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Sensory Imagery Lesson
Transcript of Sensory Imagery Lesson
What is SENSORY IMAGERY?
1. Sensory imagery is the collection of images that are created in your head from detailed descriptions in poetry and prose.
2. Sensory imagery is created with details that help the
reader see, smell, hear, taste, and feel (tangibly) things without actually experiencing them. It can also create thermal images and images relating movement.
3. Sensory imagery is language that appeals to the senses.
4. Ultimately, sensory imagery is a good indicator of mood in both poetry and prose writing.
Examples from Literature
This the most frequent type of imagery used to recreate a certain image.
"And the yellow half-moon large and low . . ."
(Browing, "Meeting at Night" )
Identifying Imagery in Literature
Activity: For each of the following examples, identify the sensory imagery that is described and underline all words that help to create that imagery.
Sensory Imagery = a writer's use of words which connect to a reader's sense of sight, touch, taste, smell, or hearing in order to develop a mood, idea, character , or theme. There are also forms of imagery that connect to your sense of movement and your perception of temperature.
Activity: You will look at the next few images.
After each image, fill out the sensory
imagery activity. For each image write
down what senses it evokes in you for sight,
smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Also note references to temperature and movement.
What do you sense in this picture?
What sensory images come to mind
when you look at this picture?
What senses can you imagine for this
If you were in the crowd here, what
sensory images would you experience?
Auditory imagery is the mental representation of any sound and it is vital in imagining and feeling a situation.
"Overlaying all this, a soundtrack: choo-k-choo-k-choo-k-choo-k-choo-k--the metronomic rhythm of an Amtrak train rolling down the line to California, a sound that called to mind an old camera reel moving frames of images along a linear track, telling a story."
(Andy Isaacson, "Riding the Rails." The New York Times, March 8, 2009)
Olfactory imagery is related to smell and this imagery helps summon and deliver the smells to the reader.
"Gio's socks, still soaked with sweat from Tuesday's P.E. class, filled the classroom with an aroma akin to that of salty, week-old, rotting fish"
Gustatory imagery illustrates and recreates the tastes, of food or many other things.
"Tumbling through the ocean water after being overtaken by the monstrous wave, Mark unintentionally took a gulp of the briny, bitter mass, causing him to cough and gag."
Tactile imagery appeals to the sense of touch by presenting attributes like hardness, softness or hot and cold sensations.
"The bed linens might just as well be ice and the clothes snow." (Robert Frost, "The Witch of Coos")
Academic Sensory Words
The following words are the academic terms for the sensory words we will be using throughout this unit. Please familiarize yourself with each term.
1.Visual= sight words
2.Auditory= sound words
3.Gustatory= taste words
4.Tactile= touch words
5.Olfactory= smell words
6.Thermal= temperature words
7.Kinesthetic= movement words
Kinesthetic Imagery illustrates the sensation of movement.
"The big gate of the bull-ring was open, and inside the amphitheatre was being swept. The ring was rolled and sprinkled, and carpenters replaced weakened or cracked planks in the barera. Standing at the edge of the smooth rolled sand you could look up in the empty stands and see old women sweeping out the boxes."
(Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises)
Thermal Imagery illustrates the sensations surrounding temperatures and weather.
"The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer. As my train emerged from the tunnel into the sunlight, only the hot whistles of the National Biscuit Company broke the simmering hush at noon. The straw seats of the car hovered on the edge of combustion; the woman next to me perspired delicately for a while into her white shirtwaist, and then, as her newspaper dampened under her fingers, lapsed despairingly into deep heat with a desolate cry."
(Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)
Visual (Sight) Imagery
"In our kitchen, he would bolt his orange juice (squeezed on one of those ribbed glass sombreros and then poured off through a strainer) and grab a bite of toast (the toaster a simple tin box, a kind of little hut with slit and slanted sides, that rested over a gas burner and browned one side of the bread, in stripes, at a time), and then he would dash, so hurriedly that his necktie flew back over his shoulder, down through our yard, past the grapevines hung with buzzing Japanese-beetle traps, to the yellow brick building, with its tall smokestack and wide playing fields, where he taught."
(John Updike, "My Father on the Verge of Disgrace" in Licks of Love: Short Stories and a Sequel, 2000)
Auditory (Sound) Imagery
"The only thing that was wrong now, really, was the sound of the place, an unfamiliar nervous sound of the outboard motors. This was the note that jarred, the one thing that would sometimes break the illusion and set the years moving. In those other summertimes all motors were inboard; and when they were at a little distance, the noise they made was a sedative, an ingredient of summer sleep. They were one-cylinder and two-cylinder engines, and some were make-and-break and some were jump-spark, but they all made a sleepy sound across the lake. The one-lungers throbbed and fluttered, and the twin-cylinder ones purred and purred, and that was a quiet sound, too. But now the campers all had outboards. In the daytime, in the hot mornings, these motors made a petulant, irritable sound; at night, in the still evening when the afterglow lit the water, they whined about one's ears like mosquitoes."
(E.B. White, "Once More to the Lake," 1941)
Tactile (Touch) Imagery
"When the others went swimming my son said he was going in, too. He pulled his dripping trunks from the line where they had hung all through the shower and wrung them out. Languidly, and with no thought of going in, I watched him, his hard little body, skinny and bare, saw him wince slightly as he pulled up around his vitals the small, soggy, icy garment. As he buckled the swollen belt, suddenly my groin felt the chill of death.
(E.B. White, "Once More to the Lake," 1941)
Olfactory (Smell) Imagery
"I lay still and took another minute to smell: I smelled the warm, sweet, all-pervasive smell of silage, as well as the sour dirty laundry spilling over the basket in the hall. I could pick out the acrid smell of Claire’s drenched diaper, her sweaty feet, and her hair crusted with sand. The heat compounded the smells, doubled the fragrance. Howard always smelled and through the house his scent seemed always to be warm. His was a musky smell, as if the source of a muddy river, the Nile or the Mississippi, began right in his armpits. I had grown used to thinking of his smell as the fresh man smell of hard work. Too long without washing and I tenderly beat his knotty arms with my fists. That morning there was alfalfa on his pillow and cow manure embedded in his tennis shoes and the cuffs of his coveralls that lay by the bed. Those were sweet reminders of him. He had gone out as one shaft of searing light came through the window. He had put on clean clothes to milk the cows."
A Map of the World
. Random House, 1994)
Gustatory (Taste) Imagery
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
(William Carlos Williams, "This Is Just to Say")
Thermal (Temperature) Imagery
I wield the flail of the lashing hail
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
(Percy Shelley, “The Cloud”)
"With a wild rattle and clatter, and an inhuman abandonment of consideration not easy to be understood in these days, the carriage dashed through streets and swept round corners, with women screaming before it, and men clutching each other and clutching children out of its way. At last, swooping at a street corner by a fountain, one of its wheels came to a sickening little jolt, and there was a loud city from a number of voices, and the horses reared and plunged." (excerpt from
A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens)