMEONE OR SOME TALISMAN which when found and
                            brought back will restore peace, order, and /or tranquility to a troubled land.
The Task                    To save the kingdom, win the girl’s heart, or assume is rightful position, the
                            hero must perform a nearly superhuman deed.
Threshold                   The “jumping off point” for the adventure.
                            The point where the known and unknown meet.
Tower *                     Strong place of evil; maybe headquarters of evil adversary.
Underworld *                Strong PLACE of evil; a descent into a LOWER PLACE; the hero may battle evil
                            and/or discover the blackest truth and /or the greatest faults of himself or
                            others
Unhealable wound            Can be physical or psychological and cannot be healed.
                            Causes pain and suffering.
Water *                     Usually symbolizes creation, birth, growth, restoration of life, and / or
                            purification.
Whirlpool *                 Symbolizes the destructive power of nature.
Wilderness or               A place of danger and lawlessness.
Desert *                    Threatens life/ survival.


                                         Symbolism and Symbols
Term                        Definition
Symbol or                   The use of any object, person, place, or action that both has a meaning in

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 Literary Dictionary                                                                 Page 11
                                         Symbolism and Symbols
Term                        Definition
Symbolism                   itself and that stands for something larger than itself, such as a quality,
                            attitude, belief, or value
00   Zero                   Non-being
01   One                    Unity, God, divinity, ultimate unity
02   Two                    Dual nature of Christ, God and man, Gemini, twins, polars
03   Three                  The number 3 is a very mystical and spiritual number featured in many
                            folktales (three wishes, three guesses, three little pigs, three bears, three Billy
                            goats gruff). In ancient Babylon the three primary gods were Anu, Bel (Baal),
                            and Ea, representing Heaven, Earth, and the Abyss. Similarly, there were three
                            aspects to the Egyptian sun god: Khepri (rising), Re (midday), and Atum
                            (setting). In Christianity there is the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son,
                            and God the Holy Spirit. Plato saw 3 as being symbolic of the triangle, the
                            simplest spatial shape, and considered the world to have been built from
                            triangles. In literature a complete story has a beginning, middle, and end.
                            Grouping of three words, three clauses, or three phrases are called a tricolon
                            or the “Magic Three.”
04 Four                     Strong Expression of self, stable earth symbol (4 seasons, 4 directions, 4
                            corners of the earth)
05 Five                     Pentangle, pentagon, human (5 fingers & 5 toes), Christ (5 wounds-hear + 4
                            extremities)
06 Six                      Ambivalence, vague, imperfect number, evil, mark of Antichrist 666
07 Seven                    Perfect number emergence of 3 & 4, emergence of man and earth. Common
                            occurrences (7 days of the week, 7 days of creation, 7 colors of the rainbow,
                            forgive 7 x 70, 7 sons)
08 Eight                    Multiple of 4. Baptismal founts are 8 sided to place the earthly symbol into a
                            circle.
09 Nine                     Magic, Can’t get rid of 9, every multiple of 9 reproduces a product of 9 ex: 2 x
                            9 = 18, and 1 = 8 = 9) Also known as the 9s Compliment Rule
10 Ten                      Represents a return to oneness, or a return to order
12 Twelve                   Represents cosmic order (3 x 4). 12 tribes of Israel, 12 jurors, 12 months, 12
                            zodiac signs, 12 disciples
13 Thirteen                 Symbol of death and birth, and bad luck.
14 Fourteen                 Organization
15 Fifteen                  Neurotic, associated with the devil.
Black                       Positive: Power, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth
                            Negative: Sin, ignorance, fear, evil, unhappiness, remorse, anger,
                            underground, mourning, death, Bad, injured
Blue                        Positive: Pure, peace, calm, stability, harmony, trust, truth, confidence,
                            security, cleanliness, order, loyalty, sky, water, positive, peaceful
                            Negative: Cool, Unfeeling, depression, lack of feeling, injured
Color                        We learn color associations from the culture we live in.
                             Most colors have more positive connotations than negative ones.
                             Different colors send different messages in literature and life.
Darkness *                  Symbolizes the unknown, ignorance, evil, despair
Dove                        Symbolizes either peace or a pure spirit.
Even Numbers                Considered feminine, stable and passive.
Fire *                      Represents Knowledge, light, life, and rebirth.

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 Literary Dictionary                                                                 Page 12
                                         Symbolism and Symbols
Term                        Definition
                            Negative: Death, destruction, punishment
Forest *                    Represents unconscious (get lost in the forest), leaves hide the sun, view is
                            obscured, and self-exploration.
Gold                        Positive: Wealth, beautiful, shiny
                            Negative: Greed
Gray                        Positive: Competent, security, reliability, intelligence, modesty, dignity,
                            maturity, solid, practical, conservative, neutrality
                            Negative: Unimaginative, conservative, old age, sadness, boring, practical,
                            doubt, unclear, neutrality not clearly good or bad, ambivalence
Green                       Positive: Ecological, new life, eternal life, nature, GO (approval), health, good
                            luck, renewal, youth, generosity, fertility, ecological, Irish, money
                            Negative: Jealousy, inexperienced, envy, misfortune
Ice/Snow *                  Symbolizes lack of feeling, death, and indifference.
Light *                     Symbolizes and / or suggests hope, goodness, knowledge, renewal.
Monsters *                  Represent one step from chaos, chaos in order, capable of order, desire of
                            monsters to take over the man.
Moon *                      Represents femininity, passiveness, reflective light, mysterious, and
                            untrustworthy, monthly cycle of waxing and waning.
Morning / Spring            Represent birth and youth.
*
Night / Winter *            Represent death and the end of life.
Odd Numbers                 Consider masculine, uneven, unstable, and energetic.
Purple                      Positive: Royalty, spirituality, ceremony, wisdom, enlightenment,
                            transformation.
                            Negative: cruelty, arrogance, mourning
Rain *                      Represents purification or cleansing, and movement
Red                         Positive: Passion, Excitement, energy, speed, strength, emotion, power,
                            warmth, love, celebration
                            Negative: Blood, danger, fire, war, violence, anger, aggression, intense
                            emotion, power, STOP (warning)flame
Ring *                      Symbolizes power.
River *                     Represents movement, change, and sometimes fertility or destruction.
Sea *                       Represents unconscious, mystery, timelessness, and stability.
Serpent or Snake            Symbolizes energy and represents either evil, corruption, destruction and
                            mystery, or wisdom or unconsciousness.
Sun *                       Represents masculinity, sky and fire, is connected with creative energy,
                            activity, and knowing or revealing what was hidden. Rising sun = birth and
                            beginning, and setting sun = death.
Tree *                      Represents life, seasons, inexhaustible.
White                       Positive: Pure, truth, light and knowledge, Good purity, simplicity, cleanliness,
                            innocence, peace, humility, precision. birth, youth, winter, snow, goodness
                            Negative : Sterile, frigid, cold, unfeeling, surrender
Wilderness or               A place of danger and lawlessness.
Desert *                    Threatens life/ survival.
Yellow                      Positive: Happiness, joy, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, summer, gold,
                            sun, warmth sunshine, growth, new life and rebirth
                            Negative: Cowardice, danger or warning, dishonesty, betrayal, jealousy,
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 Literary Dictionary                                              Page 13
                                         Symbolism and Symbols
Term                        Definition
                            covetousness, deceit, illness




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 Literary Dictionary                                                         Page 14

                                        Freitag’s Pyramid

PLOT
The sequence of events or
actions in a short story,
novel, play or narrative
poem.
                                                     CLIMAX


                                                                       Falling
                                                                       Action
                                   Rising
                                   Action

                                                                                 Denouement

EXPOSITION                         INCITING
                                   INCIDENT


EXPOSITION                          RISING ACTION                 FALLING ACTION

The author lays the                 The action and events         Events that occur after
groundwork for the story            that take place in the        the climax and lead up to
by revealing the                    story and build up to the     the closure and
 Setting                           critical moment when the      conclusion of the story.
 Relationships                     main conflict is
    between characters              confronted.
 Situation as it exists
    before the conflict
    begins
INCITING INCIDENT                   CLIMAX                        DENOUEMENT
                                                                  (Day – nu – ma)
Interrupts the peace and            The most critical moment
balance of the situation            in the story; the point at    The problem set up in the
and one or more of the              which the main conflict is    inciting incident is
characters comes into               at the highest level of       unraveled; there is a
conflict with an outside            suspense.                     revelation of meaning.
force, himself, or another
character.




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