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What Are Literary Elements?



What Are Literary Elements?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.7

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    climax, exposition, protagonist, sequential, antagonist, dialog, characterization, literary, first-person, omniscient, third-person, objective, internal, resolution, finding, society


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What Are Literary Elements?
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     What are these literary elements your teacher is talking about? Sure, you enjoy reading. But have you really taken time to think more deeply about the things you read? Authors use literary elements to make their writing more interesting. Teachers use them as starting points for analyzing and discussing the literature students read.
 
2     You have probably heard of these literary elements: setting, plot, characterization, conflict, point of view, theme, and tone. But what do these really mean?
 
3     Setting is the time and place of the story. The author might come right out and state the exact time and place. Or he might give the reader clues. For example, he may describe how people dress or what kind of transportation they use in order to tell the time period of the story. He might describe a city or country setting and tell about the weather to give clues about the place. It is important to know the setting in order to understand the story.
 
4     The plot is the events in the story. Authors give the plot in many ways. They may give events in a sequential order. Or they may use flashbacks to go backwards and forwards in time. Like a good crime scene show, there may be several plot lines going on at the same time.

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