Allegory: A tale in verse or prose in which characters, actions, or settings represent abstract ideas or moral qualities. An allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.
1. American Naturalism: American naturalism was a new and harsher realism. American naturalism had been shaped by the war; by the social upheavals that undermined the comforting faith of an earlier age. America’s literary naturalists dismissed the validity of comforting moral truths. They attempted to achieve extreme objectivity and frankness, presenting characters of low social and economic classes who were determined by their environment and heredity. In presenting the extremes of life, the naturalists sometimes displayed an affinity to the sensationalism of early romanticism, but unlike their romantic predecessors, the naturalists emphasized that the world was amoral, that men and women had no free will, that lives were controlled by heredity and environment, that the destiny of humanity was misery in life and oblivion in death. Although naturalist literature described the world with sometimes brutal realism, it sometimes also aimed at bettering the world through social reform.
2. American Puritanism: Puritanism is the practices and beliefs of the Puritans. The Puritans were originally members of a division of the Protestant Church. The first settlers who became the founding fathers of the American nation were quite a few of them. They were a group of serious, religious people, advocating highly religious and moral principles. As the word itself hints, Puritans wanted to purity their religious beliefs and practices. They accepted the doctrine of predestination, original sin and total depravity, and limited atonement through a special infusion of grace form God. As a culture heritage, Puritanism did have a profound influence on the early American mind. American Puritanism also had an enduring influence on American literature.
3. American Realism: in American literature, the Civil War brought the Romantic Period to an end. The Age of Realism came into existence. It came as a reaction against the lie of romanticism and sentimentalism. Realism turned from an emphasis on the strange toward a faithful rendering of the ordinary, a slice of life as it is really lived. It expresses the concern for commonplace and the low, and it offers an objective rather than an idealistic view of human nature and human experience.
4. American Romanticism: The Romantic Period covers the first half of the 19th century. A rising America with its ideals of democracy and equality, its industrialization, its westward expansion, and a variety of foreign influences were among the important factors which made literary expansion and expression not only possible but also inevitable in the period immediately following the nation’s political independence. Yet, romantics frequently shared certain general characteristics: moral enthusiasm, faith in value of individualism and intuitive perception, and a presumption that the natural world was a source of goodness and man’s societies a source of corruption. Romantic values were prominent in American politics, art, and philosophy until the Civil War. The romantic exaltation of the individual suited the nation’s revolutionary heritage and its frontier egalitarianism.
5. American Transcendentalism: Transcendentalists terrors from the romantic literature of Europe. They spoke for cultural rejuvenation and against the materialism of Americagogopirit, or the Oversoul, as the most important thing in the Universe. They stressed the importance of the individual. To them, the individual was the most important element of society. They offered a fresh perception of nature as symbolic of the Spirit or God. Nature was, to them, alive, filled with God’s overwhelming presence. Transcendentalism is based on the belief that the most fundamental truths about life and death can be reached only by going beyond the world of the senses. Emerson’s Nature has been called the “Manifesto of American Transcendentalism” and his The American Scholar has been rightly regarded as America’s “Declaration of Intellectual Independence”.
6. Ballad: A story told in verse and usually meant to be sung. In many countries, the folk ballad was one of the earliest forms of literature. Folk ballads have no known authors. They were transmitted orally from generation to generation and were not set down in writing until centuries after they were first sung. The subject matter of folk ballads stems from the everyday life of the common people. Devices commonly used in ballads are the refrain, incremental repetition, and code language. A later form of ballad is the literary ballad, which imitates the style of the folk ballad.
7. Blank verse: Verse written in unrhymed iambic pentameter.
8. Caricature: The use of exaggeration or distortion to make a figure appear comic or ridiculous. A physical characteristic, an eccentricity, a personality trait, or an act may be exaggerated.
9. Climax: The point of greatest intensity, interest, or suspense in a gogotory’s turning point. The action leading to the climax and the simultaneous increase of tension in the plot are known as the rising action. All action after the climax is referred to as the falling action, or resolution. The term crisis is sometimes used interchangeably with climax.
10. Comedy: in general, a literary work that ends happily with a healthy, amicable armistice between the protagonist and society.
11. Couplet: Two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme. A heroic couplet is an iambic pentameter couplet.
12. Dramatic monologue: A kind of narrative poem in which one character speaks to one or more listeners whose replies are not given in the poem. The occasion is usually a crucial one in the speaker’s personality as well as the incident that is the subject of the poem.
13. Elegy: A poem of mourning, usually over the death of an individual. An elegy is a type of lyric poem, usually formal in language and structure, and solemn or even melancholy in tone.
14. Enlightenment: With the advent of the 18th century, in England, as in other European countries, there sprang into life a public movement known as the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment on the whole, was an expression of struggle of the then progressive class of bourgeois against feudalism. The egogo inequality, stagnation, prejudices and other survivals of feudalism. The attempted to place all branches of science at the service of mankind by connecting them with the actual deeds and requirements of the people.
15. Epic: A long narrative poem telling about the deeds of a great hero and reflecting the values of the society from which it originated. Many epics were drawn from an oral tradition and were transmitted by song and recitation before they were written down.
16. Era of Modernism: The years from 1910 to 1930 are often called the Era of Modernism, for there seems to have been in both Europe and America a strong awareness of some sort of “break” with the past. The new artists shared a desire to capture the complexity of modern life, to focus on the variety and confusion of the 20th century by reshaping and sometimes discarding the ideas and habits of the 19th century. The Era of Modernism was indeed the era of the New.
17. Essay: A piece of prose writing, usually short, that deals with a subject in a limited way and expresses a particular point or view. An essay may be serious or humorous, tightly organized or rambling, restrained or emotional. The two general classifications of essay are the informal essay and the formal essay. An informal essay is usually brief and is written as if the writer is talking informally to the reader about some topic, using a conversational style and a personal or humorous tone. By contrast, a formal essay is tightly organized, dignified in style, and serious in tone.
18. Exposition: (1) That part of a narrative or drama in which important background information is revealed. (2) It is the kind of writing that is intended primarily to present information. Exposition is one of the major forms of discourse. The most familiar form it takes is in essays. Exposition is also that part of a play in which important background information is revealed to the audience.
19. Imagism: It’s a poetic movement of England and the U.S. flourished from 1909 to 1917.The movement insists on the creation of images in poetry by “the direct treatment of the thing” and the economy of wording. The leaders of this movement were Ezra Pound and Amy Lowell.
20. Irony: A contrast or an incongruity between what is stated and what is really meant, or between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. Three kinds of irony are (1) verbal irony, in which a writer or speaker says one thing and means something entirely different; (2) dramatic irony, in which a reader or an audience perceives something that a character in the story or play does not know; (3) irony of situation, in which the writer shows a discrepancy between the expected results of some action or situation and its actual results.
21. Local Colorism: Local Colorism or Regionalism as a trend first made its presence felt in the late 1860s and early seventies in America. It may be defined as the careful attegogoms in speech, dress or behavior peculiar to a geographical locality. The ultimate aim of the local colorists is to create the illusion of an indigenous little world with qualities that tell it apart from the world outside. The social and intellectual climate of the country provided a stimulating milieu for the growth of local color fiction in America. Local colorists concerned themselves with presenting and interpreting the local character of their regions. They tended to idealize and glorify, but they never forgot to keep an eye on the truthful color of local life. They formed an important part of the realistic movement. Although it lost its momentum toward the end of the 19th century, the local spirit continued to inspire and fertilize the imagination of author.
22. Lost Generation: This term has been used again and again to describe the people of the postwar years. It describes the Americans who remained in Paris as a colony of “ expatriates” or exiles. It describes the writers like Hemingway who lived in semi poverty. It describes the Americans who returned to their native land with an intense awareness of living in an unfamiliar changing world. The young English and American expatriates, men and women, were caught in the war and cut off from the old values and yet unable to come to terms with the new era when civilization had gone mad. They wandered pointlessly and restlessly, enjoying things like fishing, swimming, bullfight and beauties of nature, but they were aware all the while that the world is crazy and meaningless and futile. Their whole life is undercut and defeated.
23. Lyric: A poem, usually a short one, that expresses a speaker’s personal thoughts or feelings. The elegy, ode, and sonnet are all forms of the lyric.
24. Metonymy: A figure of speech in which something very closely associated with a thing is used to stand for or suggest the thing itself. 2009年考题
25. Motif: A recurring feature (such as a name, an image, or a phrase) in a work of literature. A motif generally contributes in some way to the theme of a short story, novel, poem, or play. At times, motif is used to refer to some commonly used plot or character type in literature.
26. Naturalism: An extreme form of realism. Naturalistic writers usually depict the sordid side of life and show characters who are severely, if not hopelessly, limited by their environment or heredity.
27. Neoclassicism: A revival in the 17th agogo of order, balance, and harmony in literature.
28. Ode: A complex and often lengthy lyric poem, written in a dignified formal style on some lofty or serious subject. Odes are often written for a special occasion, to honor a person or a season or to commemorate an event.
29. Parallelism: (a figure of speech) The use of phrases, clauses, or sentences that are similar or complementary in structure or in meaning. Parallelism is a form of repetition.
110. Parody: The humorous imitation of a work of literature, art, or music. A parody often achieves its humorous effect through the use of exaggeration or mockery. In literature, parody can be make of a plot, a character, a writing style, or a sentiment or theme.
30. Pathos: The quality in a work of literature or art that arouses the reader’s feelings of pity, sorrow, or compassion for a character. The term is usually used to refer to situations in which innocent characters suffer through no fault of their own.
31. Plot: Plot is the first and most obvious quality of a story. It is the sequence of events or actions in a short story, novel, play, or narrative poem. For the reader, the plot is the underlying pattern in a work of fiction, the structural element that gives it unity and order. For the writer, the plot is the guiding principle of selection and arrangement. Conflict, a struggle of some kind, is the most important element of plot. Each event in the plot is related to the conflict, the struggle that the main character undergoes. Conflict may be external or internal, and there may be more than one form of conflict in a work. As the plot advances, we learn how the conflict is resolved. Action is generally introduced by the exposition, information essential to understanding the situation. The action rises to a crisis, or climax. This movement is called the rising action. The falling action, which follows the crisis, shows a reversal of fortune for the protagonist. The denouement or resolution is the moment when the conflict ends and the outcome of the action is clear.
32. Point of view: The vantage point from which a narrative is told. There are two basic points of view: first-person and third-person. In the first-person point of view, the story is told by one of the characters in his or her own words. The first-person point of view is limited. In the third-person point of view, the narrator is not a character in the story. The narrator may be an omniscient. On the other hand, the third-person narrator might tell a story from the point of view of only one character in the story.
33. Pre-Romanticism: It originated among the conservative groups of men and letters as a reaction against Enlightenment and found its most manifest expression in the “Gothic novel”. The term arising from the fact that the greater part of such romances were devoted to the medieval times.
34. Protagonist: The central character of a drama, novel, short story, or narrative poem. The protagonist is the character on whom the action centers and with whom the reader sympathizes most. Usually the protagonist strives against an opposing force, or antagonist , to accomplish something.
35. Psychological Realism: It is the realistic writing that probes deeply into the complexities of characters’ thoughts and motivations. Henry James is considered the founder of psychological realism. His novel The Ambassadors is considered to be a masterpiece of psychological realism.
36. Renaissance: The term originally indicated a revival of classical (Greek and Roman) arts and sciences after the dark ages of medieval obscurantism.
37. Simile: (a figure of speech) A comparison make between two things through the use of a specific word of comparison, such as like, as than, or resembles. The comparison must be between two essentially unlike things.
38. Setting: The time and place in which the events in a short story, novel, play or narrative poem occur. Setting can give us information, vital to plot and theme. Often, setting and character will reveal each other.
39. Soliloquy: In drama, an extended speech delivered by a character alone onstage. The character reveals his or her innermost thoughts and feelings directly to the audience, as if thinking aloud.
40. Spenserian stanza: A nine-line stanza with the following rhyme scheme: ababbabcc. The first eight lines are written in iambic pentameter. The ninth line is written in iambic hexameter and is called an alexandrine.
41. Spenserian stanza: A nine-line stanza with the following rhyme scheme: ababbabcc. The first eight lines are written in iambic pentameter. The ninth line is written in iambic hexameter and is called an alexandrine.
42. Stream of consciousness: “Stream-of-Consciousness” or “interior monologue”, is one of the modern literary techniques. It is 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. It was first used in 1922 by the Irish novelist James Joyce. Those novels broke through the bounds of time and space, and depicted vividly and skillfully the unconscious activity of the mind fast changing and flowing incessantly, particularly the hesitant, misted, distracted and illusory psychology people had when they faced reality. The modern American writer William Faulkner successfully advanced this technique. In his stories, action and plots were less important than the reactions and inner musings of the narrators. Time sequences were often dislocated. The reader feels himself to be a participant in the stories, rather than an observer. A high degree of emotion can be achieved by this technique.
43. Symbol: A symbol is a sign which suggests more than its literal meaning. In other words, a symbol is both literal and figurative. A symbol is a way of telling a story and a way of conveying meaning. The best symbols are those that are believable in the lives of the characters and also convincing as they convey a meaning beyond the literal level of the story. If the symbol is obscure or ambiguous, then the very obscurity and the ambiguity may also be part of the meaning of the story.
44. Symbolism: Symbolism is the writing technique of using symbols. It’s a literary movement that arose in France in the last half of the 19th century and that greatly influenced many English writers, particularly poets, of the 20th century. It enables poets to compress a very complex idea or set of ideas into one image or even one word. It’s one of the most powerful devices that poets employ in creation.
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