AP English Literary Terms

AP English Literary Terms

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Section 1

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personification (ex.)

Front

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Last updated

2 years ago

Date created

Mar 1, 2020

Cards (96)

Section 1

(50 cards)

personification (ex.)

Front

The smiling, friendly sun was about to be swallowed by the angry clouds moving in from the south.

Back

aphorism

Front

a concise statement which expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance

Back

allegory

Front

a literary work in which character, objects, or actions represent abstractions

Back

apostrophe (ex.)

Front

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

Back

metonymy

Front

Substituting the name of one object for another object closely associated with it

Back

denotation (ex.)

Front

Although the word "home" may suggest safety and comfort, it's really simply "one's residence."

Back

colloquialism

Front

informal words or expressions not usually acceptable in formal writing

Back

symbol

Front

an object which is something in itself yet is used to represent something else

Back

diction (ex.)

Front

Hemingway uses few polysyllabic words; Dickens uses many polysyllabic words

Back

paradox (ex.)

Front

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind

Back

anaphora

Front

the repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences

Back

parody (ex.)

Front

"Spaceballs" and the space epic genre; "Hot Shots" and action films; "Thin Thighs in Thirty Years" and exercise books

Back

parody

Front

a humorous imitation of a serious work

Back

tone (ex.)

Front

Sardonic; apologetic; light-hearted; somber

Back

genre

Front

a major category or type of literature

Back

oxymoron (ex.)

Front

jumbo shrimp; sweet sorrow; little giant

Back

analogy

Front

a comparison between two different things which are similar in some way

Back

syntax

Front

the manner in which words are arranged by a writer into sentences

Back

invective (ex.)

Front

"My opponent is a lying, cheating, immoral bully!"

Back

hyperbole

Front

intentional exaggeration to create an effect

Back

oxymoron

Front

an expression in which two words that contradict each other are joined

Back

analogy (ex.)

Front

By comparing conducting to politics, Igor Stravinsky helped non-musicians understand his feeling about orchestra conductors.

Back

didactic (ex.)

Front

Benjamin Franklin's "Autobiography" shows his reader how to be successful; Aesop's Fables present morals

Back

tone

Front

the attitude of a writer, usually implied, toward the subject or audience

Back

apostrophe

Front

The act of speaking directly to an absent or imaginary person, or to some abstraction

Back

colloquialism (ex.)

Front

Huck Finn says, "I got the fantods" to describe his nervousness and says "shin" instead of "run"

Back

aphorism (ex.)

Front

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Back

euphemism

Front

an indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant

Back

connotation (ex.)

Front

"Odor" and "fragrance" literally mean the same thing, but good things have fragrance, bad things, odor.

Back

personification

Front

endowing non-human objects or creatures with human qualities or characteristics

Back

onomatopoeia

Front

a word formed from the imitation of natural sounds

Back

allusion (ex.)

Front

Patrick Henry urged his listeners not to be "betrayed with a kiss."

Back

allusion

Front

A reference to something literary, mythological, or historical

Back

hyperbole (ex.)

Front

There were at least a million people at the mall when I went shopping on Saturday.

Back

litotes

Front

a type of understatement in which something affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite

Back

metonymy (ex.)

Front

"The White House issued a statement today."

Back

euphemism (ex.)

Front

In Victorian times, ladies were said to "glisten" rather than to "sweat" or "perspire"

Back

symbol (ex.)

Front

the dove-peace the hawk-war

Back

genre (ex.)

Front

"Paradise Lost" is an epic poem; "The Scarlet Letter" is a novel; "Into Thin Air" is nonfiction

Back

diction

Front

having to do with word choices made by a writer

Back

litotes (ex.)

Front

My parents were not overjoyed when I came home three hours past my curfew.

Back

anaphora (ex.)

Front

"We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves."

Back

connotation

Front

the implied or associative meaning of a word

Back

syntax (ex.)

Front

A single sentence in a Faulkner work can sometimes be longer than an entire page, but Steinbeck tends to use simpler, shorter sentences.

Back

onomatopoeia (ex.)

Front

The fire crackled in the fireplace. We could hear the buzzing of the bees in the hive.

Back

didactic

Front

something which has as its primary purpose to teach or instruct

Back

allegory (ex.)

Front

In "Pilgrim's Progress," the protagonist, Christian, represents all Christians, and physical obstacles represent inner struggles.

Back

paradox

Front

an apparently contradictory statement which usually contains some truth

Back

denotation

Front

the literal meaning of a word

Back

invective

Front

an intensely vehement, highly emotional verbal attack

Back

Section 2

(46 cards)

motif (ex.)

Front

In Shakespeare's plays, mistaken identity and the fall of the mighty occur with great regularity.

Back

anecdote

Front

a brief personal narrative which focuses on a particular incident or event

Back

tautology

Front

needless repetition which adds no meaning or understanding

Back

syllogism (ex.)

Front

We get paid every Friday, Tomorrow is Friday; therefore, we will get paid tomorrow.

Back

understatement (ex.)

Front

"This is quite a shower we're having," said Noah, poking his head out the door of the ark.

Back

ellipsis

Front

the omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deduced from the context

Back

imagery

Front

concrete, sensory details which contribute to the themes or ideas of a work

Back

sarcasm (ex.)

Front

Asked if he liked blue, Joel answered, "No, I hate it. That's why I drive a blue car and wear mostly blue clothes."

Back

conceit

Front

a fanciful, particularly clever extended metaphor

Back

metaphor (ex.)

Front

In "The Great Gatsby," Daisy tells Nick, "You are a rose."

Back

irony (ex.)

Front

In "King Lear," Lear believes his daughter Cordelia to be disloyal, when she is in fact his only faithful daughter.

Back

anecdote (ex.)

Front

Sylvia emphasized Sam's kindness by telling the story of the time he stopped to help a stranded motorist in the pouring rain.

Back

pathos (ex.)

Front

Acknowledging how he has wronged the faithful, gentle Joe, Pip tearfully asks for forgiveness.

Back

alliteration (ex.)

Front

"while I nodded, nearly napping"

Back

antithesis (ex.)

Front

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness."

Back

style

Front

the overall manner in which an individual writer expresses ideas

Back

conceit (ex.)

Front

Using an elaborate metaphor, Donne compares himself and his wife to the two legs of a compass, one staying in place while the other circles around and eventually joins it.

Back

non sequitur

Front

an inference that does not logically follow from the premise(s)

Back

pedantic

Front

describing an excessive display of learning or scholarship

Back

imagery (ex.)

Front

The smooth shell curved gently in the hands, a pristine white shading gradually to a pearly, glistening shine.

Back

epiphany (ex.)

Front

Toward the end of the play, Othello suddenly realizes that he has been misled.

Back

irony

Front

a situation or statement where the truth is the opposite of appearances

Back

style (ex.)

Front

The assignment was for each student to rewrite the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" in the ____________ of a well-known author.

Back

pedantic (ex.)

Front

The student annoyed his friends by constantly lecturing them about every subject imaginable, clearly assuming he was better informed than they.

Back

antithesis

Front

a statement in which two opposing ideas are balanced

Back

motif

Front

a standard theme or dramatic situation which recurs in various works

Back

non sequitur (ex.)

Front

Richard Nixon said it should be obvious that he was honest because his wife wore a simple cloth coat.

Back

syllogism

Front

a logical argument in which a conclusion is based on a major premise and a minor premise

Back

pathos

Front

the quality in a work that prompts the reader to feel pity or sorrow

Back

alliteration

Front

the repetition of initial sounds in successive or neighboring words

Back

Satire

Front

The use of humor to emphasize human weaknesses or imperfections in social institutions

Back

syllepsis

Front

the linking of one word with two other words in two strikingly different ways

Back

chiasmus

Front

a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed

Back

ad hominem

Front

an argument attacking an individual's character rather than his or her position on an issue

Back

understatement

Front

the deliberate representation of something as less in magnitude than it really is

Back

ad hominem (ex.)

Front

You should vote against the mayor's proposal because he uses bad grammar and chews tobacco.

Back

synecdoche (ex.)

Front

Sam finally traded his old jalopy and got himself a new pair of wheels.

Back

tautology (ex.)

Front

widow woman; free gift; close proximity

Back

synecdoche

Front

using one part of an object to represent the entire object

Back

metaphor

Front

a direct comparison of two different things which suggests they are somehow the same

Back

chiasmus (ex.)

Front

"Out went the taper as she hurried in."

Back

ellipsis (ex.)

Front

Kathleen wants to be a firefighter; Sara, a nurse.

Back

syllepsis (ex.)

Front

The migrants "exhausted their credit, exhausted their friends."

Back

sarcasm

Front

harsh, cutting language/tone designed to ridicule

Back

epiphany

Front

a moment of sudden revelation or insight

Back

satire (ex.)

Front

The darkly comedic "Dr. Strangelove" reveals the absurdities of Cold War politics and policies.

Back