Need to analyze The Scarlet Letter or To death a Mockingbird for English class, yet fumbling for the right vocabulary and also concepts for literary devices? You"ve pertained to the right place. To properly interpret and also analyze literature texts, you"ll first need to have a solid foundation in literature terms and also their definitions.

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In this article, we"ll aid you get familiar with most commonly used literary devices in prose and also poetry. We"ll offer you a clear an interpretation of each of the terms us discuss along with examples of literary elements and also the paper definition in i m sorry they most often appear (comedic writing, drama, or other).

Before we acquire to the list of literature devices, however, we have actually a fast refresher top top what literary devices are and how knowledge them will aid you analyze works of literature.

What are Literary Devices and Why should You know Them?

Literary tools are techniques the writers usage to produce a special and also pointed effect in their writing, to convey information, or to assist readers understand their writing on a deeper level.

Often, literary gadgets are provided in writing for focus or clarity. Authors will additionally use literary tools to acquire readers come connect more strongly through either a story together a totality or details characters or themes.

So why is it important to know various literary devices and also terms? beside from helping you get good grades on her literary evaluation homework, there are numerous benefits to understanding the techniques authors generally use.

Being may be to determine when different literary techniques are being used helps you understand the motivation behind the author"s choices. for example, gift able to determine symbols in a story can aid you number out why the author might have actually chosen to insert these focal points and also what these can suggest in regard to her attitude toward particular characters, plot points, and also events.

In addition, being able to identify literary devices can make a created work"s overall definition or purpose clearer come you. for instance, let"s speak you"re plan to read (or re-read) The Lion, the Witch, and also the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. By understanding that this specific book is a spiritual allegory with references to Christ (represented by the personality Aslan) and Judas (represented through Edmund), it will certainly be fingerprint to you why Lewis uses particular language to describe specific characters and why particular events happen the way they do.

Finally, literary approaches are vital to know due to the fact that they do texts an ext interesting and more fun come read. If you to be to review a novel without knowing any kind of literary devices, possibilities are you wouldn"t have the ability to detect many of the class of definition interwoven into the story via various techniques.

Now that we"ve gone end why you should spend some time learning literary devices, let"s take a look at several of the most vital literary aspects to know.

List of literature Devices: 31 Literary terms You should Know

Below is a perform of literary devices, most of i beg your pardon you"ll regularly come throughout in both prose and poetry. We define what each literary ax is and also give you an instance of just how it"s used. This literary elements list is i ordered it in alphabetical order.


An allegory is a story that is offered to represent a much more general message around real-life (historical) issues and/or events. That is typically an entire book, novel, play, etc.

Example: George Orwell"s dystopian publication Animal Farm is an allegory because that the events preceding the Russian transformation and the Stalinist era in early on 20th century Russia. In the story, animals on a farm practice animalism, i beg your pardon is essentially communism. Many characters correspond come actual historic figures: Old significant represents both the founder that communism karl Marx and also the Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin; the farmer, Mr. Jones, is the Russian Czar; the boar Napoleon means Joseph Stalin; and also the pig Snowball to represent Leon Trotsky.


Alliteration is a collection of indigenous or phrases that all (or practically all) begin with the same sound. These sound are commonly consonants to give an ext stress to the syllable. You"ll often come across alliteration in poetry, titles of books and also poems (Jane Austen is a pan of this device, for example—just look in ~ Pride and also Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility), and tongue twisters.

Example: "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." In this tongue twister, the "p" sound is repeated at the start of all significant words.


Allusion is as soon as an writer makes one indirect recommendation to a figure, place, event, or idea originating native outside the text. Plenty of allusions make reference to previous functions of literary works or art.

Example: "Stop acting so smart—it"s not favor you"re Einstein or something." This is an allusion to the famous real-life theoretical physicist Albert Einstein.


An anachronism occurs when there is one (intentional) error in the chronology or timeline of a text. This could be a personality who shows up in a various time period than once he in reality lived, or a technology that appears before it to be invented. Anachronisms are regularly used because that comedic effect.

Example: A Renaissance king who says, "That"s dope, dude!" would certainly be one anachronism, due to the fact that this type of language is very modern-day and not actually native the Renaissance period.


Anaphora is as soon as a native or phrase is recurring at the start of multiple sentences throughout a piece of writing. It"s supplied to emphasize the recurring phrase and evoke strong feelings in the audience.

Example: A famous example of anaphora is Winston Churchill"s "We Shall struggle on the Beaches" speech. Throughout this speech, he repeats the expression "we candlestick fight" if listing plenty of places where the British military will proceed battling throughout WWII. The did this come rally both troops and also the brothers people and to provide them confidence the they would certainly still victory the war.


An anthropomorphism occurs when something nonhuman, such as an animal, place, or inanimate object, behaves in a human-like way.

Example: Children"s cartoons have many examples that anthropomorphism. Because that example, Mickey and Minnie Mouse can speak, undertake clothes, sing, dance, drive cars, etc. Actual mice can"t do any type of of this things, however the 2 mouse characters behave much much more like humans than mice.


Asyndeton is once the writer leaves out link (such as "and," "or," "but," and also "for") in a group of words or unit volume so the the an interpretation of the expression or sentence is emphasized. It is regularly used for speeches due to the fact that sentences containing asyndeton can have a powerful, memorable rhythm.

Example: Abraham Lincoln end the Gettysburg attend to with the phrase "...and that government of the people, by the people, because that the civilization shall no perish indigenous the Earth." By leave out particular conjunctions, he end the decided on a more powerful, melodic note.


Colloquialism is the usage of unshened language and also slang. It"s often used by writer to lend a feeling of realism to your characters and dialogue. creates of colloquialism include words, phrases, and contractions the aren"t real words (such together "gonna" and also "ain"t").

Example: "Hey, what"s up, man?" This item of conversation is an example of a colloquialism, since it uses common everyday words and phrases, namely "what"s up" and also "man."


An epigraph is as soon as an writer inserts a famed quotation, poem, song, or other brief passage or text at the beginning of a bigger text (e.g., a book, chapter, etc.). An epigraph is frequently written through a various writer (with credit transaction given) and used as a means to introduce overarching themes or message in the work. part pieces that literature, such together Herman Melville"s 1851 novel Moby-Dick, incorporate multiple epigraphs throughout.

Example: in ~ the start of Ernest Hemingway"s publication The Sun additionally Rises is one epigraph that consists of a quotation native poet Gertrude Stein, which reads, "You space all a shed generation," and also a i from the Bible.


Epistrophe is similar to anaphora, however in this case, the repetitive word or phrase shows up at the end of succeeding statements. Choose anaphora, the is provided to evoke one emotional solution from the audience.

Example: In lindon B. Johnson"s speech, "The American Promise," that repeats words "problem" in a usage of epistrophe: "There is no negro problem. Over there is no southerly problem. Over there is no northern problem. Over there is only an American problem."

Hemingway, deep in thought about what quotation to choose for his epigraph.


A euphemism is as soon as a much more mild or indirect word or expression is supplied in ar of another word or expression that is thought about harsh, blunt, vulgar, or unpleasant.

Example: "I"m so sorry, but he didn"t make it." The expression "didn"t do it" is a much more polite and also less blunt method of saying that someone has died.


A remind is an discontinuity in a narrative the depicts events that have currently occurred, either before the present time or prior to the time at which the narration bring away place. This machine is regularly used to give the reader more background information and also details about specific characters, events, plot points, and also so on.

Example: many of the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is a flashback indigenous the suggest of view of the housekeeper, girl name Dean, together she engages in a conversation v a visitor called Lockwood. In this story, nelly narrates Catherine Earnshaw"s and Heathcliff"s childhoods, the pair"s budding romance, and their tragic demise.


Foreshadowing is as soon as an writer indirectly ideas at—through points such together dialogue, description, or characters" actions—what"s to come later on in the story. This an equipment is often offered to introduce tension to a narrative.

Example: to speak you"re reading a fictionalized account of Amelia Earhart. Prior to she embarks on she (what we understand to be unfortunate) plane ride, a friend claims to her, "Be safe. Wouldn"t want you obtaining lost—or worse." This line would certainly be an instance of foreshadowing since it means that something negative ("or worse") will occur to Earhart.


Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement that"s not meant to it is in taken literally by the reader. It is frequently used because that comedic impact and/or emphasis.

Example: "I"m therefore hungry I can eat a horse." The speaker will not accurate eat whole horse (and most most likely couldn"t), but this hyperbole emphasizes just how starved the speak feels.

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Imagery is once an author describes a scene, thing, or idea so that it appeals to our senses (taste, smell, sight, touch, or hearing). This an equipment is regularly used to assist the leader clearly visualize components of the story by developing a solid mental picture.