LITERARY TERMS AND VOCABULARY
Literary Terms � Motif - A recurring element, such as a type of incident, a device, an image, or reference, which appears frequently in a work of literature. � Symbol - a word, place, character, or object that means something beyond what it is on a literal level and represents another, more general idea. Note, however, that symbols function perfectly well in isolation from other symbols. Allegory, however, does not work that way; allegory requires symbols working in conjunction with each other. � Allegory - involves using many interconnected symbols in such as way that in nearly every element of the narrative has a meaning beyond the literal level, i. e. , everything in the narrative is a symbol that relates to other symbols within the story. The allegorical story, poem, or play can be read either literally or as a symbolic statement about a political, spiritual, or psychological truth. � Mood – The prevailing feeling or emotional state of a literary work. Most pieces of literature have a prevailing mood, but shifts in this prevailing mood may function as a counterpoint, provide comic relief, or echo the changing events in the plot. The term mood is often used synonymously with atmosphere and ambiance. Students and critics who wish to discuss mood in their essays should be able to point to specific diction, description, setting, and characterization to illustrate what sets the mood.
Chapters 1 -4: �Affluent (adj. ) – flowing in abundance; having a generally sufficient and increasing supply of possessions or wealth (page 4) �Garrulous (adj. ) – pointlessly or annoyingly talkative; given to rambling (page 10) �Veracity (n. ) – something true or accurate (page 12) �Obstinate (adj. ) – adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion (page 13)
Chapters 5 -7: �Trepidation (n. ) – uncertain agitation, apprehension, or fear (page 43) �Austere (adj. ) – stern and forbidding in appearance or manner; somber or grave (page 61) �Morose (adj. ) – having a sullen and gloomy disposition(page 61) �Guileless (adj. ) – innocent; naïve (page 78)
Chapters 8 -11: �Harried (adj. ) – harassed or beset by disturbing problems (page 91) �Lucrative (adj. ) – producing wealth; profitable (page 111) �Ire (n. ) - intense and usually openly displayed anger (page 125) �Acrid (adj. ) – sharp and harsh’ unpleasantly pungent in taste or odor; irritating, deeply bitter (page 132)
Chapters 12 -14: �Queried (v. ) – to question (page 147) �Amiable (adj. ) - being friendly, sociable, and congenial (page 150) �Ominous (adj. ) – foreboding or foreshadowing evil; inauspicious (page 155) �Palliative (adj. ) – something that reduces or abates the violence of a disease (page 156) �Reticence (n. ) – the quality or state of being reserved, silent, or restrained (page 157)
Chapters 15 -20: �Incessant (adj. ) – unceasing; continuing without interruption (page 195) �Pragmatic (adj. ) – relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters; practical as opposed to idealistic (page 201) �Proverbial (adj. ) – resembling something that has become a popular proverb, adage, byword, or maxim (page 212) �Ruminate (v. ) – to go over in the mind carefully and repeatedly; to contemplate or ponder (page 231) �Arduous (adj. ) – hard to accomplish or achieve (page 233)
Chapters 21 -25: �Epiphany (n. ) – an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple or striking (page 282) �Impunity (n. ) – exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss (page 301) �Irrevocably (adv. ) – not possible to revoke; unalterable (page 320) �Squalid (adj. ) – marked by filthiness and degradation from neglect or poverty (page 329)