CLEP Humanities : Understanding Terminology That Describes Twentieth-Century Fiction

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Twentieth Century Fiction

A miraculous or unexpected intervention that quickly resolves a seemingly impossible plotline is called a __________.

Possible Answers:



red herring

deus ex machina


Correct answer:

deus ex machina


"Deus ex machina," Latin for the god from the machine, is an ancient theater term that described a play's conclusion that found actual gods intervening from contraptions to quickly resolve a plot. The term is used more widely in literature and film in modern parlance to refer to a contrived ending to a plot that relies heavily on a miraculous or contrived intervention by some other figure than the main characters.

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