What Are Some Examples of Literary Devices?

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Literary devices are creative techniques used in storytelling or writing. They include metaphors, oxymorons, irony, hyperbole, analogies and internal rhymes. Specific parts of a story or piece of literature, such as plot, prologue, verse, setting and stanza are also deemed literary devices.

Literary devices provide color and creativity to a piece of writing. For example, an anecdote offers a brief, funny or entertaining narrative that relates to the overall piece of work. An analogy symbolizes an abstract concept by using a concrete object. A metaphor, one of the most used devices, draws a comparison between two objects or ideas by implying that one is the other. An example is “Life is a bowl of cherries.” Suspense, another example of a literary device, creates the tense moments that lead to the climax or resolution of the story. Most common in poetry and children’s stories, rhyme involves using words that have the same pattern or sound to create a musical effect for the reader. Literary devices that use words to emphasize ideas or create a singsong effect for the reader include alliteration – where words beginning with the same letter are used in succession – and onomatopoeia, in which the words used sound similar to the definition. Common examples of onomatopoeia include “smack” or “snap.”