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Literary Devices

TermDefinitionexample
Alliteration The occurrence of the same letter or sound used multiple times in one sentence Example: she sells seashells by the sea shore
Allusion An indirect or direct reference to a person, thing, or a different text, example: “If you do that, you will be opening Pandora’s box”.
Analogy A comparison between two things for clarity. An example is,this ball is as light as feather.
Anaphora Repeating a word or expression before phrases, verses and sentences which gives a rhetorical affect. “Be loud, be proud, be a charger!”
Antithesis A person or object that is the direct opposite as someone or something else Example: "Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing."
Cacophony words that sound harsh or something, unpleasant to read. “The dog clawed and nawed on the steak bones.”
Caricature describing something and like overexaggerating features comically Example: 1:Can I have some ice cream? 2: Only a spoonful. 1: *pulls out comically large spoon*
Cliché An overused saying or phrase that has lost effectiveness.. Ex. the apple doesn't fall far from the tree
Diction The way, style or choice of words a writer or speaker uses to express thoughts and feelings. Ex. (formal) Hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you. (informal) Hi, it’s nice to meet you.
Ethos Using an ethical line of reasoning when trying to persuade.
Euphemism A replacement of a word or saying that may come across offensive or unpleasant, would be replaced by a kind and polite word or expression. Ex. Kick the bucket (describes death)
Euphony Pleasant sounds or words to the ear. Ex: Lullaby, or a beautiful singing voice.
Hyperbole Exaggerating a situation using descriptive words that are not necessarily taken seriously. Ex: ¨He is running faster than the wind¨
Imagery Visually descriptive, it helps you imagine something while reading it. “The soft, fluffy clouds danced overhead.”
Verbal Irony Occurs when something is said in context of the opposite meaning of the situation Ex. it's a hurricane outside and someone says ¨wow what beautiful weather outside¨
Dramatic Irony Occurs when the audience understands something about a character’s actions or an event but the characters do not. Ex. In a scary movie, the character goes into a house they think is empty, but the audience knows the killer is in the house.
Situational Irony When in a situation, the opposite of what you expect happens. Ex. “There is so much sun out today” and then it starts raining.
Logos A way of persuading an audience using logic and facts Ex. The Earth is round because there are satellite images proving so.
Metaphor An unlikely comparison not using “like” or “as.” Ex: The calm lake was a mirror
Mood How a reader is made to feel about a piece of writing intentionally by the author. Ex: feeling sad, happy, excited, curious when reading a text.
Onomatopoeia the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named . Ex. Pop, click, bang
Oxymoron A figure of speech containing two contradicting words. Ex. deafening silence, bittersweet, act naturally
Paradox a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth. I.e. “This is a false statement”
Parallelism The use of successive verbal constructions in poetry or prose which correspond in grammatical structure, sound, meter, meaning, etc. Ex: Like Father, Like son.
Pathos Qualities that make the reader/audience feel sympathy/pity/sadness for a character (people dying, traumatic events, EXT)
Personification Giving human qualities to an object or something nonhuman, such as an animal. Ex. The piece of cake was calling my name
Pun Commonly known as a play on words. Involving words w/ similar sounds but different meanings. It typically relies on the given word/phrase having multiple meanings & is generally intended to be used humorously.Can be used in a serious manner in literature. Ex. ‘A chicken crossing a road is truly poultry in motion”
Rhetorical Question A question that is asked to create dramatic effect rather than to seek an answer. Example: “Are you serious right now?” A rhetorical question could be applied in this context to express discomfort in another person's actions or opinions.
Sentence Structure The way your sentence is worded grammatically. The way you arrange the nouns/verbs. I.E. “the boy sat in the chair” vs “in the chair the boy sat”
Simile A comparison between two objects to make a more detailed description. Example The books were heavy as rocks.
Symbolism Using symbols to represent ideas or qualities, for example a dove is a symbol of peace
Synecdoche When only a part of something is used to refer to the whole of something. Ex. “Do you like my new wheels?” When someone asks if you like their wheels, they are referring to their new car.
Tone Tone is the way an author expresses their emotions through diction. Ex. school has started so now I am sad. I like ya cut g, so now I am happy again
Created by: MooshroomsRCool