Iola Leroy Literary Elements

Iola Leroy Literary Elements


Social novel, historical fiction.

Setting and Context

During Reconstruction period and the “women’s era”; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Narrator and Point of View

Third-person narration

Tone and Mood

In story prevails optimistic tone, sometimes sorrow but still full of hope and determination.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonists of the story are Leroy family and all people who are struggling against the slavery and antagonists are people who want to keep the slavery Dr. Gresham, Lorraine.

Major Conflict

The major conflict stands in contradiction between anti-slavery movements and American society.


Climax happens when Iola rejects to marry Dr. Gresham because she doesn’t want to marry white man.




In the story the role money and power is understated.


The story alludes to historical events during the period of Civil war and “woman era” in 1890s.






The story has parallels with social stereotypes, prejudices, racism, abolitionism and other social movements and ideas, special for that time.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

The author uses metonymy and synecdoche to reinforce the importance of the utterance in its social context: “Contraband of war”, “white folks is done fussin' and beatin' de cullud folks”.


The author uses personification for irony and social satire description: “Mrs. Johnson had taught him to read on the same principle she would have taught a pet animal amusing tricks”.

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