APRIL 2012 EXAM REVIEW
PART I: DEFINITIONS
Term Definition Example
Allegory a narrative in which the agents and actions are In Lolita, Humbert Humbert’s abuse
contrived by the author to make coherent of Lolita may be an allegory for the
sense on a literal level and at the same time to exploitation of America by Europe.
signify a second correlation of signification
Allusion a casual reference in literature to a person, Ophelia’s final words in Hamlet are
place, event, or another passage of literature, alluded to Eliot’s The Waste Land, in
often without explicit identification the line: “Good night, ladies, good
night, sweet ladies, good night, good
Characterization the representation of persons in narrative and In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is
dramatic works characterized as quick-tempered,
stubborn, and proud.
Comedy a ludicrous and amusing event or series of
events designed to provide enjoyment and
produce smiles or laughter usually written in a
light, familiar, bantering, or satirical style;
generally begins badly and ends well
Discourse the way a story is told The discourse in Lullabies for Little
Criminals is the fact that it is
Enjambment a technique in poetry whereby a sentence is
carried over to the next line without pause
Epic a long, narrative poem about a man on whom To The Lighthouse can be argued to
depends the fate of a nation, or sometimes the have rewritten the traditional epic
entire race (e.g. The Odyssey).
Frame Narrative a technique whereby a story is enclosed within In Lolita, the story of Humbert
another story Humbert is revealed through H.H.’s
memoirs, introduced by
Dr. John Ray.
Free Verse poetry that does not have consistent rhyme or “Daddy” from Sylvia Plath’s Ariel is
meter written in free verse.
Genre recognized category of a literary work, marked The genre of Things Fall Apart is
by shared features or conventions tragedy.
Irony the recognition and exploitation of an
Lyric Poetry a short non-narrative poem in which a speaker “Morning Song” in Ariel captures the
expresses a state of mind or a feeling; tries to moment of a child’s first words
capture a particular moment
Magic Realism a literary form in which seemingly realistic In Marquez’s “A Very Old Man With
scenes are invaded by fantastic and Enormous Wings,” a fisherman
supernatural events, which, however, are often discovers an old man with wings in
treated as normal awhat would be a realistic village
APRIL 2012 EXAM REVIEW
Metaphor/Simile a comparison or analogy stated in such a way In Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the
as to imply that one object is another one, fall of the Berlin Wall is a metaphor
figuratively speaking; consists of a tenor for homelessness.
referring to a vehicle
Meter the pattern of measured sound units occurring
more or less regularly in lines of verse
Metonymy using a physical object to embody a more The mitten in Missing Children is a
general idea metonym for childhood – it doesn’t
suggest childhood but is associated
Modernism a vague term referring to the art, literature, The Waste Land, a modernist poem,
poetry, and philosophy of Europe and America depicts fragmentation in many ways,
in the early twentieth-century; marked by the including allusion and narration.
desire to break away from established
traditions, as well as experiments in form and
style, particularly with fragmentation
Motif a recurrent el