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Literary Devices

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Jeffrey Johnson

on 27 September 2010

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Transcript of Literary Devices

literary devices authors use literary devices to SHOW the meaning of their ideas... let's review some
literary devices
in alphabetical order allegory a work in which the characters and events are to be understood as representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper, often spiritual, moral, or political meaning. ex. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is an allegory of the crucifixion. alliteration is the repetition of initial sounds in neighboring words. ex. Billy Bob’s big bundle of broken bear brains... allusion is a brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or fictitious, or to a work of art. An allusion may be drawn from art, history, geography, literature, or religion. ex. I am not the type to say, “To infinity and beyond.” Rather, I am an awkward dinosaur or a three-eyed alien. ex. I hand over the messiah and hang myself every day. analogy is the comparison of two pairs that have the same relationship. I look for a comparison that uses the word "than" ex. ice : cold as fire : hot characterization is the method used by a writer to develop a character. (1) showing the character's appearance (2) displaying the character's actions (3) revealing the character's thoughts (4) letting the character speak (5) getting the reactions of others. conflict is the opposition between characters or forces in a literary work that shapes or motivates the action of the plot. Conflict may be internal or external. (1) Man in conflict with another Man (300, Rocky) ___________________ (2) Man in conflict in Nature (Titanic) ____________________ (3) Man in conflict with Self (Fight Club, Beautiful Mind) _______________ (4) Man in conflict with Machine (Matrix, Terminator) _________________ diction is a writer’s choice of words, phrases, sentence structures, and figurative language which combine to help create meaning. Foreshadowing is a literary device in which an author drops subtle hints about plot developments to come later in the story. FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE: TO DESCRIBE SOMETHING BY COMPARING IT TO SOMETHING ELSE. simile metaphor analogy hyperbole is a deliberate and obvious exaggeration used for effect ex. There were like a thousand firemen at the burning building.
ex. I worked a shift that lasted forever. imagery is writing or language that evokes one or all of the five senses. irony incongruity between what actually happens and what might be expected to happen. ex. The fireman’s house burnt down. LITERAL LANGUAGE: TO DESCRIBE SOMETHING AS IT IS. metaphor is a comparison of two unlike things using the verb "to be" (am, are, was, were, etc.) instead of using ‘like’ or ‘as’. metonomy is substituting a word for another word closely associated with it. ex. Calling the police ‘pigs’ or ‘the fuzz’ motif is an important and sometimes recurring theme or idea in a work of literature. mood is the atmosphere or state of mind of a work. oxymoron is pairing two contradictory words. ex. Jumbo shrimp paradox is a statement, proposition, or situation that seems to be absurd or contradictory, but in fact is or may be true. ex. ‘The first shall be last.’ parody is a piece of writing that deliberately copies another work in order to comment or critique it. pastiche is a piece of writing that deliberately
copies another work yet does not comment or critique it. personification is giving human qualities to inanimate objects. point of view is the perspective on events
of the narrator or a particular
character in a story. satire is the use of wit, especially irony, sarcasm, and ridicule, to critique politics and society. setting is the time and location in which a story takes place. is a comparison between two different things using ‘like’ or ‘as’. ex. You spin a story like a spider spins her web. ex. He jumped as if his feet were on fire. stream of consciousness is a literary style that presents a character’s continuous random flow of thoughts as they arise symbolism is the use of symbols to represent something abstract by something concrete. theme is a broad idea in a story, or a message or lesson conveyed by a work. tone is the attitude toward the subject and/or toward the audience implied in a literary work.
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