AP English Literature Vocabulary for Letters J-M 

*Juxtaposition: the act or instance of placing two things close together or side by side. This is often done in order to compare/contrast the two, to show similarities or differences, etc. In literature, a juxtaposition occurs when two images that are otherwise not commonly brought together appear side by side or structurally close together, thereby forcing the reader to stop and reconsider the meaning of the text through the contrasting images, ideas, motifs, etc. For example, "He was slouched alertly" is a juxtaposition. 

*Lament: A poem of sadness or grief over the death of a loved one or over some other intense loss. 

*Lampoon:  A satire. 

*Limerick: a humorous 5 line poem.  Most follow the rhyme scheme of aabba. 
  Seniors take AP English to learn. 
  A book is to read and not to burn. 
  Your teacher is Mr. Evans. 
  At the end of the year, you'll say "thank heavens." 
  Do homework early  so your stomach will not turn. 

*Litotes: an understatement, where the speaker or writer uses a negative of a word ironically, to mean the opposite. Litotes is to be found in English literature right back to Anglo-Saxon times. She's not the friendliest person I know. (she's an unfriendly person) 

*Loose and periodic sentences:  A loose sentence is complete before its end.  A periodic sentence is not grammatically complete until it has reached its final phrase.  (The term loose does not in any way imply that the sentences are slack or shoddy.) 
Loose sentence:  Jack loved Barbara despite her irritating snorting laugh, her complaining, and her terrible taste in shoes. 
Periodic sentence:  Despite Barbaraís irritation at Jackís peculiar habit of picking between his toes while watching MTV and his terrible haircut, she loved him. 

*Lyric:  A type of poetry that explores the poetís personal interpretation of and feelings about the world (or the part that his poem is about).  When the word lyric is used to describe a tone it refers to a sweet emotional melodiousness.     *Masculine rhyme:  A rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable (a.k.a., regular old rhyme). 

*Means, Meaning:  This is the big one, the one task you have to do all the time.  You are discovering what makes sense, whatís important.  There is literal meaning which is concrete and explicit, and there is emotional meaning. 

*Melodrama:  A form of cheesy theater in which the hero is very, very good, the villain mean and rotten, and the heroine oh-so-pure.  (It sounds dumb, but melodramatic movies make tons of money every year.) 

*Metaphor and simile:  A metaphor is a comparison, or analogy that states on thing is another.  His eyes were burning coals, or In the morning, the lake is covered in liquid gold.  Itís a simple point, so keep it straight: a simile is just like a metaphor but softens the full out equations of things, often, but not always by using like or as.  His eyes were like burning coals, or In the morning the lake is covered in what seems to be liquid gold. 

*Metaphysical conceit: see conceit 

*Metonym: A word that is used to stand for something else that it has attributes of or is associated with. For example, a herd of 50 cows could be called 50 head of cattle. This is Greek for "name change," and denotes a closely related word for something. For example, a crown is a metonym for a king, and a cane, a metonym for old age. Also, books are metonyms for knowledge. Metonyms work to give you a more abstract stance, while still stating your concrete thought.   The Oval Office=the activity of the presidency. 

*Mood: the atmosphere of a story.  The feeling created in the reader by a literary work.  See tone. 

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