Literary Devices

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Transcript Literary Devices

Literary Devices
To help us understand Vince’s language
in Son of the Mob
 A comparison using “like” or “as”
 Examples:
My family eats like an army.
The pine trees stand like soldiers around our
That book was as thrilling as the Behemoth.
 A comparison between two unlike things,
without using “like” or “as”
 Examples:
“Life is a highway.” -- songwriter, Tom Cochrane
“Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
it’s had boards torn up
And splinters on the stairs.” -- poet, Langston Hughes
“For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes
 Giving human qualities to non-human
(inanimate) objects
 Examples:
“that rifle… leaves the silence terrified” --poet
Sid Marty
“the river snuffled on the beach” –poet Irving
“the monstrous anger of the guns” – poet
Wilfred Owen
 Neighbouring words start with the same
 Examples:
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep” – poet
Robert Frost
“Then a hood covered my head.
‘Don’t make it harder for us,’ the hangman
whispered.” –poet Alden Nowlan
Hyperbole (Exaggeration)
 Obvious exaggeration of the facts (can have a comic
or serious effect)
 Example:
 “I have seen many amazing things in my long and
troubled life history. I have seen a series of corridors
built entirely of human skulls. I have seen a volcano
erupt and send a wall of lava crawling toward a small
village. I have seen a woman I loved picked up by an
enormous eagle and flown to its high mountain nest.
But I can still not imagine what it was like to watch
Aunt Josephine’s house topple into Lake
 -- from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate
 Irony occurs when someone says something but the
reverse is true
 Or, it occurs when a situation is the opposite of what
is expected
 Example:
 “Mikey’s father Peter is a great champion. He wins
bets in the pubs by drinking more pints than
anyone… He wins all that money but he doesn’t bring
it home. Sometimes he’s like my father and drinks
the dole itself…” –author Frank McCourt, in Angela’s
 An allusion is a reference to a well-known
person, event or thing in life, literature or
history. The audience is familiar with the
 Example:
 “He realized that by coming to the dance he
had brought his problems with him like a
Trojan Horse, and he could only hope he
would be able to keep them bottled up“
 – from Catch 22 by Joseph Heller