Literary devices are techniques used by writers to create meaning, enhance their writing, and make it more interesting to readers. There are many different literary devices, but some of the most common ones include:
A simile is a comparison between two things that are not alike, using the words “like” or “as”. For example: “She was as graceful as a swan.”
A metaphor is a comparison between two things that are not alike, without using the words “like” or “as”. For example: “Life is a journey.”
Personification is when an author gives human qualities to something that is not human, such as an animal or an object. For example: “The wind howled through the night.”
Hyperbole is an exaggeration used to emphasize a point. For example: “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.”
Onomatopoeia is when a word imitates the sound it is describing. For example: “The bees buzzed in the garden.”
Alliteration is the repetition of the same sound at the beginning of several words in a row. For example: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”
Irony is when the opposite of what is expected happens. For example: “A fire station burns down.”
Symbolism is when an object, person, or situation represents something else. For example: The American flag represents freedom and democracy.
Why are literary devices important?
Literary devices help writers create a more vivid picture for their readers. They can help readers understand complex ideas, and they make writing more interesting to read. By using literary devices, writers can create imagery and emotions in their writing that can help readers connect with their work on a deeper level.
Now let’s practice identifying literary devices in some sentences:
- The leaves danced in the wind. Answer: Personification
- The moon was a giant, glowing pearl in the sky. Answer: Metaphor
- He was so tall, he had to duck to get through the door. Answer: Hyperbole
- She sells seashells by the seashore. Answer: Alliteration
- The dark clouds loomed over the city like a threatening monster. Answer: Simile
- The silence was deafening. Answer: Hyperbole
- The pen is mightier than the sword. Answer: Metaphor
- The red rose symbolizes love. Answer: Symbolism
By understanding and recognizing literary devices, you can gain a better appreciation for the craft of writing and the way that writers use language to create meaning and evoke emotion in their readers.