AP Exam Review • Literary Terms
Synecdoche • Figurative language in which part of the whole is used to represent the whole/entire object • Car=“Wheels” • King/Rule=“Crown” or “Throne”
Litotes • An understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite • i.e. describing a horrifying scene by saying “It was not a pretty picture.”
Chiasmus • A statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed • i.e. Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary.
Ellipsis • The omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deduced from context • i.e. Some people prefer cats; others, dogs.
Paradox • An apparently contradictory statement that contains some truth • i.e.: I can resist anything but temptation
Syllepsis • A sentence construction in which one word is used in two senses • i.e. After he threw the ball, he threw a fit. • "When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes."(E.B. White, "Dog Training") • “She blew my nose and then she blew my mind."(Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Honky Tonk Woman")
Aphorism • A concise saying that expresses a truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance • i.e.: “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” (B.Franklin)
Metonymy • Figurative language in which the name of an object is substituted for another object that is closely associated with it • i.e. The pen (writing) is mightier than the sword (violence)
Anaphora • Repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences. • MLK Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech
Euphemism • An indirect and less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant • i.e.: “passed away” or “departed” instead or “died” • “letting someone go” instead or “firing”
Apostrophe • A figure of speech in which one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or some abstraction (speaking to death or love)
Allusion • A reference to another literary work or historical event • Most common references are to the Bible, Shakespeare, or Mythology • Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” • Pallas=Athena=goddess of wisdom
Satire • A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit; the goal is to change the behavior/issue • i.eBrave New World; Animal Farm
Denotation vs. Connotation • 1: The dictionary definition of a word • 2: The implied or associative meanings of a word