Rhetorical Devices and Literary Techniques Essay

Rhetorical devices and literary techniques are closely related to tone and manner. In fact. an author’s manner partially consists of choosing and utilizing certain devices ; an author’s tone is partly determined by the type of techniques an writer uses. Many SAT books will name tonss of Grecian footings you don’t necessitate to cognize. such as synecdoche and anaphora.

But the Critical Reading subdivision won’t require that you know the names of rhetorical devices or literary techniques. Rather than pelt you with tonss of unfamiliar footings. we’ll categorize and clop the most common types of devices and techniques below and supply some illustrations and commentary.

As we said. you won’t be specifically tested on these constructs. but they do lurk beneath the surface in the transitions. Having a solid apprehension of these devices and techniques will better your ability to manage RPs.

Focus on absorbing the similarities and differences between and among them. As you read through the list. note the one key characteristic all of these techniques and devices portion: they allow words and sentences to transport more than merely their actual significance. Here is a list of the most of import devices and techniques. We’ve included illustrations along with commentary on each one: Hyperbole

I’m every bit hungry as a starved king of beasts. Hyperbole is a equivalent word for hyperbole. Clearly. the talker is non truly every bit hungry as a starved king of beasts. A exaggeration is merely a figure of address we use to stress a point. The opposite device is understatement: I’m a small tired is a purposeful understatement if the talker has been up for 48 hours. Repetition Duty does non trump honestness. Duty does non trump common sense. And responsibility. my friends. does non trump morality. Repeat is the witting and purposeful reproduction of words or phrases in order to do a point.

In this illustration. it’s clear that the bounds of responsibility are being sketched out. The talker is seeking to demo that responsibility is non the lone or even the most of import virtuousness. Imagery and Figurative Language Simile Her eyes were similar stars. Her eyes are literally human eyes. Figuratively. they are being compared to stars. significance. most likely. that they are bright and glistening and do admiration. This is an illustration of a simile. Similes use similar and as to do expressed comparings between unlike things. such as eyes and stars. Metaphor Her eyes were pools of liquid visible radiation. Again. her eyes are literally human eyes.

Figuratively. they are being compared to pools of liquid visible radiation. However. the comparing is implied. non stated. This is an illustration of a metaphor. Unlike similes. metaphors compare unlike things without explicitly saying the comparing with “like” or “as. ” Personification Her eyes followed me up the stepss. Can eyes follow person up the stepss? Not literally. but in this instance an eye—which is non a person—is given a person’s abilities. viz. . following person else up the stepss. This is an illustration of personification. Symbolism Her eyes looked but did non see. All was dark.

Literally talking. eyes either see ( healthy eyes ) or they don’t see ( blind eyes ) . An oculus that looks but does non see is blind in a nonliteral sense. Very frequently. vision and visible radiation are symbols for understanding and enlightenment. In this illustration. the adult female is most likely incognizant of—or “in the dark”—about something.

This is an illustration of symbolism. Sound Patterns Her eyes were ruffling pools of liquid visible radiation in which I splashed playfully. This metaphor besides uses sound forms to underline its significance. Note that the letters l and p repetition: ripple pools of liquid light…splashed playfully.

The writer may hold repeated “l” and “p” sounds to arouse the sound of H2O ( like in the word splash itself ) or merely to associate together the words that make up the metaphor—or both. There are many types of sound-pattern devices. each with its ain hard Greek name that you surely won’t need to cognize. Rhetorical Questions Can poverty of all time be eradicated?

Rhetorical inquiries are non meant to be answered. A rhetorical inquiry is used to show what’s taken to be an unanswerable inquiry. such as these inquiries: Can a repetition wrongdoer of all time be trusted non to perpetrate another offense?

Can a individual of all time hold excessively much love? A rhetorical inquiry can besides be one in which the author’s reply is clearly intended to be “no” or “yes. ” In these two illustrations. the author’s reply is clearly intended to be “no” ( whether you agree with those replies or non ) .

Parlances and Cliches That’ll cost you an arm and a leg. Parlances are inherited oddities of linguistic communication that native talkers understand without inquiry but which cause nonnative talkers endless problem. Merely a native talker knows that if something costs an arm and a leg that means it’s expensive. non that you really need to lose your limbs to buy it.

Many overused parlances and symbols are platitudes. and cliches themselves can be used ironically ( see irony below ) . Irony [ Said to a average foreman ] : “You’ve been so sort to me. ” The SAT loves sarcasm. A statement is dry if it expresses something different from or opposite to the actual significance of the words. This illustration is called verbal sarcasm or irony. which can be thought of as “heavy-handed irony” : The overexploitation of antibiotics has led to the rise of immune strains of many diseases.

A statement or state of affairs can be dry or self-contradictory when the words accurately report events that seem to be contradictory but which have really occurred. as in this illustration: A soldier has returned from a war. He crashes his bike and dies. His war experiences are told in flashback. Whenever he thinks about decease. a bike thrusts by.

A specific literary usage of sarcasm is called dramatic sarcasm. In the illustration above. the audience knows that the soldier will decease in a bike clang. The soldier himself. of class. doesn’t cognize how he will decease. ( A flashback. by the manner. is another literary device made popular by the films.

Flashbacks jump back in the story’s chronology to give background information. For illustration. the opening scene of the movie Lord of the Ringss: Tax return of the King shows Gollum before he found the ring. ) Boding A soldier goes to war. He survives many barbarous conflicts. merely hardly losing being killed several times.

The soldier becomes obsessed with his “good luck”—why does he last when so many others die? Every clip the soldier has a coppice with decease. the writer makes some elusive reference of a black bike. Finally. the soldier’s best friend is killed in a bike clang the twenty-four hours after the war has ended.

The soldier himself comes place and non excessively long subsequently. he dies by crashing his bike. In this illustration. the audience and character are every bit nescient about the result of the narrative. However. by utilizing boding. the writer begins to clew in his audience. The character’s destiny is easy revealed to the audience but non needfully to the character himself. Note that the stoping to this narrative is double ironic—was the soldier “meant” to decease in a bike clang or did he convey it about through his ain guilt about lasting while others perished?

The subject of free will versus predestination underlies this small narrative. Motif The bike in the last two illustrations. A motive is a symbol that is carried through an full work of fiction. The bike symbolized decease throughout both narratives. In the Lord of the Rings. the One Ring is a motive for the corrupting nature of power. Now that you have all these constructs under your belt. it’s clip to larn the most efficient manner to utilize your cognition on testlike points and sets.


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