Thomas Hardy

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What are the literary devices used in the poem "The Masked Face" by Thomas Hardy? I want to know all the literary devices used in this poem such as metaphor, personification, etc.

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Although this poem contains no examples of similes, metaphors and personification, you would do well to pay attention to the other sound effects that Hardy uses in this poem. Chief among these is alliteration, which appears a number of times in this short poem. Consider the following examples and what the alliteration does to the description. Firstly, the first line begins: "I found in me a great surging space..." Note how the alliteration in the "s" sound helps emphasise the size and bewildering state of this space that the speaker finds within himself. Secondly, the speaker says that this space has no "firm-fixed floor," which again emphasises the disturbing nature of this environment. Consider how the repetition of the "f" sound is used again in the second stanza, as the doors are described as "fast locked, and fill with fear." The "f" sound here seems to help convey the fear of the narrator when confronted with these portals that entrap him in this "giddying space."

Lastly, and key to the meaning of the poem, the masked face uses an analogy in the last stanza that effectively compares our life and the way we often complain about our situation to a pen that complains about what it is being used to write because it doesn't understand it.

Therefore, although this poem is absent of figurative language such as similes and personification, there are ample examples of alliteration that help convey the mood of fear and bewilderment of the speaker and also an analogy which is used to convey the theme of the poem.

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