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LITERARY DEVICES Alliteration: Repeated consonant sounds at the beginning of words placed near each other, usually on the

same or adjacent lines. The use of the same consonant in any part of adjacent words. Example: fast and furious; she sells sea shells Assonance: Repeated vowel sounds in words placed near each other, usually on the same lines. These should be in sounds that are accented. Consonance: Repeated consonant sounds at the ending of words placed near each other, usually on the same or adjacent lines. Example: past the boat; cool soul Onomatopoeia: Words that sound like their meanings. Example: boom, buzz, crackle, gurgle, hiss, pop, sizzle, snap, swoosh, whip Oxymoron: A combination of two words that appear to contradict each other. Example: a pointless point of view; bittersweet Contrast: Closely arranged things with strikingly different characteristics. Example: He was dark and cruel; she was pleasant, and kind. Hyperbole: An outrageous exaggeration used for effect. Example: He weighs a ton; Go and catch a falling Star. Paradox: A statement in which a seeming contradiction may reveal an unexpected truth. At the most basic level, a paradox is a statement that is self contradictory because it often contains two statements that are both true, but in general, cannot both be true at the same time. Example: You can save money by spending it. I can resist anything but temptation. I must be cruel to be kind. You can save money by spending it. Don't go near the water until you've learned to swim. Imagery: The use of vivid language to generate ideas and/or evoke mental images, not only of the visual sense, but of sensation and emotion as well. The use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person, a thing, a place, or an experience. Examples: Sight: Smoke mysteriously puffed out from the clowns ears. Touch: The burlap wall covering scraped against the little boys cheek. Taste: A salty tear ran across onto her lips. Smell: Cinnamon! Thats what wafted into his nostrils.

Simile: A direct comparison of two unlike things using like or as. Example: Hes as dumb as an ox. Example: Her eyes are like shining stars. As cold as ice, as busy as a bee, as hungry as a bear Metaphor: A direct comparison between two unlike things, stating that one is the other or does the action of the other. A comparison between essentially unlike things without an explicitly comparative word such as like or as. Examples: My father is a rock. John is a real pig when he eats. His head was spinning with ideas. Life is a rollercoaster because you never know when it is going to turn. Personification: Attributing human characteristics to an inanimate object, animal, or abstract idea. Example: My computer hates me. Time never waits for anyone. Trees were dancing with the wind. The radio stopped singing and continued to stare at me. Irony: A contradictory statement or situation to reveal a reality different from what appears to be true. The discrepancy between what is said and what is meant, what is said and what is done, what is expected or intended. In dramatic irony, a character speaks in ignorance of a situation or event known to the audience or to the other characters. Examples: "Nice weather!" when it is raining. What a beautiful view, he said, as he looked out the window at the alley. Symbol: An ordinary object, event, animal, or person to which we have attached extraordinary meaning and significance. Something that suggests or stands for something else without losing its original identity. In literature, symbols combine their literal meaning with the suggestion of an abstract concept. Examples: flag to represent a country, a lion to represent courage, a wall to symbolize separation. Theme: idea of a literary work abstracted from its details of language, character, and action, and cast in the form of a generalization. The main point of a work of literature. The term is used interchangeably with thesis. Many works have multiple themes. Examples: growth, love, sacrifice Allusion: A brief reference to some person, historical event, work of art, or Biblical or mythological situation or character. Tone: implied attitude of a writer toward the subject and characters of a work. A formal tone may create distance or convey politeness, while an informal tone

may encourage a friendly, intimate, or intrusive feeling in the reader. The author's attitude toward his or her subject matter may also be deduced from the tone of the words he or she uses in discussing it. Mood: prevailing emotions of a work or of the author in his or her creation of the work. The mood of a work is not always what might be expected based on its subject matter. Suspense: the author maintains the audience's attention through the buildup of events, the outcome of which will soon be revealed. Chorus/Refrain: a phrase or verse recurring at intervals in a poem or song, usually at the end of a stanza, which may help to establish its tone, or reestablish its atmosphere. Practice: The repetition of a vowel sound within words. A statement that appears to be self-contradictory or opposed to common sense but it does contain some truth or validity The atmosphere created by the writing/work/subject A causal and brief reference to a famous historical or literary figure or event. A well-written description should arouse a particular response or emotion in the reader's imagination. Comparing two things using the words like or as An expression, through words or events, that reality is opposite of what one would expect. The central idea or message of a work, the insight it offers into life The author presents or describes concepts, animals, or inanimate objects by giving them with human attributes or emotions Natural sounds are imitated in the sounds of words how the writer feels about his subject that comes through based upon the types of words chosen. how the reader feels about the story.