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Stylistic Devices

Updated on August 20, 2011

The system of images. Stylistic Devices

The system of images includes both macro and micro images. Macro images are those that develop within the whole book or within a considerable part of it: characters’ images, the image of nature, the image of war etc. Micro images exist within a sentence or a paragraph. The images are created with the help of stylistic devices.

Metaphor - <metaphor> is a stylistic device based on transference of names based on the associated likeness between two objects, on the similarity of one feature common to two different entities, on possessing one common characteristic, on linguistic semantic nearness, on a common component in their semantic structures. The expressiveness is promoted by the implicit simultaneous presence of images of both objects – the one which is actually named and the one which supplies its own
“legal” name, while each one enters a phrase in the complexity of its other characteristics.
The wider is the gap between the associated objects the more striking and unexpected – the more expressive – is the metaphor.

Personification - a <metaphor> is a stylistic device that involves likeness between inanimate and animate objects.

Metonymy - <transference> of names is a stylistic device based on contiguity (nearness), on extralinguistic, actually existing relations between the phenomena (objects), denoted by the words, on common grounds of existence in reality but different semantic (V.A.K.) is based on a different type of relation between the dictionary and <contextual meaning>s, a relation based not on identification, but on some kind of association connecting the two concepts which these meanings represent (I.R.G.)

Pun, paronomasia, play on words - simultaneous realisation of two <meanings> through:
a) misinterpretation of one speaker’s utterance by the other, which results in his remark dealing with a different meaning of the misinterpreted word or its homonym,
b) speaker’s intended violation of the listener’s expectation

Epithet - a <stylistic device> based on the interplay of emotive and <logical meaning> in an attributive word, phrase or even sentence, used to characterise and object and pointing out to the reader, and frequently imposing on him, some of the properties or features of the object with the aim of giving an individual perception and evaluation of these features or properties

Hyperbole - a <stylistic device> in which emphasis is achieved through deliberate exaggeration It does not signify the actual state of affairs in reality, but presents the latter through the emotionally coloured perception and rendering of the speaker.
a deliberate overstatement or exaggeration of a feature essential (unlike <periphrasis>) to the object or phenomenon – is a device which sharpens the reader’s ability to make a logical assessment of the utterance

a combination of two semantically contradictory notions, that help to emphasise contradictory qualities simultaneously existing in the described phenomenon as a dialectical unity.

Rhetorical question
peculiar interrogative construction which semantically remains a statement;
– does not demand any information but
– serves to express the emotions of the speaker and also
– serves to call the attention of listeners;
– makes an indispensable part of oratorical speech for they very successfully emphasise the orator’s ideas.

a semantically complicated <parallel construction>, the two parts of which are semantically opposite to each other
– is to stress the heterogeneity of the described phenomenon, to show that the latter is a dialectical unity of two (or more) opposing features. (V.A.K.)

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an imaginative comparison of two unlike objects belonging to two different classes on the grounds of similarity of some quality
The one which is compared is called the tenor, the one with which it is compared, is called the vehicle. The tenor and the vehicle form the two semantic poles of the simile, which are connected by one of the following link words: “like”, “as”, “as though”, “as if”, “as like”, “such as”, “as ... as”, etc.

а) a flow, movement, procedure, etc. characterised by basically regular recurrence of elements or features, as beat, or accent, in alternation with opposite or different elements or features (Webster’s New World Dictionary)
в) a combination of the ideal metrical scheme and the variations of it, variations which are governed by the standard (I.R.G.)

an indirect reference, by word or phrase, to a historical, literary, mythological, biblical fact or to a fact of everyday life made in the course of speaking or writing.

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

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      3 years ago

      I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

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      6 years ago

      Good afternoon here is a good forum

      I spent 6 hours searching in the network, until find your forum! I think, I shall stay here for a long time!

    • profile image

      Duala Ekoko Elijah 

      7 years ago


    • R.Cochran profile image


      7 years ago from Dahlonega, GA

      Great skills and you seem very educated. I read this hub three times just to try and educate myself. Thank you for the information, I will try to remember some of this to incorporate into some of my future writings.

    • DavePrice profile image


      8 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

      Great information - can you take each definition and supply your own example? I'd love to see that - your style and skill is a pleasure to read.

    • SpiritLeo profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Europe

      Gramarye, Thank you so much!

    • gramarye profile image


      8 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Great Hub!


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