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Literary Devices: Uses and Types

Grade 6
Jun 9, 2023

What is a Literary Device?

A literary device is a technique employed by authors to allude to more important themes, concepts, and significance in a narrative or work of literature.

There are numerous types of literary devices, each with a distinct function. Some work at the sentence level, while others benefit from the entire piece of writing. Writers frequently combine several literary techniques.

What Do Use Literary Devices Serve to Achieve?

Literary devices are tools that writers employ to express ideas, give their writing a unique and focused effect, or make their writing easier for readers to comprehend.

For emphasis or clarity, literary devices are frequently utilized in the literature. Literary devices are another tool used by authors to help readers connect more deeply to a novel as a whole or with characters or themes.

So why is it crucial to understand various literary concepts and jargon? Knowing the methods authors frequently employ can be useful for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it will help you do your literary analysis well.


Knowing when various literary devices are being employed will help you comprehend the inspiration behind the author’s decisions.

Now Let’s Read Some of the Literary Works

Most of the literary devices listed below can be found in both poetry and prose.


A simile is the comparison of two items using terms like “like” and “as.”



Her soul is as soft as butter.

Fight like cats and dogs.


Usually referred to as direct parallels. A metaphor is a remark that compares two items, frequently unrelated ones.


The god of the forest is this tree.

The snow is a white blanket.

Alliteration (Repetition)

The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the start of two or more words that are next to each other or that are closely related is known as alliteration.


“Sleepy sheep were shorn on Sunday.”

“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”


Allusion is a literary technique whereby the author connects to a well-known incident or story.


It was like I walked into the Garden of Eden.


An allegory is a narrative whose main aim is to convey a vague idea or concept.


A loss of privacy

Slow and Steady wins the race.


When words with identical vowel sounds are used consecutively, it is known as assonance. It is possible to describe it as an alliteration variation.


“Tyger, Tyger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,”


Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which characteristics and traits are exaggerated.


You are the king of the kitchen


Irony is a literary device used to convey the opposite of what is intended.


It is like rain on your wedding day.


Personification is when non-humans are given humanistic characteristics.


The car needed a cold shower.


A pun is a word play that combines words with similar meanings or homophones.


Blow off steam.


Many of the concepts expressed through imagery and metaphor are combined in symbolism. A symbol, which is like a metaphor but shorter, is the use of an object to represent a concept.


A white dove represents “Peace”


Flash! Bang, wham. A term that sounds like the noise it describes is known as an onomatopoeia.


The chippies talk about the funnies in the papers.


Humor is a powerful unifier and can alter the way we perceive the world.


“Can I get you anything? Coffee? Doughnut? A better attitude?”


A paradox is a combination of opposing ideas that, though it may seem impossible, reveals a more fundamental reality.


I hate and I like. Why do I do this, you ask.


Paint a picture with words is a saying you have heard if you have practiced or studied creative writing. This is known as imagery in poetry and literature.


Images in the poem or prose


It is a phrase whose meanings cannot be determined from its words’ literal meaning.


Better late than never.

These are the literary devices we use commonly while reading and writing prose and poetry.

Literary Devices


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