Literary Glossary: F–G

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Fable

A short story or folk tale, often with a specific moral outcome intended to instruct the audience.

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Fairy Tale

Stories either created or strongly influenced by oral traditions. The plots often feature stark conflicts between good and evil, with magic and luck determining the usually happy endings.

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Fantasy

A type of story that includes elements of magic in plot, setting, or theme. The story's main characters may or may not enter the fantasy world from the real world.

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Fiction

Literary works, most often prose narrative, that are imaginative rather than factual.

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Folklore

First coined in 1846 by William John Thoms, a British antiquarian. Folklore can be divided into its two component words, folk and lore. Folklore is thus all the lore shared by a particular folk.

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Folk Tale

A traditional prose narrative that conveys a story originating in popular culture, typically circulated and preserved orally.

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Gothic

An artistic style characterized by melodrama, terror, madness, and irony. Southern Gothic, a specific type of the Gothic, is unique to American literature and includes elements of the "grotesque," deeply flawed and repulsive characters or situations.

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Graphic Novel

A type of book that, in the visual style of comics, presents its fully developed story in panels of juxtaposed text and illustration.

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