Literature Terms Vocabulary Practice (page 2)
Literature Terms Vocabulary Practice
Words in Context
The following exercise will help you figure out the meaning of some words from the vocabulary list by reading context clues. After you have read and understood the paragraph, explain the context clues that helped you with the meaning of the vocabulary word. Refer to the answer section for an explanation of the clues.
When asked why the prose of the new novelist, Jane Jackson, appealed to me, I immediately thought of what makes any good novel. Considering the standard archetype, I think the successful novel should include mastery of a range of literary elements. In Jackson's case, she indeed effectively employs the device of anthropomorphism, in particular, when she writes of the "angry storm" waiting to take her revenge. It is as if the storm itself is the novel's protagonist: its central and most dynamic character. An anecdote I would like to share regarding the popularity of Jackson's writing takes place on the New York City subway. I noticed a young woman reading Jackson's latest novel, a satire that exposes and pokes fun of dating in the big city. When I, instinctively as a literary critic, approached the reader to ask her opinion, I realized it was Jackson herself! The irony of the situation was that the novelist still wished to critique the text she had authored; she was her own worst critic!
Some people learn best by doing. Try writing a short story or poem using some of the concepts defined in this list. Seeing them in action will help you commit the words to memory.
Insert the correct word from the vocabulary list into the following sentences.
- My dad told us a(n) _____ about his childhood that was so funny, none of us could stop laughing.
- I love to learn the origin of words, so my teacher suggested I might like to read a book on the _____ of language.
- I _____ (d) his smile as accepting my offer.
- I decided to start my novel with a(n) _____ to get readers thinking about what was to come.
- The little girl's favorite cartoon is one that uses _____ to tell the story; the silverware, refrigerator, and everything else in the kitchen come to life.
- When something or someone typifies or embodies a given idea, it is a(n) _____ of that concept.
- An ideal example of a given type is known as a standard or a(n) _____.
- A(n) _____ is a play on words.
- _____is the art of effective language use.
- When a character or performer reveals her thoughts without addressing a listener, she is issuing a _____.
- A brief statement of truth or opinion is known as a(n) _____ or a saying.
- One is often able to _____, or to reach a conclusion by reasoning or inference.
- The complex device, _____, is when words are used to express something different from, and opposite to, their literal meaning.
- _____is often used in children's books to help kids learn the sounds that animals make, like "moo" for a cow and "meow" for a cat.
- To _____ is to understand from a hint or implication, rather than from something directly statee.
- Putting a situation in the proper _____ often requires a certain mental outlook or point of view.
- A novel's main character, or _____, is central to the action of the text.
- When a saying, idea, or word is so overused that it fails to evoke interest or convey meaning, we may call it _____.
- The finest novelists have a real signature to their writing or the _____ they produce.
- Irony and wit contribute to the makings of an effective _____ that attacks human folly.
The following exercise lists vocabulary words from this chapter. Each word is followed by five answer choices. Four of them are synonyms of the vocabulary word in bold. Your task is to choose the one that is NOT a synonym.
- main character
- principal figure
- fastest player
- first actor
- leader of a cause
- point of view
- evaluation of significance
- perceived interrelations
- depressing language
- ordinary writing
- nonmetrical writing
- commonplace expression
- ordinary speech
- ambiguous expression
- play on words
- similar sound
- rhetorical joke
- powerful understanding
- classical text
- ironic ridicule
- witty literature
- statement of truth
- to go against
- explain the meaning of
- analyze the structure of
In the space provided, write a T if the sentence is true, and an F if the sentence is false. If the sentence is false, cross out the false word and write the correct word from the vocabulary list above it.
- _____In journalism class, we used the news article as an archetype of what quality journalism looks like.
- _____In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet is not only the title but also the satire of the story.
- _____Based on the given evidence and circumstances, I was able to construe my own hypothesis.
- _____Irony is when words imitate the sounds associated with the actions to which they refer.
- _____My perspective on the subject shifted when the author's prose helped me step into another point of view.
- _____Cinderella, a well-known pun, captivates many readers who dream of transformation.
- _____The film was a parody or soliloquy of the futuristic genre, as it poked fun at depictions of space travel and alien encounters.
- _____Her prose was seamless and descriptive as she narrated her travels abroad for a captive audience.
- _____Throughout the story, the lion was a personification of all things regal and really stood as a symbol of royalty.
- _____A word's epigram can reveal a great deal about the history of its usages.
Choosing the Right Word
Circle the word in bold that best completes the sentence.
- I thought she was such a good storyteller as she shared a number of humorous (anecdotes, archetypes) about her beloved grandmother.
- The valentine card included a short, witty (etymology, epigram) that I found quite clever.
- The character was a (personification, satire) of fear as she truly embodied the emotion.
- There was such (irony, onomatopoeia) in the way she unexpectedly ended up rejecting the job she had worked for all her career.
- Sometimes, two words that mean different things yet sound the same provide the opportunity for a (prose, pun).
- The (rhetoric, protagonist) in the persuasive essay was so strong it convinced me to change my position.
- As a reader, I tend to relate to a (soliloquy, protagonist) whose experiences reflect mine.
- Although the poet did have some unique talent, he employed many phrases that were overused and that I found (trite, ironic).
- What was so compelling about the actor's (soliloquy, satire) was how the audience came to understand the inner workings of his mind, even though he never addressed them directly.
- There's an old (soliloquy, aphorism) that says, "A watched pot never boils."
The next time you read a piece of literature, see if you can spot some of the concepts explained in this chapter.
Rent a movie with a friend and try talking about the way the story unfolds: how the actors, screenplay writers, and directors give you, the viewer, your information. In your film (also a literary text) discussion, try to use, in context, a number of words from the vocabulary list
Recommend a book to a friend and in explaining why it is a worthwhile read, try using some of the literary terms you learned in the vocabulary list. Also, read the New York Times book review section. You'll see that those literary critics may talk about the quality of prose, an author's rhetorical gift or style, or the ironic plot twist the reader encounters.
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