Modern Times, Modern Issues

Specific Standard Addressed:

L.11-12.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.



Unit Vocabulary

This page contains key vocabulary terms that will be used frequently in the following unit. Your understanding of these terms, rhetorical devices, and literary techniques is essential for success in this coursse. You may refer to this page at any time to review key concepts.

Please note that you are expected to know the terms in the previous unit because those terms will not be discussed in the following pages. Refer to the Unit Vocabulary page if you require additional review.
Unit Vocabulary Collage
Rhetorical Devices

Anaphora - noun. The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses.

Anaphora Example


Anaphora in this example draws attention to our ancestors


Juxtaposition - noun. the fact of two things seen or placed close together with contrasting effect: the juxtaposition of these two images


Inversion - reversal of the normal order of words, typically for rhetorical effect but also found in the regular formation of questions in English.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

Metonymy - noun. a word, name, or expression used as a substitute for something else which is closely associated. For example, Washington is a metonym for the US government.

Synecdoche - noun. a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in England lost by six wickets (meaning 'the English cricket team').

Literary Devices
Masculine Rhyme and Feminine Rhyme

Masculine Rhyme - noun. a rhyme between final stressed syllables (eg. blow/flow, confess/redress).

Masculine Rhyme


Masculine Rhymes in Emily Dickinson's Poetry

Feminine Rhyme - noun. a rhyme between stressed syllables followed by one or more unstressed syllables (eg. stocking/shocking, glamorous/amorous).

Feminine Rhyme in "The Star Spangled Banner"

Near Rhyme

Near Rhyme - noun. rhyming in which the words sound the same but do not rhyme perfectly. Also called off rhyme, half rhyme, oblique rhyme or slant rhyme.

Near Rhyme Example


Iambic Feet

Iambic feet - noun. a metrical foot in poetry consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable.

Iambic Foot


One iambic foot

Iambic Trimeter

Iambic Trimeter - noun. a measurement in poetry consisting of three iambic feet.

Iambic Trimeter example


The first line is in iambic trimeter

Iambic Tetrameter

Iambic tetrameter - noun. a measurement in poetry consisting of four iambic feet.

Iambic Tetrameter Example


Both lines are in iambic tetrameter.

Iambic Pentameter

Iambic pentameter - noun. a measurement in poetry consisting of five iambic feet.


Verbal Irony - the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect

Situational Irony - a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result: the irony is that I thought he could help me

Dramatic Irony - a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions is clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character


Satire - noun. the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose or criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in context of contemporary politics and other topical issues: the crude satire seems to be directed at the fashionable protest singers of the time

Political cartoon


The great presidential puzzle, political cartoon by James Albert Wales, 1880

Depicts Senator Roscoe Conkling, playing a puzzle game with the Republic presidential candidates. Conkling has his head on his hand as though he wants to move into the available space.


Characterization - noun. the way in which authors describe the distinctive nature or features of a character.

Direct Characterization - the author tells the reader things about the character. For example, "He was six years old, with raven black hair and eyes like sapphires."

Direct Characterization example


Morrison tells the reader that Guitar is embarrassed.

Indirect Characterization - the author shows the reader things about the character through the character's interactions with others, other characters' reactions to the character, the characters' thoughts, way of talking, actions and appearance, such as how the character dresses.

Indirect characterization example


Morrison alludes to class differences by describing the characters' clothing.

All definitions from Oxford Dictionaries Online.