AP Lit Literary Devices: Lord of the Flies

Simile a figurative comparison using like or as. Example from the text: “The coral was scribbled in the sea as though a giant had bent down to reproduce the shape of the island in a flowing chalk line but tired before he had finished”
Personification to give human characteristics to something that is not human. The most obvious example of this is Simon’s “conversation” with The Lord of the Flies. The pig’s head is not literally talking, rather, it is given a voice to emphasize that the evil is not a single entity somewhere on the island, but is actually a monster inside each and every one of the boys. Golding gives the pig’s head a voice and personality to give it the physical manifestation of pure evil.
Hyperbole Using exaggeration to prove a point. Example from text: “There were eyes–” “Teeth–” “Claws–“The twins were exaggerating the “beast”
Metaphor The word itself comes from root words meaning ‘to transfer’, so this word means to apply something figurative to something literal in order to better illustrate what is happening. Example from the text: “The sun in the west was a drop of burning gold that slid nearer and nearer the sill of the world”
Foreshadowing When the author drops hints about events later to come. Example from the text: “But you can feel as if you’re not hunting, but–being hunted, as if something’s behind you all the time in the jungle.”
Alliteration Using the same sound in consecutive or close words. Example from the text: “a series of short sharp cries”
Polysyndeton the use of multiple conjunctions to connect clauses. Example from the text: “He trotted through the sand, enduring the sun’s enmity, crossed the platform and found his scattered clothes. To put on a grey shirt once more was strangely pleasing. Then he climbed the edge of the platform and sat in the green shade on a convenient trunk”
Asyndeton The omission of a conjunction between separate clauses. Example from the text: “Sit down. Let him alone.” The author uses this to show the commanding tone in the speaker’s voice.
Synecdoche a representative part of speech; a part represents the whole or the whole represents a part. Example from the text: The pig’s head/ The Lord of the Flies. The Lord of the Flies is a literal translation of Beezelebub, the embodiment of evil, destruction, corruption, and savagery. In the book, that is everything the pig’s head represents.
Archetype An original example of something that becomes the model for later ones; a very typical example of something. Example from the text: Piggy is an archetypical example of a nerd. He is chubby, short, bespectacled, smart, and unathletic.
Verisimilitude If a work is verisimilitudinous, it is realistic and could have happened in real life. If the author does not use verisimilitude, then he/she does not try to make the storyline plausible. I think Golding does use verisimilitude in Lord of the Flies because it realistically portrays how humans behave in an anarchical, survivalist society
Allusion when an author directly or indirectly references another piece of literature or art. Can be biblical, mythological, or literary, among others. Example from the text: Simon is an allusion to Jesus because of the similarities in their life events and personality. Both are kind and loving to the littluns, both are somewhat shunned by the “powerful”, and both are killed while trying to spread the truth.
Dramatic Irony When the characters in the book are unaware of something that the audience is aware of. Example from the text: It is ironic that the boys left England to escape war, but they ended up creating a war of their own on the island.
Onomatopoeia When the pronunciation of a word mimics the sound it is portraying. Example from the text: “A deep, harsh note boomed under the palms” Golding uses boomed and other sensory words to put the reader in the situation.
Zeugma the skillful use of one verb or modifier to refer to one noun or object. Example: Barack ran the race and the country. Example from the text: “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.” In my opinion, authors use this to show equal weight to each of the objects. For example, in the sentence “The boy likes cookies, cake, and ice cream”, it is implies that the boy likes them equally. In the same way, Golding uses this to show that Ralph wept equally about the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and Piggy’s death. They all made him equally sad.
Foil Contrasting elements of a story to emphasize the differences between the two. Example from the text: Jack and Ralph are this of each other because Jack represents savagery, corruption, and bloodlust, while Ralph represents order, chivalry, and, in a way, civilization. Another example of this is the conch and the pig’s head.

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