Simile: a figure of speech comparing two essentially unlike things through the use of a specific word of comparison. Ex. Your eyes are as blue as the ocean.
Soliloquy: an extended speech, usually in a drama, delivered by a character alone on stage. Ex. To be or not to be
Spiritual: a folk song, usually on a religious theme. Ex. Go Down Moses
Speaker: a narrator, the one speaking. Ex. Huckleberry Finn is the speaker in his book.
Stereotype: cliché; a simplified, standardized conception with a special meaning and appeal for members of a group; a formula story. Ex. Minorities are very often stereotyped in American literature.
Stream of Consciousness: the style of writing that attempts to imitate the natural flow of a character's thoughts, feelings, reflections, memories, and mental images, as the character experiences them. Ex. Virginia Woolf
Structure: the planned framework of a literary selection; its apparent organization. Ex. The Canterbury Tales has a lot of structure.
Style: the manner of putting thoughts into words; a characteristic way of writing or speaking. Ex. Authors have different writing styles for example Hemingway has a style that is more formal and serious than say Mark Twain's.
Subordination: the couching of less important ideas in less important structures of language. Ex. "While the miser is merely a capitalist gone mad,the capitalist is a rational miser." (Karl Marx) Surrealism: a style in literature and painting that stresses the subconscious or the irrational aspects of man's existence characterized by the juxtaposition of the bizarre and the banal. Ex. Breton's Sur la route de San Romano (1948).
Suspension of Disbelief: suspend disbelief in order to enjoy something. Ex. Will still know that supernatural books portray worlds that don't exist, but we still delve into them head first and image what it would be like of we were one of the characters.
Symbol: something which stands for something else, yet has a meaning of its own. Ex. In Lord of the Flies, the pig head symbolizes the devil bringing out the worst in people.
Synesthesia: the use of one sense to convey the experience of another sense. Ex. Even though her nose was plugged, just seeing the pie fresh out the oven produced a sweet memory of the scent.
Synecdoche: another form of name changing, in which a part stands for the whole. Ex. The word “glasses” refers to spectacles.
Syntax: the arrangement and grammatical relations of words in a sentence. Ex. In Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare writes “What light from yonder window breaks?” instead of using a common expression “What light breaks from yonder window?”
Theme: main idea of the story; its message(s). Ex. The theme in Great Gatsby is the hollowness of the upper class.
Thesis: a proposition for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or disproved; the main idea. Ex. "Mythesisis simple: in the next century mankind must harness the nuclear genie if our energy needs are to be met and our security preserved." (John B. Ritch, "Nuclear Green,"Prospect Magazine, March 1999) Tone: the devices used to create the mood and atmosphere of a literary work; the author's perceived point of view.
Ex. The tone in Brave New World is frank and scientific.
Tongue in Cheek: a type of humor in which the speaker feigns seriousness; also called "dry" or "dead pan" Ex. "Where is Jack?" -"He's dead."
Tragedy: in literature: any composition with a somber theme carried to a disastrous conclusion; a fatal event; protagonist usually is heroic but tragically (fatally) flawed. Ex. Hamlet
Understatement: opposite of hyperbole; saying less than you mean for emphasis. Ex. "It's nothing."
Vernacular: everyday speech. Ex. I have five pets at home.
Voice: The textual features, such as diction and sentence structures, that convey a writer's or speaker's pesona. Ex. The writers voice comes out a lot in Into the Wild. Zeitgeist: the feeling of a particular era in history. Ex. Great Gatsby and the roaring 20's.