Literary Term of the Week



Literary Term of the Week
Of The Week
With Modern Examples
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Allegory is a symbolic device in which
characters or events in a story represent or
symbolize ideas and concepts.
Many people believe
that Aslan's death in
The Lion, The Witch
And The Wardrobe is
an allegory for
Christ's crucifixion in
the Christian Bible.
Click HERE to watch the scene
Why do people think it is an
allegory for Christ's death?
Chronicles Of Narnia
The Christian Bible
Aslan is a lion.
Christ is called 'The Lion
of Judah' in the Bible.
Aslan sacrifices
himself for Edmund, a
traitor, in the story.
Christ sacrifices himself
for sinners in the Bible.
Aslan is killed brutally
and is resurrected in
the story.
Christ is killed brutally
and resurrected in the
The repetition of an initial consonant sound.
This literary term is often used in poetry
Consider Carrie Underwood's use of
alliteration in her song Blown Away.
Shatter every window
'Til it's all blown away.
Every brick, every board,
Every slamming door blown away.
Alliteration is also often used in tongue
twisters. Try a few of these out!
If Freaky Fred Found Fifty Feet of
Fruit And Fed Forty Feet to his
Friend Frank. How many Feet of
Fruit did Freaky Fred Find?
Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly
sheep. The seven silly sheep Silly
Sally shooed shilly-shallied south.
An allusion is a figure of speech where the author refers
to a subject matter such as a person, place, event, or
literary work in a passing reference. It is up to the reader
to make a connection to the subject being mentioned.
Taylor Swift alludes to
Shakespeare when she
sings the following from
her song "Love Story":
That you were Romeo,
You were throwing
And my daddy said
Stay away from Juliet.
Swift's song alludes to other parts of
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as well. She
mentions disapproving families and the famous
balcony scene from the play. This is allusion
because she mentions the names and plot aspects
of Romeo and Juliet in passing.
Click HERE To See The
Video For This Song
Anagrams are an extremely popular form of
literary device wherein the writer jumbles up
parts of the word to create a new word. It is
a type of wordplay!
The plot of the novel
and movie The Da Vinci
Code by Dan Brown
uses anagrams!
Can anyone remember
how anagrams are used
in this novel/movie?
In the novel and movie The Da
Vinci Code, the following was
written on the floor of the
Louvre next to a dead man:
"O Draconian devil Oh lame
saint.". The main characters
discover that it is an anagram
for "Leonard Da Vinci. The
Mona Lisa"!
Behind The Mona Lisa they
find another anagram "so dark
the con of man". By rearranging the letters, they came
up with "Madonna of the
Rocks", another of Da Vinci's
Click HERE To See A Clip From The Movie
A comparison between two things for the
purpose of explanation or clarification.
Click HERE to see
Barrack Obama's
Analogy. He is
comparing the economic
recession to driving a
car into a ditch.
The antagonist of a story is a character,
group of characters, or institution that
opposes the protagonist or main character.
In the novel and movie Harry
Potter, Voldemort is the main
antagonist. He opposes the
main character - Harry.
Click HERE to see the
protagonist (Harry), and
antagonist (Voldemort)
in opposition
In literature, an antihero is a central character
who lacks conventional heroic qualities.
They blur the line between hero and villain.
Why Are They Anti-Heroes?
Breaking Bad
In Breaking Bad, Walter
White is a struggling
high school chemistry
teacher who is
diagnosed with
inoperable lung cancer
at the beginning of the
series. He turns to a life
of crime, producing and
selling drugs with a
former student.
T V SHOW: Dexter
Dexter is a serial killer who
kills other murders. He lacks
normal heroic qualities, yet the
show is constructed so you
are on his side.
MOV IE: Shrek
Shrek is an unconventional hero.
Most of the other characters
find him ugly, rude, or
frightening, but he blurs the lines
between hero and villain with his
irresistible humour.
Anthropomorphism occurs when a human
quality, emotion or ambition is given to a nonhuman object or being.
The novel, Alice In
Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
uses numerous examples of
anthropomorphism! This
novel was made into a Disney
animated movie in 1951 and a
film by Tim Burton in 2010.
Click HERE to see an example from the ORIGINAL film
Click HERE to see an example from the NEW film
An antithesis is used when the writer puts
two sentences of contrasting meanings
close to one another.
Consider Katy Perry's
use of antithesis in her
song Hot n Cold
'Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in then you're out
You're up then you're down
You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up.
A figure of speech in which the speaker
addresses an object, concept, or person
(usually absent) that is unable to respond.
Consider in the film I Am
Legend. Will Smith, the
last man on earth, seeks
comfort in attempting to
speak to a mannequin.
Click HERE to see the
An archetype is a concept, a person or an object that
has served as universally understood prototype of
its kind. Archetypes are immediately identifiable and
sometimes overused.
The T V show Glee uses a number
of high school archetypes!
Click HERE to see some
examples of the characters in
the show.
Can you think of the
archetypes they represent?
Check out some of these archetypes!
Quinn Febray is an
archetype for a high
school cheerleader.
She is blonde, skinny,
and popular.
Sue Sylvester is an
Puck is an archetype for
a high school jock. He is archetype for the 'tough
good-looking, athletic, coach'. She is arrogant,
strong, and bossy.
and popular.
Atmosphere is created when the
setting or scene creates an emotional
response in the reader/viewer.
In the gloom the courtyard
looked of considerable size,
and as several dark ways led
from it under great round
arches... I have not yet been
able to see it by daylight.
- Bram Stoker's Dracula
In the gloom the courtyard looked of
considerable size, and as several dark ways led
from it under great round arches... I have not yet
been able to see it by daylight.
What emotion
does the reader
feel when they
read this
Catharsis is the process of releasing, and thereby
providing relief from, strong or repressed
emotions. It is usually felt by the audience/
reader while exposed to a story that brings about
great sorrow, pity, laughter etc.
The novel and film
The Notebook, by
Nicholas Sparks uses
For those who have seen
it, how do you think
it does this?
For example, in The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks,
the audience is able to cry when Ryan Gosling
finally kisses Rachel McAdams in the rain. This
display of emotion would be otherwise inappropriate
or difficult to face, but watching the movie is a
cathartic experience because the audience is able to
let go of repressed feelings!
A caricature is a simple
image showing the
features of its subject
in a simplified or
exaggerated way. In
literature, a caricature
is a description of a
person using
exaggeration of some
characteristics and
oversimplification of
A cliché or cliche is an expression,
idea, or element of work which has
become overused to the point of
losing its original meaning, even to the
point of being trite or irritating.
What are
Slam Dunk!
Keep Your Eye
On The Ball
Hole In
Play Hard
Knock It Out
Of The Park
A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a plot device in
fiction which features a main character in a precarious
or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking
revelation at the end of an episode of serialized fiction.
A cliffhanger is used to ensure the audience will return
to see how the characters resolve the dilemma.
Soap Operas are
known for using
the cliff hanger
technique to hook
their audience.
(Dynamic or round)
A dynamic or round character goes
through change or growth in the story.
Why would The
Grinch be
considered a
(Dynamic or round)
The Grinch starts out as a miserable
Christmas hating character, but changes to
be more caring and giving. This makes him
a dynamic round character.
Click HERE to see the
Grinch as a dynamic
(Static or flat)
A static or flat character remains the
same through the story - does not
experience change.
Big Bang
Sheldon Cooper from
The Big Bang Theory would
be considered to be (for
the most part) a flat/static
Why do you think this is?
(Static or flat)
Sheldon Cooper is an intelligent Theoretical
Physicist who adheres strictly to routine, lacks social
skills or empathy, and is narcissistic. Although he
sometimes steps outside of this role, he always
reverts back to his "normal" self unchanged. This
makes him a static or flat character.
Click HERE to see a video
of Sheldon's character
The climax is a part of any basic plot
line. It is the the most exciting or
intense part of the plot. Stories build
up to the climax.
Consider the movie Titanic. You could argue that
the climax occurs either when the ship hits the
iceberg, or when the ship goes under the water.
These are both intense/exciting moments that are
built up to in the plot.
In a story, conflict is the struggle
between opposing forces. There are 4
types of conflict:
Consider the following
movies. The Dark Knight
Rises uses human vs human
conflict (Batman vs Joker)
127 Hours uses human vs
self conflict (man must
mentally and physically
overcome being trapped for
127 hours)
2012 uses human vs
environment conflict (human
race vs environmental
Coach Carter uses human vs
society conflict (Coach
using new coaching
techniques which are not
approved by the community)
A word that has a connotation has, in addition to its
straightforward dictionary meaning, a secondary
meaning. A word's connotations can usually be
formulated as a series of qualities, contexts, and
emotional responses commonly associated with it.
For example, Simon Cowell
could be described with two
words that have very different
Strong Willed or
What connotations do
these words hold?
Although strong-willed and pig-headed have the
same literal meaning (i.e. stubborn), strong-willed
connotes admiration for the level of someone's
will, while pig-headed connotes frustration in
dealing with someone.
Dark Comedy
A black comedy, or dark comedy, is a comic work
that uses black humor, which, in its most basic
definition, is humor that makes light of otherwise
solemn subject matter
Does anyone know why Sweeney
Todd is considered a dark
Click HERE to see the trailer!
Dark Comedy
Sweeney Todd is a musical about a barber who kills his
customers. He disposes of his victims by pulling a
lever that makes them fall into a trap door leading to
the basement. This is a dark comedy!
The literal or primary meaning of a word, in
contrast to the feelings or ideas that the
word suggests. It is the dictionary
definition of a word.
Definition of stupendous
- extremely impressive:
This is the denotative meaning
of the word stupendous
An imagined setting in which everything is
unpleasant or bad. This could be a
totalitarian, apocalyptic, or environmentally
degraded society.
Zombie Takeover in
The Walking Dead Dystopia in iRobot
The Hunger Games falls in the dystopian genre!
Unpleasant setting
Click HERE to
Totalitarian government See The Trailer!
An epithet is used as a descriptive device. It
is usually used to add to a person or
’ places
regular name and attribute some special
quality to the same. Epithets are remarkable
in that they become a part of common
usage over time.
Alexander The Great
The term euphemism is used to refer to the use of a
comparatively milder or less harsh form of a negative
description instead of its original form. This device is used
when writing about matters such as sex, violence, death,
crimes and anything "embarrassing".
Why is this a euphemism?
Passed away is a euphemism for died. Using
passed away is less harsh and makes a more
positive association than the word died.
A literary or cinematic device in which later
events interrupt the normal chronological
order of a narrative. This device is often
used to give important about what may
happen later in the plot.
How I Met
Your Mother
The show, How I Met Your
Mother, employs
forwards often in the
series. Can anyone who
has seen the show explain
how this is done?
Click HERE to see a
video which shows
how flashforward is
used in one of the
The characters are
shown in the future
as retired seniors
A literary or cinematic device in which an
earlier event is inserted into the normal
chronological order of a narrative. This
device is often used to give background
information that is important to the plot.
The T V series LOST, uses
flashforwards in the show's later
seasons. In one episode, Jin and
his wife Sun are getting an
ultrasound and the narrative
flashes back to their relationship
on the island.
Click HERE to see the scene!
The term ‘foil’ refers to a literary device where
the author creates a character whose primary
purpose is to create a contrast to another
character by laying emphasis or drawing
attention to the differences in character.
Dr. Jekyll is a seemingly
prosperous man, well established
in the community, and known for
his decency and charitable works.
Mr Hyde is a strange, repugnant
man who looks faintly pre-human.
Hyde is violent and cruel, and
everyone who sees him describes
him as ugly and deformed.
The literary device foreshadowing refers to the use of
words/phrases that give hints to the reader of
something that is going to happen without revealing the
story or spoiling the suspense. Foreshadowing is used
to suggest an upcoming outcome to the story.
The movie The Sixth Sense has a
surprising twist at the end. If you
go back and watch the movie,
there are lots of hints that many
people did not catch until after
they watched it!
At the end of this movie,
Bruce Willis comes to
the realization that he
has died and he is
actually a ghost!
Click HERE to see some
flashbacks to moments
of foreshadowing in the
A category of artistic composition,
as in music or literature,
characterized by similarities in form,
style, or subject matter.
Hubris is another way of saying overly arrogant.
You can tell the difference of hubris and just
regular arrogance or pride by the fact that the
character has seemed to allow reality slip away
from them. The character portraying hubris has a
false belief that they are “ untouchable ”.
On his way to winning 14 Majors, Tiger
felt like he was "untouchable". His
arrogance led to his downfall when he
was caught in the middle of a cheating
scandal with many women. He did it
because he believed he could do it and
no one would catch him and, if
someone did somehow catch him, they
wouldn't dare out him. This is hubris.
Hyperbole is an exaggeration in
writing that is used for effect.
Bruno Mars:
I'd catch a grenade for ya.
Throw my hand on the blade for ya.
I'd jump in front of a train for ya.
You know I'd do anything for ya.
An expression that is peculiar to itself
grammatically or cannot be understood from
the individual meanings of its elements, but is
understood by most people.
Gloria Delgado on Modern
family is known for using
English idioms improperly!
A few idioms she has trouble with include:
in a dog-eat-dog
on Modern family
Blessings in disguise
known for using English idioms
Click HERE
to watch a video!
(from beginning to 1 min
few mistakes
she makes include:
Doggy-Dog World
In literature, one of the strongest device is imagery,
wherein the author uses words and phrases to create
“mental images” for the reader using the 5 senses.
Imagery helps the reader to visualize, and therein,
more realistically experience the author’s writings and
awaken the readers’ sensory perceptions.
Don MacLean, singer of the
song American Pie, sang a
song called "Vincent" about
Van Gogh's painting 'Starry
Starry Night"with the same
name. The lyrics use a
great deal of imagery.
Click HERE to
listen to the
song and see
some of Van
Internal Rhyme
In literature the internal
rhyme is a practice of
forming a rhyme in only
one line of verse. An
internal rhyme is also
known as the middle
rhyme because it is
typically constructed in
the middle of a line to
rhyme with the word at
the end of the same line.
Internal Rhyme
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti.
He's nervous, but on the surface
He looks calm and ready to drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting what he wrote down.
The whole crowd goes so loud.
He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out.
He's choking how, everybody's joking now.
The clock's run out, times up, over, plow
Irony (verbal)
Verbal irony (also called sarcasm) occurs when a
writer makes a statement in which the actual
meaning differs from the meaning that the words
appear to express.
Irony (situational)
Situational irony occurs when the reader
is led to believe that one thing will occur
but, in fact, the opposite occurs. This
can be humorous or tragic.
Irony (dramatic)
Dramatic irony occurs when the reader/
audience knows something, but the
characters within the story do not.
How do
horror movies
use dramatic
Irony (dramatic)
In horror movies, the audience often knows that
the killer is present, when the characters do not!
Can you think of any examples in movies you
have seen?
The use of Kennings in literature is
characteristically related to works in Old
English poetry where the author would
create a new poetic compound-phrase to
describe a familiar person, place, or idea.
These are some
examples of
Malapropism in literature refers to the
practice of misusing words by substituting
words with similar sounding words that have
different, often unconnected meanings, and
thus creating a situation of confusion,
misunderstanding and amusement.
For example, someone
might accidentally say
"well, we'll burn that
bridge when we come
to it" or "I'm getting a
prescription for
A metaphor is an implied comparison is
made between two unlike things that
actually have something important in
One Direction in their song
"One Thing" sing the
You're my kryptonite
You keep making me weak
Why is this a metaphor?
Although at first glance, kryptonite and love don't seem to
have much in common, but they actually do! Kryptonite
makes superman feel weak like love makes the man in the
song feel weak. This is a direct comparison between two
unlike things that have something in common.
Metonymy in literature refers to the practice of not
using the formal word for an object/subject and
instead referring to it by using another word that is
somehow linked to the formal name/word. It is the
practice of substituting the main word with a word
that is closely linked to it.
Why is this
The word pen in this
phrase stands for
the written word.
The phrase puts one
word in place of
another because of
close association!
Mood is the author's emotional perspective
towards the subject of the literary work. It refers
to the mental and emotional disposition of the
author towards the subject, which in turn lends a
particular character or atmosphere to the work.
Miranda Lambert's song The
House That Built Me tells the story
of going back to her childhood
home. The song demonstrates the
author's longing to find comfort
and peace. The mood of this song
is nostalgic and the author is
searching to be healed.
Click HERE to listen to the song.
A motif is a specific theme that dominates a literary
work. Motifs are very noticeable and play a
significant role in defining the nature of the story,
the course of events and the very fabric of the
literary piece.
What would be one
of the dominant
themes (motifs) of
The Lord Of The
Click HERE to see
the trailer!
One reoccurring theme (or motif) from The Lord Of The
Rings is temptation. The temptation of the ring is the
motivating force behind every action in this trilogy,
whether characters are fighting the temptation, nurturing
it, denying it, or preventing someone else from giving in
to it. Characters of every race pursue the ring.
A nemesis is a bitter enemy, especially one
that seems unbeatable.
For example, Superman's nemesis is the
Lex Luthor.
The term onomatopoeia refers to words
that imitate or represent a sound.
Nicki Minaj:
Boy you got my heartbeat runnin' away
Beating like a drum and it's coming your way
Can't you hear that boom, badoom, boom
Boom, badoom, boom bass?
Oxymoron occurs when opposite words are
placed together in a manner that actually ends
up making sense.
Consider the following movie titles that use
A seemingly absurd or self-contradictory
statement or proposition that when investigated
or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
Why is this
a paradox?
If "this sentence is false" is true, then the
sentence is false, which would in turn mean
that it is actually true, but this would mean that
it is false, and so on without end.
Similarly, if "this sentence is false" is false,
then the sentence is true, which would in turn
mean that it is actually false, but this would
mean that it is true, and so on without end.
An imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or
genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.
Think of the film "Scary Movie" It is a
parody for all other scary movies!
Pathos is used in literature and film. It
represents an appeal to the audience's emotions
Disney frequently uses pathos to appeal to the
audience's emotions.
(Aladdin) Sympathy
(Lion King) Sadness for
for a boy in poverty
Mufassa's death.
Click HERE To See Some Examples
The pathetic fallacy is the treatment of inanimate
objects as if they had human feelings, thought, or
sensations.In the discussion of literature, the
pathetic fallacy is similar to personification.
Pathetic fallacy is most often used to describe
weather in a story.
For example, the band My
Chemical Romance sings
"So bright the sun is
ashamed to rise" in their song
The Sharpest Lives.
Personification is one of the most commonly
used and recognized literary devices. It refers to
the practice of attaching human traits and
characteristics with inanimate objects,
phenomena and animals.
Michael Buble:
When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me, make me sway
Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore
Hold me close, sway me more
Like a flower bending in the breeze
Bend with me, sway with ease
The plot usually refers to the
sequence of events and happenings
that make up a story. There is usually
a pattern, unintended or intentional,
that threads the plot together.
Consider the plot of Little Red Riding Hood:
Little Red goes into the
woods and meets the wolf.
The wolf decides to trick her
and go off to her grandmas.
He ties grandma up and
dresses up as her.
What big teeth you have!
The Wolf chases little red
around and tries to eat her!
We meet the characters and the setting
is established (setting/Little Red)
The woodsman hears
the noise and comes
to the rescue.
The wolf is killed and
everyone is okay!
Point Of View
(First Person)
With first person point of view, the
story is told by the narrator from
his/ her point of view. It is easily
identified by the use of "I" or "Me".
The Diary of A Young Girl is
written from the first person
perspective. It tells the true
story of Anne Frank, who
lived in hiding during the Nazi
occupation of the
Point Of View
(second Person)
You use the second-person point of view
addresses the reader. The second person
uses the pronouns “you,” “your,” and
Click HERE to listen
to the introduction
to an old T V series
called The Twilight
Zone. It uses second
person narration!
Point Of View
(Third Person)
With third person point of view, the narrator does
not participate in the events of the story and
tells the story by referring to all characters and
places in the third person with third person
pronouns and proper nouns (he, she, they).
The movie Stranger Than
Fiction is narrated in the third
person omniscient (all knowing
narrator). Click HERE to see
the trailer for the movie!
A prologue is an introduction to a story that usually
sets the tone and acts as a bit of a backgrounder or a
“sneak peek” into the story. Prologues are typically a
narrative ‘spoken’ by one of the characters and not
from the part of the author.
The first few minutes of the movie
National Treasure is a prologue. The
young Ben, while in his grandfathers
attic, hears the story of the treasure
and the family legacy. The next thing
you know it's 30 years later and a
full grown Ben is looking for a
sunken boat in the snow. Click
HERE to see part of that prologue.
The leading character or a major
character in a drama, movie, novel, or
other fictional text.
For example, the
protagonist of
the novel or
movie Twilight is
Bella Swan
A play on words, sometimes on different
senses of the same word and sometimes on
the similar sense or sound of different words.
But you lied again,
now you get to watch her
leave out the window
Guess that's why they call it
window pane
Rhyme Scheme
The rhyme scheme is the practice of rhyming words
placed at the end of the lines in poetry. Rhyme scheme
refers to the order in which particular words rhyme. If the
alternate words rhyme, it is an “a-b-a-b” rhyme scheme,
which means “a” is the rhyme for the lines 1 and 3 and
“b” is the rhyme affected in the lines 2 and 4.
Find light in the beautiful sea
I choose to be happy
You and I, you and I
We ’re like diamonds in the sky
What is the rhyme scheme of this stanza
from Rihanna's song Diamonds?
Rhyme Scheme
Find light in the beautiful sea
I choose to be happy
You and I, you and I
We ’re like diamonds in the sky
The rhyme scheme is
Satire occurs when a piece of writing is making fun of a
human weakness or character flaw. In general, even
though satire might be humorous and may “make fun”, its
purpose is not to entertain and amuse but actually to
derive a reaction of contempt from the reader.
The Hunger
We already discussed that The Hunger Games is a
dystopian novel, but it also uses satire. What human
weakness or character flaws are being criticized in this
The Hunger
Some criticisms include:
Our need to be constantly entertained, even if it is at the
expense of others. In this novel/movie District 12 is
willing to watch people fight to the death for their own
Desensitization to violence on T V.
The division of class and wealth. One district lives in
complete wealth, while the others struggle to survive.
The setting is the time and place of the
events of the story. It basically helps in
establishing where and when and under what
circumstances the story is taking place.
For example, this
season of the show
Survivor was set on
the island of
Caramoan in the
Similes are comparisons between two unrelated and
dissimilar things using like or as (and sometimes than).
You can break everything I am
Like I'm made of glass
Like I'm made of paper
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper
-Demi Lovato
Click Lyrics To
Hear The Song!
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries
-Ed Sheeran
Spoonerism refers to the practice of
interchanging the first letters of some words in
order to create new words or even to create
nonsensical words in order to create a humorous
setting. While they are often unintentional and
known as a “slip of the tongue”, in literature they
are welcomed as witty word-play.
Fighting A Liar
Lighting A Fire
The term stanza refers to a single, related
chunk of lines in poetry. It basically refers to
one unit or group of lines, which forms one
particular section in poetry.
2 Stanzas
I’ve been a walking heartache
I’ve made a mess of me
The person that I’ve been lately
Ain’t who I want to be
(1st - Quatrain,
2nd - Triplet)
Blake Shelton
God Gave Me You
But you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm goes through
And I need you
Suspense is the intense feeling that an audience
goes through while waiting for the outcome of
certain events. It basically leaves the reader
holding their breath and wanting more information.
The amount of intensity in a suspenseful moment
is why it is hard to put a reading down.
A symbol is an object that represents
something else, usually something more
In a literary piece, a symbol means the same
thing. Consider this possible symbol:
Perhaps a light in the story
could represent hope!
A synecdoche is a literary devices that
uses a part of something to refer to
the whole.
What would you think
If I sang out of tune.
Would you stand up
And walk out on me.
Lend me your ears,
And I'll sing you a song.
And I'll try not to
Sing out of key.
The theme of any literary work is the base
topic or focus that acts as a foundation for
the entire literary piece. The theme links all
aspects of the literary work with one another
and is basically the main subject.
The movie Avatar has
many important themes
that connect with the
world today. Click HERE
to watch the trailer.
What do you think some
of the themes might be?
Some of the possible themes of
Avatar are:
The tone of a literary work is the perspective or attitude
that the author adopts with regards to a specific character,
place or development. Tone can portray a variety of
emotions ranging from solemn, grave, and critical to witty,
wry and humorous. Tone helps the reader ascertain the
writer’s feelings towards a particular topic and this in turn
influences the reader’s understanding of the story.
Forest Gump
Forest Gump tells the amazing story
of a simple man with good
For those who have seen the film,
what kind of tone do you think the
film Forest Gump uses?
Forest Gump has an
optimistic tone. It is
clear that the authors
perspective and
attitude about Forrest
is a positive one. The
film portrays a lighthearted and hopeful
perspective, and shows
that the writer feels
optimistic about the
subject at hand.
In literature, the concept of tragedy refers to a series of
unfortunate events by which one or more of the literary
characters in the story undergo several misfortunes,
which finally culminate into a disaster of epic
The movie Titanic is a modern day
tragedy. The main characters must
face a number of unfortunate events
that eventually lead to the sinking of
their ship.
Click HERE to watch the trailer for
this movie
Tragic Flaw
The character flaw or error of a tragic
hero that leads to a character's
Dr. Gregory House from the T V
show House—his addiction is his
tragic flaw. Although he is a genius,
he manages his pain through the
habitual use of Vicodin. This tragic
flaw causes his downfall, especially
as the seasons go on.
Click HERE to see a clip
demonstrating Dr. House's tragic
An understatement draws attention to a fact that is
already obvious and noticeable in a sarcastic or
ironic way. Understating something is akin to
exaggerating its obviousness as a means of humor.
Click HERE to listen to
Charlie's understatement
about cannibalism in Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory.
A piece of utopian fiction is set in an
ideal or perfect community.
The setting of the movie
Pleasantville is at first
considered to be ideal or
perfect. By the end of the
movie; however, we learn that it
isn't as perfect as it seems.
Click HERE to see the trailer
for the film
Wit is a form of intelligent humour, the ability to
say or write things that are clever and usually
funny. A wit is a person skilled at making clever
and funny remarks.
Captain Jack Sparrow from The
Pirates of the Carribean films is
known for his witty remarks.
Click HERE to see some
examples of Jack's witty