Included below is a list of literary terms that can help you interpret, critique, and respond to a variety of different written works. This list is by no means comprehensive, but instead offers a primer to the language frequently used by scholars and students researching literary works. This list and the terms included in it can help you begin to identify central concerns or elements in a work that might help facilitate your interpretation, argumentation, and analysis. We encourage you to read this list alongside the other guides to literary interpretation included on the OWL Website. Please use the links on the left-hand side of this page to access other helpful resources.
The Summer of the Swans , When Sara tries
to dye her orange sneakers baby blue.
"...Look at that. That is the worst color you have ever seen in your life. Admit it. "
" I admit it. "
" Well, you don't have to admit it so quickly."
"They ought to put on the dye wrapper that orange cannot be dyed baby blue. "
"Well, they ought to put it in big letters. Look at those shoes. There must be a terrible name for that color. "
"There is," Mary said. "Puce."
"Mary Weick, you made that up."
"I did not. It really is a color."
"I have never heard a word that describes anything better. Puce. These must look like puce shoes."