English Terminology – Part 5

This is Part 5 of the English Terminology series!

1. Chiaroscuro

Visual technique that refers to the use of contrasting light and dark in paintings, photographs and film. This is often used to create a dramatic effect.

For example, this painting uses chiaroscuro.

Rembrandt’s use of chiaroscuro creates a dramatic effect upon the painting by isolating St Peter’s figure in light amongst the darkness.

2. Interior Monologue

Refers to a monologue of the thoughts that are going through a character’s head – what they are saying to themselves. This is usually used in first-person narration and film noir.

For example, this technique has been used by J.D Salinger’s in The Catcher in the Rye and Allan Bailie’s The China Coin.

In The China Coin, Bailie uses Leah’s interior monologue to give a much more personal and immediate account of her experiences. For example, when Leah becomes lost: “Look, you walked here. Walk back. Okay, okay. Shut up.”

3. In medias res

Latin term (in the midst of things) refers to the narrative technique where the story starts in the middle of the action, then goes to the beginning, which is the “present”.

4. Enjambment

Refers to how lines of poetry flow from one line to the next (instead of reading each line individually) either because of the structure of the line or the punctuation.

Wikipedia provides some very good examples of enjambment.

Enjambment is often used to create flow in the poetry. However, it can also be used to surprise the reader, but placing the end (or result) of a sentence/description onto the next line.

5. Intertextuality

Refers to relationships and links between texts in the texts. Texts often use these deliberate links and rely on the audience’s knowledge of the other text in order to create greater meaning. This may be done through allusions, popular culture references etc.

For example, Bridget Jones’ Diary has intertextuality because it relied on the novel Pride and Prejudice. Television series such as The Simpsons can also be said to use intertextuality.

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