English Literature Dictionary

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vehicle: In literature, the term vehicle refers to the technique by which an author achieves her purpose. For example, chilling diction could be identified as a vehicle to depict a murder scene.

vellum: Animal skin, usually calf or kid, used for manuscripts in the Middle Ages.

verb: A verb "does" the subject's action in a sentence. For example, "She ate the apple" - ate is the verb. In English language verbs can take various tenses – for instance, past, present, or future.

verbal irony: See irony.

vernacular: From the Latin vernaculus, meaning ‘native, indigenous’, vernacular refers to the common or everyday language of a geographic area. It can also be described as the native language of the common people in a region or country, rather than an esteemed dead language (eg. Latin), which is preserved artificially in schools or through literary texts.

verse: Verse is a line of metrical text, a stanza, or any text written in meter.

Victorian Period: The period during the late nineteenth century, specifically from 1837-1901 - the years Queen Victoria ruled the growing British Empire.

view point: See narrator.

vignette: A short incident in a book or movie, usually descriptive.

visual imagery: Imagery that appeals to anything that can be seen, e.g colours and shapes. See imagery.

vocabulary: The collection of words available in a given language , or a speaker of that language .

volta: This term refers to an abrupt change in emotion or thought near the conclusion of a sonnet.

vowel: The letters a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w and y.

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Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
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