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Literary Word Challenge

For Hogan’s IB “Killas” vs. Spachman’s “A.P. Annihilators”


The Challenge Has Been Thrown Down


The Battle of the Literary Geniuses Will Happen Before Break!


  1. Allegory is a story in which people, things, and actions represent an idea or a generalization about life; allegories often have a strong moral or lesson. 

Ex: Plato’s allegory of the cave


  1. Allusion is a literary reference to a familiar person, place, thing, or event.

Ex:  He is a strong as Hercules.


  1. Analogy is a comparison of two or more similar objects, suggesting that if they are alike in certain respects, they will probably be alike in other ways as well.

Ex: The first trip to space was like the birth of a new baby.


  1. Anecdote is a short summary of a humorous event used to make a point.

Ex:  I missed my alarm clock and got to school late.  On the way to class I tripped down the stairs because I was in such a hurry.  Ms. Spachman saw me and laughed…cruelly.


  1. Antagonist is the person or thing working against the protagonist, or hero, of the work.

Ex: Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, Darth Vader in Star Wars, death in “The Death of the Moth,” the “cruel hand” in “Old Mrs. Grey.”


  1. Caricature is a picture or an imitation of a person’s features or mannerisms exaggerated in a comic or absurd way.


  1. Characterization is the method an author used to reveal characters and their personalities.


  1. Climax is usually the most intense point in a story.


  1. Comedy is literature in which human errors or problems appear funny.  Comedies end on a happy note. 

Ex: Ms. Hogan’s real life.


  1. Conflict is the problem or struggle in the story that triggers the action

a)     Person vs person: One character in a story has a problem with one or more of the other characters.

b)     Person vs. society: A character has a problem with some element of society: the school, the law, the accepted way of doing things.

c)     Person vs. self: A character has a problem deciding what to do in a certain situation.

d)     Person vs. nature: A character has a problem with nature: heat, cold, a tornado, an avalanche, or any other element of nature.

e)     Person vs. fate (God): A character must battle what seems to be an uncontrollable problem.  Whenever the conflict is an unbelievable or strange coincidence, it can be attributed to fate or an act of God.


  1. Denouement is the final resolution or outcome of a play or story.


  1. Diction is an author’s choice of words based on their correctness, clearness, or effectiveness


  1. Archaic diction: words are those that are old-fashioned and no longer sound natural when used, as “I believe thee not” for “I don’t believe you.”


  1. Colloquial diction: an expression that is usually accepted in informal situations and certain locations, as in “He really grinds my beans.”


  1. Jargon diction: is the specialized language used by a specific group, such as those who use computers: override, interface, download.


  1. Profanity diction: is language that shows disrespect for someone or something regarded as holy or sacred.


  1. Slang diction: is the informal language used by a particular group of people among themselves, it is also language that is used in fiction to lend color and feeling: awesome, G-Unit, yous.


  1. Vulgarity or Vulgar diction: is language that is generally considered crude, gross, and, at times, offensive.  It is sometimes used in fiction to add realism.


  1. Didactic literature instructs or presents a moral or religious statement.


  1. Drama is the form of literature known as plays; but drama also refers to the type of serious play that is often concerned with the leading character’s relationship to society.


  1. Dramatic monologue is a literary work (or part of a literary work) in which a character is speaking about themselves as if another person were present.  The words the speaker reveals something important about their character.


  1. Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s place and imagining how that person must feel.


  1. Epic is a long narrative poem that tells of the deeds and adventures of a hero.


  1. Epigram is a brief, witty saying or poem often dealing with its subject in a satirical manner:

Ex: “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” –Ben Franklin

  1. Epiphany is a sudden perception (the ah-ha Oprah moment) or understanding that causes a character to change or act in a certain way.


  1. Epitaph is a short poem or verse written in memory of someone.


  1. Epithet is a word or phrase used in place of a person’s name, it is characteristic of that person: Alexander the Great, Material Girl, Ms. Know-It-All.


  1. Exaggeration is overstating or sketching the truth for special effect.

Ex: My shoes are killing me!


  1. Exposition is writing that is intended to explain something that might otherwise be difficult to understand.  In a play or novel, it would be the portion that gives the background or situation surrounding the story.


  1. Fable is a short fictional narrative that teaches a lesson.


  1. Falling action is the part of a play or story that works out the decision arrived at during the climax.


  1. Farce is literature based on a humorous and improbable plot.


  1. Figurative language is language used to create a special effect or feeling.


  1. Figure of speech is a literary device used to create a special effect or feeling by making some type of interesting or creative comparison.


  1. Antithesis is an opposition, or contrast, of ideas

Ex: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”


  1. Hyperbole is an exaggeration or overstatement:

Ex: I have seen this river so wide it had only one bank


  1. Metaphor is a comparison of two unlike things in which no word of comparison (like or as) is used.

Ex: A great plant is a machine that runs on solar energy.


  1. Metonymy is the substituting of one world for another related word:

Ex: The White House has decided to create more public service jobs. (White House is substituted for president).


  1. Personification is a literary device in which the author speaks of or describes an animal, object, or idea as if it were a person

Ex: The rock stubbornly refused to move.


  1. Simile is a comparison of two unlike things using the words like or as:

Ex: “She stood in front of the alter, shaking like a freshly caught trout.”