What literary devices are used in John Steinbeck's book, The Grapes of Wrath?
The list of literary devices used in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath is a long one, but here are just a few examples.
Literary devices are forms of figurative language, also known as figures of speech. They are not to be taken literally: these statements are descriptive in nature, making what is being discussed or described more vivid in the reader's mind.
For example, there is the simile. This literary device compares two dissimilar things as if they were the same. They are, in fact, not the same, but they do share similar characteristics, and "like" or "as" is used. "She's like the wind" compares "she" to "wind." It does not mean that when she is around trees, trashcans and power lines are knocked down, or that she can lift a kite in the air. More likely it means that she is a free spirit and cannot be contained or controlled, anymore than the wind.
In this example from the novel, several devices are used:
The Bank--or the Company—needs—wants—insists—must have—as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them.
First, a simile is used. The "Bank" or "Company" is compared to a monster. The bank is not a living thing, but associated with it is monstrous behaviors. It personified: that is, it is given human characteristics of needing, wanting, insisting, and thinking (and being monstrous—inferring intelligence). (It is also capitalized, as a name would be.) This quote also uses metonymy, where the name given to some thing comes from things associated with it. The bank is not a living thing, but those who run the bank—management, stockholders, etc.—are referred to en total as the "Bank" or the "Company" rather than managers or owners , and it is not the...
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