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What are the literary devices used in "The Slave's Dream"?

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prabhnoor | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 17, 2011 at 2:28 AM via web

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What are the literary devices used in "The Slave's Dream"?

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

Posted August 6, 2011 at 4:33 AM (Answer #1)

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There are multiple literary devices used in Longfellow's poem "The Slave's Dream."

In the first line, the "i" sound in the words "beside" and "rice" are examples of assonance. Assonance is when a line of poetry contains repetition of a vowel sound.

In the second line, "His sickle in his hand" shows alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound in a line of poetry. Here, the "h" sound is repeated in the words "his", "his", and "hand".

The following lines example a simile (a comparison between two things using the words "like" or "as").

Before him, like a blood-red flag,
The bright flamingoes flew;

Here, a comparison is made between a group of flying flamingos and a blood-red flag.

"And the hyena scream" examples personification. Personification is where a non-living, non-human thing is given human attributes. A hyena does not actually "scream"- but, people do.


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