Literary Elements


Conflict
a problem, fight, or struggle between characters or ideas

Types of Conflict
internal conflict
external conflict

Internal Conflict
conflict within a character


External Conflict
conflict between a character and outside forces

Theme
the central idea or message about life that is expressed in the story

Climax
the moment of tension, emotion, or suspense that determines the resolution

Resolution
how the conflict is resolved

Setting
where and when (time and place) the story occurs

Plot
the sequence of events in a story

Parts of the Plot
exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution

Character
a person that appears in the story

Protagonist
the central character or hero of the story

Antagonist
tries to defeat the protagonist

Rising Action
the events that lead up to the climax (turning point)

Falling Action
events that occur after the climax

Moral
the lesson taught by the story

Tone
the author’s attitude toward the subject or characters

Symbol
a person, place, or object that represents something beyond itself like a quality, belief, or value

Suspense
feeling of strong curiosity or uncertainty/*makes us want to learn what will happen

Three Points of View
first person (uses “I”–narrator is a character in the story)
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third person (`he or she`/*readers know the thoughts of one character
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omniscient (reader knows thoughts of all characters)

Literal Language
directly states facts or ideas

Figurative Language
paints a picture with words in that reader’s mind;uses metaphor, simile, personification, etc.

Imagery
use of descriptive words to create a sensory experience

Components of Imagery
creates vivid mental images
includes the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes
creates tone, or feeling

Simile
figure of speech that compares two things that are different; uses “like” or “as”

Metaphor
figure of speech that describes something by calling it something else

Foreshadowing
hints or clues about events that will occur

Dialogue
exact words used in characters’ conversations

Mood
a feeling or atmosphere created by the author’s words

Irony
using words to suggest the opposite of what is meant
Rhymea word that ends with the same sound as another

Example of Rhyme
bird, word, curd

Rhythm
pattern of beats or stresses in language

Onomatopoeia
use of words that imitate sounds

Examples of Onomatopoeia
buzz, crash, hiccup, hiss

Personification
figurative language that gives human characteristics to non-human subjects

Alliteration
repetition of similar sounds
used to connect and
emphasize ideas

Verse
a line of poetry

Stanza
groups of lines in poetry
sections or divisions of poems

Conflicts
character vs character, character vs society, character vs nature, character vs self

Hyperbole
figurative language that exaggerates, often humorously

Idiom
a phrase or expression that means something different from dictionary meaning; for example, “That test was a piece of cake!” means the test was easy.