Five Feet Apart

by Rachael Lippincott

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What are the literary devices and examples from the story to go with them in Five Feet Apart?

Expert Answers

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One literary device that Rachel Lippincott uses is changing perspective or point of view. Both Will and Stella function as first-person narrators of different sections. This approach enables the author to establish a distinct, individual perspective for each character and helps the reader differentiate their personalities Stella’s optimism sustains her, while Will cannot believe that things will improve. Getting to know each one separately also helps make the relationship seem plausible and genuine.

Lippincott employs a modernized version of epistolary technique. In traditional novels, epistolary refers to letters that characters write to each other. In Five Feet Apart, this method is updated to social media, as Stella makes and posts YouTube videos from her hospital room and exchanges messages with viewers.

The author also uses comparisons. One kind is the simile, a comparison between two unlike things for effect that uses “like” or “as.” When Stella’s friends Camila and Mya visit, she tries to improve their mood by smiling, but they continue to be upset that she cannot accompany them on the class trip. “[B]oth opt to continue looking like I killed their family pet.”

Hyperbole (extreme exaggeration for effect) is also used. As Camila and Mya arrive, Stella is surprised that, despite numerous previous visits, they must ask the way. She exaggerates the number of visits and people they ask.

Camila and Mya have visited me here a million times...and they still can’t get room without asking every person in the building for directions.

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