Synecdoche

Definition:
A synecdoche is a literary devices that uses a part of something to refer to the whole or vice versa. It is somewhat rhetorical in nature, where the entire object is represented by way of a fraction of it or a fraction of the object is symbolized by the whole.

Example:
“Weary feet in the walk of life”, does not refer to the feet actually being tired or painful; it is symbolic of a long, hard struggle through the journey of life and feeling low, tired, unoptimistic and ‘the walk of life’ does not represent an actual path or distance covered, instead refers to the entire sequence of life events that has made the person tired.

4 thoughts on “Synecdoche”

  1. Mama Always Said…
    “Get your little butt in here” is synecdoche, where “butt” means “all of you”.

  2. ‘False Parallelism’
    In the UK this stylistic device is normally called ‘deviation’, and it can occur on any language ‘level’ (phonetic/phonemic, lexical, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, discoursal, etc.) or indeed it can occur on several such levels at the same time, intensifying the effect. The reader’s attention is, as you rightly say, drawn to the deviant element, resulting in what is called ‘foregrounding’ and enabling broader and richer interperations.

    However, it seems to me not appropriate to call this kind of device ‘false’ parallelism, because it is the parallelism that brings about the effect: if the deviant element were to occur alone, there would be no such effect. So the parallelism is not ‘false’, it is merely not concluded with the element that the reader expects.

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