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What literary device does the author use a lot in "A Poetics for Bullies" (imagery,...

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jvassallo18 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:49 PM via web

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What literary device does the author use a lot in "A Poetics for Bullies" (imagery, symbolism, metaphor, simile, personification, irony, allusion)?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:02 AM (Answer #1)

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Stanley Elkin uses the following literary devices (with examples) in his short story "A Poetics For Bullies":

1. Metaphor- a comparison between two things not using like or as

I raise my arms, I spread them. I'm a bird

2. Simile- a comparison between two things using "like" or "as"

my head offering profile like something beaked

3. Alliteration- the repetition of a consonant sound in a line

First the fingers.

4. Assonance- the repetition of vowel sound in a line

"Trouble, trouble, double rubble!"

5. Hyperbole- exaggerated statement which one does not take as true

I climb Vesuvius and sack his Rome and dance on the Isle of Capri.

6. Symbolism- the use of a symbol to represent a fact or idea.

This (the symbolism) is perhaps the most poignant of the work. The name of the protagonist of the story is Push. The symbolism of this is that Push is a bully. He is constantly pushing others around. This can be looked at as a literal idea- he physically pushes people- or can be looked at in regards to the fact that he feels pushed by forces within himself. Push states that he is only a "pusher", nothing more given he hates "real force."

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