English Review: Midterm Exam Literary Terms

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English 1. Review: Midterm Exam
Literary Terms

Carpe diem

















irony—verbal, dramatic, and situational

Grammar: Review everything listed on the review for your grammar test + verb tenses: simple past, present perfect, and past perfect. It’s linked in your “assignments” folder.

Identify the speaker. Passages will be characteristic of the speaker and will most likely have been covered in class.




Jean Valjean

Ivan Ilyich

Indra and the Ants

Assorted characters from TFA

From Things Fall Apart: Five questions from chapters 23-end.

“The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” (245)

  • What is the tone of the poem?

From the “Tao Te Ching” 544

  • What happens if we try to change the universe?

  • What rhetorical device does Lao-Tze use frequently in his text?

“Analects” of Confucius 550

  • Re-read them—to the point where you can recognize them as belonging to Confucius.

“Four Noble Truths” 583

  • Re-read them—to the point where you can recognize them as belonging to the Buddha.

“Indra and the Ants” (handout)

  • What fundamental Hindu belief is the basis of this story?

Rumi (804)

  • What common theme do the two stories share?

From The Thousand and One Nights 784

  • What moral do all of the stories share in common?

from The Pillow Book 770

  • Despite the author's seemingly progressive views on some issues, her remarks reflect a "feudal" way of thinking. Where do we see this?

“Federigo’s Falcon” 822

  • Why is the story ironic?

  • What conventions of Courtly Love are illustrated in the story?

Courtly love featured the following points:

  • the lover is afflicted with a consuming passion

  • the female love object is placed on a pedestal—she is portrayed as an ideal, like an angel

  • the male is excessively courteous, considerate, and heroic

  • the male has to prove his love, often through a trial or series of trials, such as killing a dragon or going on a crusade

Sonnets 90 and 130 on 851:

How do they differ in terms of

a. structure

b. rhyme scheme

c. tone

d. imagery

e. theme?

Be able to explain the intertextual relationship between the two sonnets
General notes on the sonnet:
Two types: Italian, also known as Petrarchan, and Shakespearean
A sonnet features:

  • fourteen lines

  • two parts: an octave (8 lines) and a sestet (6 lines)

  • a distinctive rhyme scheme

Shakespearean: abab cdcd efef gg

Petrarchan: octet: abba abba

sestet: cdecde or cdcdcd or cdedce
You needn’t memorize the rhyme schemes for the exam.

“Fables” by Jean de la Fontaine (867)

  • What common theme do the two stories share?

From Les Mis 914:

Which of the ten conventions of Romanticism do we see in the excerpt?

From Ivan Ilyich 314 + Chapter 11, linked at the website:

Understand the main idea. What is Ivan’s internal conflict? How do his friends and family respond to his illness?

What about Ivan Ilyich best reflects Realism?

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