Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.
Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.
A motif is a meaningful pattern in art and literature. When you see an image, type of character, or symbol pop up again and again, chances are you're dealing with a motif. A motif can be specific to a single book or poem or can occur in art more generally, like an apple standing in for original sin. Yeah. Real original.