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More About Imagery

IMAGERY is the use of descriptions that appeal to sensory experience

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What images are especially vivid?  To what sense do these appeal?
  2. What effect do these images have on your mood as a reader?
  3. What do they seem to indicate about the author’s tone?

Imagery creates a vivid picture and appeals to the senses. It may take the form of one of the following figures of speech:

Alliteration repetition of consonant sounds at the start of a word The giggling girl gave gum.
Assonance repetition of vowel sounds in the middle of a word Moths cough and drop wings
Consonance repetition of consonant sounds in the middle of a word The man has kin in Spain
Onomatopoeia writing sounds as words The clock went tick tock
Simile a direct comparison of unlike things using like or as Her hair is like a rat’s nest
Metaphor a direct comparison of unlike things The man’s suit is a rainbow
Hyperbole a deliberate exaggeration for effect I’d die for a piece of candy
Understatement represents something as less than it is A million dollars is okay
Personification attributing human qualities to inhuman objects The teapot cried for water
Metonymy word exchanged for another closely associated with it Uncle Sam wants you!
Pun play on words – Uses words with multiple meanings Shoes menders mend soles.
Symbol something that represents/stands for something else the American Flag
Analogy comparing two things that have at least one thing in common A similar thing happened…
Oxymoron Use or words seemingly in contradiction to each other bittersweet chocolate

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