Study S1 English English - Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices - Geniebook

Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices

In this chapter, we would be learning about anaphora, allusion and alliteration.

 

Anaphora

The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses

Used by writers to convey, emphasise or reinforce the meaning

  1. Be bold. Be brief. Be gone.
  2. I came; I saw; I conquered.
  3. Monkey see, monkey do
  4. Open heart, open mind
  5. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
  6. Great haste makes great waste.

 

Allusion

When a piece of writing tries to hint at a person, place, thing, literature or art.

Used by writers to hint at something, with readers expected to understand the reference.

  1. Chocolate is her Kryptonite.
  2. He is the Einstein of his class.
  3. Toby is a proper Scrooge. He never takes out a cent.

 

Alliteration

The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.

Used by writers as it sounds pleasing; to grab the attention of readers/listeners

  1. Claire, close your cluttered closet.
  2. Go and gather the green leaves on the grass.
  3. Please put away your paints and practise the piano.
  4. Rocky road
  5. Quick question
  6. High heaven
  7. Picture perfect

 

Let’s understand the above topics with the help of some questions:

 

Question 1:

Johnson stands out in a crowd as if on stilts. We used to call him Jack and the Beanstalk to annoy him. I am the only one who can outpace him and get away, but I am too old for such tomfoolery now.

What is the literary device used here?

 

  1. Anaphora
  2. Alliteration
  3. Allusion
  4. Metaphor

 

Solution: 

The correct answer is Option No C i.e. Allusion. Here, the allusion is Jack and the Beanstalk which is a very famous fairytale. Johnson is a person and not an allusion. 

 

Question 2:

A wise man once said, “I am good, I am calm, I am happy, I am kind.”

A wise man _________.

What is the literary device used here?

 

  1. Anaphora
  2. Alliteration
  3. Allusion
  4. Metaphor

 

Solution:

(A) Anaphora

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option No A i.e. Anaphora because the words “I am” are being repeated.

 

 

Question 3:

Grandma Dixon laughed just like the Wicked Witch of the West, and I always dreaded fortnightly family lunches because of her.

What is the literary device used here?

 

  1. Anaphora
  2. Alliteration
  3. Allusion
  4. Metaphor

 

Solution: 

(C) Allusion

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option No (C) Allusion because it is a character from the famous story “Wizard of Oz”.


 

Question 4:

Although the fireplace was blazing, it still felt like Jack Frost had moved in with me.

What is the literary device used here?

 

  1. Anaphora
  2. Alliteration
  3. Allusion
  4. Metaphor

 

Solution:

The correct answer is Option No (C) i.e. Allusion.

The allusion used is "Jack Frost". It implies that the weather was extremely cold/ the temperature was very low.

Explanation: 

An allusion is a figure of speech that makes reference to something that is outside of the text – usually people, places, events, literary work, myths or works of art.

Hence, it is important for you to build up your general knowledge in order to understand what the allusions mean when you see them.

In the given context, "Jack Frost" is a personification of ice, frost, snow, sleet, winter, and freezing cold. He is a variant of Old Man Winter, held responsible for frosty weather.


 

Hyperbole

“Hyperbole” is exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

Example: 

  1. I am so hungry that I could eat a horse.
  2. The lesson is taking an eternity to end.
  3. The car’s air conditioning was so cold that I nearly froze to death.

 

 

Question 5:

My father had not seen his grandmother for nearly a year. Finally, the day arrived when they were to be reunited.

“Grandma! It is such a pleasure to see you in the flesh again!” My father dashed to where the old lady was standing on the train platform and nearly broke the little old woman in half.

Identify the literary device used here.

 

  1. Hyperbole
  2. Personification
  3. Allusion
  4. Metaphor


Solution:

(A) Hyperbole

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option No A i.e. Hyperbole which means exaggerating something to emphasise something.

In this case, they are emphasising how tightly he hugged her.


 

Question 6:

Megan kept glancing at her watch every now and then. She twirled her hair around her fingers. Mr. Smith's Science lesson was taking an eternity to end.

Identify the literary device used here.

 

  1. Hyperbole
  2. Personification
  3. Allusion
  4. Metaphor

 

Solution:

(A) Hyperbole

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option No (A) i.e. Hyperbole. It is implied that the lesson was dull, monotonous and boring.


 

Question 7: 

The text below describes a young girl who fell asleep while waiting for a judge in the courtroom.

“How can I help you today young lady?” A man’s deep voice roused me from my slumber. It was a strangely sympathetic voice. I rubbed my face and acknowledged the moustachioed judge standing in front of me. The courtroom was almost vacant.

“I want a divorce.”

Identify the literary device used here.

 

  1. Anaphora
  2. Alliteration
  3. Allusion
  4. Metaphor

 

Solution:

(B) Alliteration

Explanation:

The literary device used is alliteration i.e. Option No B.

Alliteration: The words have the same sound or letter at the beginning of the word.

It involves the conspicuous repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in consecutive or closely associated syllables within a group of words, even those that are spelled differently.


 

Question 8:

The text below depicts a scene where the writer is in a crematorium.

It was the day my grandaunt exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Horace silently snoring in harmony to Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and I realised that it always seemed to be death that brought me back to Aberdeenshire.

Identify the literary device used here.

 

  1. Anaphora
  2. Alliteration
  3. Allusion
  4. Metaphor

 

Solution:

(B) Alliteration

Explanation:

"Silently snoring" i.e. Alliteration.

Alliteration: The words have the same sound or letter at the beginning of the word.

It involves the conspicuous repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in consecutive or closely associated syllables within a group of words, even those spelled differently.

Example: 

Gloomy Gwendoline, Greedy goats gobbled gooseberries etc.

 

 

Question 9:

The text below describes the writer’s feelings about life in the countryside.

After breakfast, I am in the valley pasturing sheep as usual, under a sky the dull grey of cow intestines. I look at my house on the hill. The mountains loom behind it, peaks lost in heavy clouds. There must be more – I have dreams that are bigger than the mountaintops. In the pasture, I always climb the tallest tree and shout to the sheep, “I’m travelling far from here!” and my tree turns into a plane and I ride off to a place where I can sit in a classroom, play with friends, and go to the mall every day.

Identify the literary device used here.

 

  1. Anaphora
  2. Alliteration
  3. Allusion
  4. Metaphor

 

Solution:

(D) Metaphor

Explanation:

It is a metaphor. It emphasises the writer’s desire to leave his life in the countryside. 

A metaphor is a figure of speech which states that something is equivalent to another thing which it is not usually associated with.

In this context, the metaphor is a reflection of the writer’s imagination. The metaphor links the tree directly to the plane, showing how much the writer wants to leave to a different place.

 

Continue Learning
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Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions
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Comprehension Skills - Direct Recall Of Relevant Material, Paraphrasing
Text 2 Skills: Literacy Devices
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices
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Situational Writing - Formal Letter of Complaint
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