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Here you can ask general questions related to literary devices and site visitors can try and help answer them. If you have a question about a specific literary device please use the list on the left and ask your question in the comments section for that literary device.

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636 comments posted
what device is this called?

When an author starts their book/novel off with the END of the story, then works their way back up, telling the story up until the point where they reach where they originally started, what device is that author using?

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/28/2012 - 04:03
structure

structure is the way that a story is built. The author is definitely not using "chronological order," or telling the story in the order in which things happenned. Structure is any order.

So basically, the author is just using a different kind of STRUCTURE.

(sorry for not jumping right to the point ^^;)

Posted by Anonymous on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 20:33
Idiom?

Is an idiom considered a literary device?

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/28/2012 - 03:52
Idiom

No, idiom is qualified as figurative language

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 05/27/2013 - 20:45
what device?

have you no sense? whats the name of the device that rearranges words in a sentence to add in affect

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:29
Syntax.

Syntax is the arrangement of words and sentences.

English and Spanish syntax are very different if directly translated.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 08/27/2012 - 04:46
What device is this?

I felt a cocktail of beautiful emotions.

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 08/19/2012 - 18:51
metaphor

It isn't actually a COCKTAIL of beautiful emotions, but the way it is written, it may as well be. It is a mixture of beautiful emotions, and a cocktail a mixture of different... fruits?
Anyway, they both have one thing in common: both are mixtures.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 00:54
Literary device

What is the literary device in can not learn an old dog new tricks,as the saying goes.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/17/2012 - 02:02
?personification

"birds are uneasy"

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/07/2012 - 20:44
no

It is possible for animals to feel uneasiness, too. It's not just a "person" thing.

Have you ever seen a dog cower underneath the table during a thunderstorm? What else can that be describes with besides uneasiness?

HOWEVER, that doesn't necessarily mean that the birds know exactly what is wrong.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 00:58
? personification

"an ominous gale, a gust of ice-cold wind, startling in the otherwise humid air."

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/07/2012 - 20:41
no

The wind is "startling in the otherwise humid air." It is STARTLING to all who feel it because they are not used to the cold after such heat, and are STARTLED to feel such a sudden and violent reminder that it cannot be like that forever.

It can be related to taking showers-- you have the hot water on for so long that you become used to it, and then you have to turn off the shower. You shiver because of that sudden, unfamiliar blast of frigid water.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 01:02
Not really.

I don't think so, but I'm not an English major.

There could be several devices applied to this sentence, but personification does not stand out.

Personification is giving an inanimate object human like traits.

For instance: "My bed is the best lover, it holds me tight and keeps me warm at night."

A bed is obviously not a person and cannot ACTUALLY provide the emotional support the writer is suggesting.

Your sentence is simply providing tone and setting, maybe even mood.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 08/27/2012 - 04:43
? metaphor

"an explosion of thunder"

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/07/2012 - 20:40
What literary device is this?

"to them,i said,the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images"

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 07/30/2012 - 19:56
What literary device is this?

"Gregor's gaze then shifted to the window, and the dreary weather ̶raindrops could be heard beating against the metal ledge of the window ̶made him quite melancholy"

The whole interrupting an idea to present a new brach of that idea, then returning to the original idea thing has a name, but I just can't put my finger on it.

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 07/24/2012 - 19:40
Categories

What are three to four categories literary devices can be put into?

I am annotating a book and need separate categories for highlighter colors b/c I don't want just one color for literary devices in general...

PLEASE HELP, I would really appreciate it!

Posted by Anonymous on Sat, 07/07/2012 - 03:20
Conflicts

What are the five univeral conflicts?

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 07/03/2012 - 19:34
conflicts reply

man vs. man
man vs. self
man vs. society
man vs. nature
...and I think the last one would be "man vs. object," but I'm not completely sure.
...Out of all the things we learned in 6th grade, this is pretty much all that I can find in the jumbled mess of my brain... That's pretty pathetic... ^^;

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 01:09
Man vs. Man Man vs. Self Man

Man vs. Man
Man vs. Self
Man vs. Nature
Man vs. Society
Man vs. Destiny

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:07
How about this, where the whole sentence is repeated, but a key

word changes but starts with the same letter:
Example:
'By thes promysses ye may receyue that hit is requiryd of relygyose persons to 'loue' chastly both in body and in sowle and both for dead and thowye and thys is requiryd of vs relygyose persons/to 'lyue' chastly both yn body and/yn sowle and both for dead and thow/zte'
The inverted commas are my emphasis on the words loue and lyue, love and live.
This is from a sixteenth century guidance text and I am trying to prove that the author was also a preacher and used this as a literary device in his oral delivery.
Thanks.
Joyce

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 06/15/2012 - 22:25
"Give us your tired..."

What would you call an easily recognized quote that is used time an again in various situations. Is there a term for that? Particularly, I'm thinking of "Give us your tired...breathe free." Or is it just "quote"?

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 06/14/2012 - 19:36
proverbs

That sounds to me like a proverb.
A proverb is a quote, really, that usually uses metaphorism to relate a life-lesson to a real-life situation, e.g. "Too many cooks spoil the broth."

My personal favorite is this: "Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime."

I hope it inspires you, and I hope this helps. "Live like you are dying, and dream like you will live forever!!"

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 01:15
Missing one Literary Element

You forgot Cliffhanger. I just noticed that when I read the book "Chasing Vermeer."

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 06:50
Is there a literary device

Is there a literary device that includes a topic presented by a character that none of the other characters understand, but the audience does?

Posted by Anonymous on Sat, 05/19/2012 - 23:31
YES

The literary device for when an audience knows something the characters don't is known as Dramatic Irony~

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 10/21/2012 - 01:15
no

that's just one character being misunderstood by lots of other characters. But I could be wrong

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 01:17
"Hope is the things with

"Hope is the things with feather
That perches on the soul,
And sing the tune without words
And never stops at all"

This poem contain an example of what

A Rhyming Couplet
B. Juxtaposition
C. Memento Mori
D. Slant Rhyme

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:20
assonance

Assonance is a resemblance of sound in syllables or words; esp. repetition of vowels without repetition of consonants, and it is used as an alternative to rhyme in verse.

Kind of like close-rhyming in songs. You listen to the radio, and you hear it more and more often, with only one thought racing through your mind as you appreciate the harmony of the music:

"THAT DOESN'T RHYME!!"
e.g. In "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield, one example is this: "...Drench youreslf in words unspoken, Live your life with arms wide open!..."

And if I missed anything then I'm and idiot... Oh wait, I already AM an idiot... OK I missed something. Sorry about that.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 01:27
What is the difference...

between juxtaposition, foil, and parallelism?
Thanks! :)

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 05/08/2012 - 03:34
what literary device is this

the way tht you flip your hair getsme overwelmd

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 05/03/2012 - 00:58
...

Wow..... you got that from that song. Anyways, its a hyperbole.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 05/25/2012 - 20:24
omg

whats the name of that song

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 07/24/2012 - 02:54
@omg

It's called "What makes you beattiful" I think.

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/02/2012 - 20:14
Conncecting Science: Safety

How do I connect science to my life: safety. I am required to write about this using leterary devices. Someone please help me with this.

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 05/02/2012 - 14:47

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