English Literature Dictionary

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understatement: To state something less strongly than the situation would suggest.

universality: The quality that means a work has appeal outside the time and culture it is written in.

unreliable narrator: A narrator or character who depicts what he observes and experiences, but misinterprets those dealings because of defective perception, personal bias or agenda, or limited understanding. Often the writer or poet creating such a narrator  leaves clues so that the reader will detect the unreliability and question the interpretations offered.

unstressed: Lightly stressed as opposed to heavily stressed, i.e. a syllable that has modest distinction when spoken aloud. See stressed, foot and meter.

utopia: An imaginary location or government where political and social perfection has been reached: The people of such utopias are generally clean, virtuous, healthy, and happy. In essence, a utopian society is one that has been cured of all its social ills. See dystopia.

utopian literature: A utopia refers to both a perfect society, yet an impossible one. Utopian literature is any text that offers the reader, or investigates the concept of, a perfect society in the physical world (opposed to an ideal society in an afterlife).

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Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else.
Ivern Ball

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