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Literary Devices Essay

1. Alliteration
Alliteration is a literary device in which two or more consecutive words, or words that are nearby in the same sentence, start with the same letter. It is often used in poetry, literature, slogans, and other propaganda because it is usually impressive and memorable. For example, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

2. Assonance
Assonance is the repetition of a pattern of similar sounds within a sentence. It is used to produce a form of rhyme throughout the whole sentence not just within the verse. For example, “Do you like blue?” – (Using ‘o’, ‘ou’, ‘ue’).

3. Metaphor
A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. This literary device does not make use of the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ to make comparisons. Metaphors allow us to use fewer words and force the reader or listener to find the similarities. For example, “The assignment was a breeze.”

4. Simile
A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things, usually by employing the words “like” or “as”. We can use similes to make descriptions more emphatic or vivid. For example, “She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat.”

5. Oxymoron
This is a part of speech that combines contradictory terms. Sometimes they are used to create some sort of drama for the reader or listener, and sometimes they are used to make the person stop and think, whether it’s to laugh or to ponder. For example, “That girl we saw yesterday was pretty ugly.”

6. Narrative
A narrative is a spoken or written account of connected events. Effective
narrative essays allow readers to visualize everything that’s happening, in their minds. For example, fiction novels like adventure and fantasy, spoken and written stories.

7. Exposition
The exposition is the portion of a story that introduces important background information to the audience. An exposition attempts to persuade the reader to believe something by presenting one side of the argument. For example, the use of ads, editorials and in legal defense matters.

8. Irony
Irony is the technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually stated. Often it is to create a tension in the story. By giving you, or other characters in the story, information that another character does not have, a comic, tragic, dramatic, situational, or other conflict erupts. Sometimes irony proves the point of the story. For example, “At a party a lady tells Winston Churchhill he is drunk, to which Churchhill said ‘My dear, you are ugly…but tomorrow I shall be sober.”

9. Repetition
Repetition is the simple repeating of a word, within a sentence or a poetical line. Repetition is an effective literary device that adds emphasis on the subject at hand. It creates mood and character and sets an atmosphere. Repetition is an effective literary device that may bring comfort, suggest order, or add special meaning to a piece of literature. For example, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”

10. Description
This refers to any careful detailing of a person, place, thing, or event. Descriptions re-create sensory impressions: sights, sounds, smells, textures, tastes. The primary purpose of descriptive writing is to describe a person, place or thing in such a way that a picture is formed in the reader’s mind. For example, “Upstairs lay a vintage handwoven rug which had symmetrical patterns on each corner and a mixture of brown orange and gold leaves falling onto the ground.”

11. Foreshadowing
The use of hints or clues in a narrative to suggest what action is to come. Foreshadowing helps to build suspense in a story because it suggests what is about to happen. For example, “He didn’t know what was in store for him she will soon find out the truth. He felt a cold chill as he walked through the dark alley.” ( foreshadowing something bad will happen).

12. Hyperbole
A hyperbole is a word or group of words used to deliver a deliberate exaggeration. Hyperboles are used to give emphasis to a specific situation in a sentence. It gives the reader an idea of how extreme to feel about a certain occurrence. For example, “I was attacked by a thousand biting ants.”

13. Personification
Personification is a figure of speech in which an animal, an object, a natural force, or an idea is given personality, or described as if it were human. The purpose of personification is to explain, and give vivid examples and images for the reader. Because humans have emotions and we relate to them, personifying some situation gives it meaning on a more human level, making it more relatable. For example, “The shards of grass danced beautifully to the tune of the passing breeze.”

14. Imagery
Imagery involves the use of language that appeals to any sense or any combination of the senses. Imagery helps the reader to visualize and therein more realistically experience the author’s writings. For example, “The gushing brook stole its way down the lush green mountains, dotted with tiny flowers in a riot of colours and trees coming alive with gaily chirping birds.”

15. Compare and contrast methods
Compare and Contrast is used to highlight similarities and differences between to things. It is a process where the act of classification is practiced. It is often presented in either written text paragraphs or a chart. It can be used to help the reader identify language cues, clarify thinking and define ideas. For example, “Both George and Paul have brown eyes and brown hair, but Paul is slightly taller.”

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