Guide to Literary Terms

Start Your Free Trial

Explain the three uses of "imagery" with examples. How is imagery 1) conveying emotion, 2) suggesting ideas, or 3) mentally evoking a sense of experience?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,777 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Imagery is description using the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. I don't know what your second point means, but imagery is a powerful and effective way to convey emotion (your first point) and also to mentally evoke sense experiences (your third point).

Although it can seem counterintuitive, imagery is how writers convey emotion. It would seem straightforward to say "Emily was filled with grief at Jarrad's death," but that statement is so abstract it can leave us cold. However, if we paint a sensory picture of Emily's grief, we are much more likely to feel it: we might write something to the effect that Emily was surprised to find Jarrad's favorite blue work shirt hanging in the closet. She pulled it out and hugged it as if Jarrad were still in, feeling its rough fabric against her neck. She put her face into it and smelled Jarrad's familiar scent of sweat and grass....

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 486 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial