Cacophony is a literary device that refers to the use of harsh, discordant, or jarring sounds in language, often for artistic effect. It involves intentionally using words or phrases that create a harsh or grating sound when spoken, such as words with harsh consonants, repeated syllables, or unusual combinations of sounds. Cacophony can create a sense of chaos, conflict, or discomfort in the language, and is often used to evoke a particular emotion or tone in a literary work.
Examples of cacophony:
“The buzzing of the bees / In the crackling of the trees” – The repeated “z” and “c” sounds in this line from Emily Dickinson’s poem “Summer Shower” create a discordant and uncomfortable effect, emphasizing the chaotic and unpredictable nature of the natural world.