A Tale of Two Cities Literary Devices

Imagery Using descriptive language to form a clear pictureExamples:the description in the first chapter of the “cold, dank, muddy” winter carriage ride of Mr. Lorry (Dickens: Chapter 1, Book the First); the description of Saint Antoine in the “Broken Cask;” the description of the Old Bailey as “quiet” and “at the center of town” with “blue flies” watching.
Foreshadowing using language and making mention of something that will occur later onExamples:Examples: Darnay’s close escape from the Old Bailey foreshadows his eventual capture at La Force; Mr. Carton’s emotional outpouring of despair to Lucie foreshadows his great redemption/sacrifice, in which he is executed
Symbol Something that is representative of something elseExamples:The Guillotine is representative of the violent nature of the French Revolution; the fountain of the village represents a place of unity among the villagers; The red caps symbolize the Jacquerie revolutionaries
Irony The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effectExamples:”Jerry, you honest tradesman”
Metonymy A figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept.Examples:The revolutionaries are described as a storming sea as the “storm” the Bastille
Anaphora The repetition of a word or phrase within a passage or text.Examples:”It was… It was… It was…””I see… I see… I see…”
Personification Giving animate descriptions to inanimate objectsExamples:The Marquis personifies the villainy of the aristocracy
Alliteration Use of words in a row that start with the same letterExamples:”Deep ditches, double drawbridge.”
Asyndeton A list of items or things without a conjunctionExamples:”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, …”
Epistrophe Repetition of a word or phrase in the middle or at the end of a sentence.Examples:”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, … we had everything before us, we had nothing before us …”
Allusion Reference to an outside source within a textExamples:”Drawn to the Loadstone Rock”
Paradox A seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.Examples:”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
Satire A literary work that pokes fun at or ridicules vice or imperfections through exaggeration with the idea of change.Examples:”with such humane achievements as sentencing a youth to have his head cut off.”

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