What are some examples of aposiopesis?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In order to identify examples of aposiopesis, one must first have a strong understanding of what it is. By definition, aposiopesis is when a thought is left uncompleted because of a sudden breaking off. Based upon this, one can create and find many different examples of aposiopesis.

1. Created by editor: The woman ran up to him and grasped him by the shoulder. She seemed very frightened.

"Call the police! I was just...," and then she ran.

2. Created by editor: Jim and Jan were known for that special relationship between twins. They would often finish each other's sentences. It was no surprise to Autumn when they were telling of their latest mishap at the store.

"I had completely forgotten...," began Jim.

"To meet me in the bread aisle," finished Jan.

3. Example from literature:

"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll - "

She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat. (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)

4. Example from literature:

"Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn't mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For 23 years I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now--well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!" (The Wizard of Oz)

5. Example from literature:

O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me,
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me. (Julius Caesar)