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Monday, April 13, 2009

Literary Devices

by P2

Literary devices are used mostly every day. Literary device is an identifiable rule of thumb, or structure that is employed in literature. In this paper I am reviewing literary devices used by the author, Virginia Hamilton, in her book The House of Dies Drear.

In the book The House of Dies Drear, the author uses literary devices to describe the feelings and moods during the book. For example, on page one, it says, “Their needles were as long as railroad spikes.” This literary device is called a simile, using the word as to compare needles from a tree to the size of railroad spikes.

In my conclusion to the author’s style, I see that the author uses imagery and similes the most throughout the book. I would say the most interesting literary device would be, “His eyes glowed red and spat fire.” This is a form of imagery, explaining how his eyes looked, and made me feel like I would be able to see his eyes afire.

This author uses literary devices to compare, contrast, and show even smell. On page one, it says, “The odor almost choked him… his palms itched and his eyes burned..” The sentence before explains imagery. It makes you feel the way the boy feels. As on page twenty-six it explains the way the caretaker of the house, Pluto, walks, saying, “… walks as agile as a cat.” This would tell you that Pluto is a very quiet person, does not make sounds as he walks. Alliteration, the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words, occurs on page twenty-seven, stating, “… couldn’t quite make come clear.” As you could see, it repeats the same sounding letters at the beginning to the end of the statement.

One of the least used literary devices is idiom. An idiom is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. One idiom is found on page forty-one. This idiom says, “Keep your eye on them.” The thing it is trying to say is keep them in your sites, even though it states something entirely different.

One other rare type of literary device found throughout this book is personification. Personification is the giving of human traits to a thought, feeling, animal, or thing. One example of personification is found on page twenty-two. “… see the truth when it practically stares them in the face.” It is saying that truth can stare us in the face, which is improbable.

The literary device of metaphor is a word or phrase applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. There are about six metaphors from page one to page forty-nine. “They became secret conductors …” and “… it was the Jordan and the Promised Land lay on the other side...” are both examples of metaphors. The first one I listed was found on page sixteen, and the other on page twelve. The first metaphor is saying that it is secret conductors, rather than it is like secret conductors. Metaphors compare things by saying they become something, rather than saying it is like or as something else like a simile.

The author of The House of Dies Drear uses the literary device metaphor more than any other types of device. Apparently Metaphor is the style this author chose because it is the certain way this author likes to write. The reason literary devices are used is to catch the readers attention and help the reader understand more about the thoughts, actions and themes of the book. Without literary devices, books would be dull and not very imaginative. Literary devices help spice my reading.

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