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English Exam Prep.docx

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McMaster University
Tracy Prowse

E NGLISH E XAM PREP Alienation - emotional isolation or dissociation -- Frankenstein, the monster was alienated Allegory - a symbolic representation Antihero - a protagonist who fails to be heroic and has few traditionally recognized heroic qualities -- Frankenstein, Victor, he had every chance to be heroic, but was not Anxiety of Influence - a poet's sense of the crushing weight of poetic tradition which he has to resist and challenge in order to make room for his own original vision Archetypal Criticism - interprets a text by focusing on recurring myths in the narrative Atmosphere - a surrounding influence or environment Bildungsroman - a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character Canon - the conceptual material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base Comedy - work generally intended to be humorous or to amuse by inducing laughter -- The Importance of Being Earnest Decadence - a luxurious self-indulgence Deconstruction - the analytic examination of something often in order to reveal its inadequacy Decorum - literary and dramatic modesty; orderliness; the conventions of polite behaviour Dramatic Irony - this type of irony is the device of giving the spectator a piece of information that at least one of the characters in the narrative is unaware, thus placing the spectator a step ahead of at least one of the characters Empathy - the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts and experience of another Epiphany - a revealing scene or moment Feminist Criticism - advocating equal rights for women -- Dracula: most novels at the time focused on females a either representing purity and innocence, or a wife/mother; Lucy represented neither. Critics were surprised, however from a feminist perspective, it should not have been surprising. Formalism - marked attention to arrangement, style, or artistic means Gender Criticism - an approach to literature that explains how ideas about men and women can be regarded as socially constructed Gothic Novel - a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance -- Dracula is a gothic novel. Northanger Abbey's Catherine reads gothic novels that allow her imagination to run wild. Marxist Criticism - loose term describing literary criticism based on socialist and dialectic theories; views literary works are reflections of the social institutions from which they originate Melodrama - a work characterized by extravagant theatricality and by the predominance of plot and physical action over characterization; the genre of dramatic literature constituted by such works Motif - a usually recurring prominent thematic element; a dominant idea or central theme New Criticism - emphasized close reading, particularly of poetry, to discover how a work of literature functioned as a self-contained, self-referential aesthetic object Objective
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