5 Literary Terms

Literary Terms Presentation Myth – The literal definition of this term is, “an anonymous traditional story that usually serves to explain a belief a custom, or a mysterious natural phenomenon. ” Most myths were passed on by oral tradition, and then written down in some form. An example: in northern Finland, Sweden or Norway, there is a myth that says that aurora borealis is really lights from the energies of departed souls. Mythology – All the myths of a particular society gathered together. Greek mythology is the most well-known – talks about gods and how they made cities and how they influenced the Greek culture.

The tale of Psyche and Cupid – they were husband and wife but she couldn’t look at him or else he would leave her. Narrative – An account in prose or verse (poetry) of an actual or a fictional event or a sequence of events; a story. Another word for this term could be story, or short story. Examples: the Scarlet Ibis, Ray Bradbury’s There Will Come Soft Rains – automated house after A-bomb, or The Pedestrian – man arrested by an automated police car for taking a walk outside at night. A poetry example could be Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. All these stories are not long like novels, but they do make the reader question and ponder afterwards.

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Narrator – Anyone who tells a story. The narrator can be omniscient which is like a panoramic view of the story, or first person which gives details about the feelings and thoughts of a particular character, or third person limited, which tells the story mainly from the view of a particular character but does not really give out all that the character knows and feels. Nonfiction – Literary works other than fiction; true. Nonfiction can have four purposes, to entertain, to inform, to inspire, or to persuade. Example: A Long Way Gone, Fast-Food Nation, and Malcolm X’s Hair.

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