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LITERARY TERMS

1. ALLEGORY: The word derives from the Greek allegoria ("speaking


otherwise"). The term loosely describes any writing in verse or prose that
has a double meaning. This narrative acts as an extended metaphor in
which persons, abstract ideas, or events represent not only themselves on
the literal level, but they also stand for something else on the symbolic
level. An allegorical reading usually involves moral or spiritual concepts
that may be more significant than the actual, literal events described in a
narrative. Typically, an allegory involves the interaction of multiple
symbols, which together create a moral, spiritual, or even political
meaning.

2. FAIRY TALE: In common parlance, a tale about elves, dragons,


hobgoblins, sprites, and other fantastic magical beings set vaguely in the
distant past ("once upon a time"), often in a pseudo-medieval world. Fairy
tales include shape-shifting spirits with mischievous temperaments,
superhuman knowledge, and far-reaching power to interfere with the
normal affairs of humanity. Other conventions include magic, charms,
disguises, talking animals, and a hero or heroine who overcomes
obstacles to "live happily ever after."

3. EUPHEMISM: Using a mild or gentle phrase instead of a blunt,


embarrassing, or painful one." The idea is to put something bad,
disturbing, or embarrassing in an inoffensive or neutral light.
4. EUPHONY (from Greek "good sound"): Attempting to group words
together harmoniously, so that the consonants permit an easy and
pleasing flow of sound when spoken, as opposed to cacophony, when the
poet intentionally mixes jarring or harsh sounds together in groups that
make the phrasing either difficult to speak aloud or grating to the ear.

5. EXEMPLUM (plural: exempla): In medieval literature, an exemplum is a


short narrative or reference that serves to teach by way of example--
especially a short story embedded in a longer sermon. An exemplum
teaches by providing an exemplar, a model of behavior that the reader
should imitate, or by providing an example of bad behavior that the
reader should avoid.

6. ESCAPIST LITERATURE: escapist literature is designed primarily for


imaginative entertainment .Such writing serves a psychological purpose
by offering a relief from the stresses or tedium of mundane life. Arguably,
the vast bulk of popular reading is escapist in nature.
7. FOIL: A character that serves by contrast to highlight or emphasize
opposing traits in another character.
8. FOIL: A character that serves by contrast to highlight or emphasize

opposing traits in another character .


9. FOOT: A basic unit of meter consisting of a set number of strong stresses
and light stresses.

10.ALLUSION: A casual reference in literature to a person, place, event, or


another passage of literature, often without explicit identification.
Allusions can originate in mythology, biblical references, historical events,
legends, geography, or earlier literary works. Authors often use allusion to
establish a tone, create an implied association, contrast two objects or
people, make an unusual juxtaposition of references, or bring the reader
into a world of experience outside the limitations of the story itself.

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