AP Vocab Motif – Verisimilitude

Motif
A phrase, idea, or event that through repetition unifies or conveys a theme

Muse
To reflect deeply; ponder

Myth
An imaginary story that has become an accepted part of cultural or religious tradition

Narrative
A form of verse or prose that tells a story

Naturalism
A darker form of realism

Non sequiter
A statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before

Objective
Of or relating to facts and reality, rather than being subjective

Ode
A lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings towards the subject

Old English
The Anglo-Saxon language spoken from about 450-1150 A.D.

Omniscient narrator
A narrator with unlimited awareness, understanding, and insight

Onomatopoeia
The use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning, such as “crash”

Oxymoron
A term consisting of contradictory elements juxtaposed to create a paradoxical effect

Parable
A story consisting of events from which a moral or spiritual truth may be derived

Paradox
A statement that seems self-contradictory, but is nevertheless true

Parallel Strcutre
A recurring grammatical structure, such as, “To be or not to be”

Parody
An imitation of a work meant to ridicule its style and subject

Paraphrase
A version of a text put into simpler, everyday words

Pastoral
A work of literature dealing with rural life

Pathetic fallacy
Faulty reasoning that ascribes human feelings to nature or nonhuman objects

Pathos
The element in literature that stimulates pity or sorrow

Pedantic
Narrowly academic instead of broad and humane; excissively petty and meticulous

Periodic Sentence
A sentence that departs from the usual word order of English sentences by expressing its main thought only at the end

Persona
The role or facade that a character assumes or depicts to a reader or other audience

Personification
A figure of speech in which objects and animals are given human characteristics

Plot
Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution

Point of View
The relation in which a narrator or speaker stands to a subject of discourse

Predicate
The part of the sentence that is not the grammatical subject

Prose
Any discourse that is not poetry

Proverb
A short pithy statement of a general truth (such as adage and maxim)

Pseudonym
A false name or alias used by writers

Pulp fiction
Novels written for mass consumption

Pun
A humorous play on words

Realism
The depiction of people, things, and events as they really are

Rebuttal
The part of a discourse wherein opposing arguments are anticipated and answered

Reiteration
Repetition of an idea using different words

Repetition
Reuse of the same words, phrases, or ideas for rhetorical effect

Retraction
The withdrawal of a previously stated idea or opinion

Rhetoric
The language of a work and its style

Rhetorical mode
A general term that identifies discourse according to its purpose: exposiition, argumentation, description, narration, etc.

Rhetorical question
A question to which an audience already knows the answer

Rhetorical stance
Language that conveys a speaker’s attitude or opinion with regard to a particular subject

Rhyme
The repetition of similar sounds at regular intervals

Rhythm
The patterm of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up a speech or writing

Romance
An extended narrative about improbable events and extraordinary people in exotic places

Sarcasm
A sharp, caustic attitude conveyed in words through jibes, taunts, and other remarks

Satire
A literary style used to poke fun at, attack, or ridicule an idea

Sentence Structure
The arrangement of parts of the sentence

Sentiment
A synonym for view or feeling; also a refined and tender emotion in literature

Sentimental
A term that describes characters’ excessive emotional response to experience

Setting
An enviroment that consists of time, place, social and political background

Simile
A comparison using the words “like” or “as”

Stream of consciousness
A style of writing in which the author tries to reproduce the random flow of thoughts in the human mind

Style
The manner in which an author uses and arranges words, shapes ideas, forms sentences, and creates structure

Stylistic devices
A general term referring to diction, syntax, tone, figureative language, and other elements that contribue to the “style”

Subject complement
The name of a grammatical unit that is comprised of predicate nominateves and predicate adjectives

Subjective
Of or relating to private or personal feelings and attitudes as opposed to facts and reality

Subtext
The implied meaning of that underlies the main meaning of an essay or work

Syllogism
A form of deductive reasoning in which given certain idea or facts, other ideas or facts must follow

Symbolism
The use of an object to represent more than just itself

Synecdoche
A figure of speech in which a part signfies the whole (fifty masts for fifty ships, etc.)

Syntax
The organization of langauge into meaningful structure

Theme
The main idea or meaning, often an abstract idea upon which an essay or other form of discourse is built

Thesis
The main idea of piece of discourse

Tone
The author’s attitude toward the subject being written about

Tragedy
A form of literature in which the hero is destroyed by some character flaw

Transition
A stylistic device used to create a link between ideas

Trope
The generic name for a figure of speech

Understatement
A restrained statement that departs what could be said

Verbal irony
A discrepancy between what is said and what is meant

Verse
A synonym of poetry; also, a group of lines in a song or poem

Verisimilitude
The quality of realism in a work…believability