American Literature
  1. Dialect is the way people speak in a certain region or area.
  2. There are two kinds of conflict. In an external conflict, characters struggle against a force outside themselves. In an internal conflict, characters battle a force within themselves, such as guilt. Stories often contain both external and internal conflicts.
  3. The most common meter in English poetry is called iambic pentameter. It's a pattern of five feet (groups of syllables), each having one unstressed syllable and one stressed syllable.
  4. A conceit is an extended metaphor that compares two startlingly different subjects.
  5. By the end of the Revolutionary War, America was already a literate nation. Nearly 50 newspaper and 40 magazines had been established in America's coastal cities. Almanacs were bit-time sellers all over the country.
  6. Broadsides were extremely popular during colonial times. A broadside is a single sheet of paper printed on one or both sides, dealing with a current topic. One of the most popular broadsides was a ballad called "The Dying Redcoat," supposedly written during the Revolutionary War by a British sergeant as he lay dying. He realizes too late, that he's on America's side: "Fight on, America's noble sons, Fear not Britannia's thundering guns: Maintain your case from year to your, God's on your side, you need not fear."
  7. Gothic refers to the use of medieval, wild, or mysterious elements in literature. Gothic literatures features mysterious and gloomy settings and horrifying events. Edgar Allan Poe is generally regarded as the American master of Gothic writing.
  8. A stanza is a group of lines in a poem, considered as a unit. Stanzas often function just like paragraphs do in prose (non-poetry).
  9. A narrative is a story told in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama. Prose is any writing that is not poetry or drama. A prose narrative, therefore, is a story told in the ordinary form of written language (rather than drama or poetry).
  10. Moby Dick is considered to be an epic story (a long narrative that represents characters in a high position who take part in a series of adventures of significance) because it features a long journey, elevated language, and battles.
  11. An iamb is a pair of syllables, one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. For example: I taste. Iambic tetrameter has four iambs.

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