In The Namesake, what are the literary techniques used?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Some literary techniques used by Jhumpa Lahiri in The Namesake include sensory detail, description, imagery. Literary techniques are a category of the two literary devices from which an author chooses freely to create the details of a novel, play, poem or short story. Literary elements, on the other hand, include tone and mood (also called atmosphere). Lahiri's narratorial tone is objective, though sympathetic, and confident. The mood she creates within the setting of the story varies. For example, it is sometimes one of thoughtfulness and sometimes one of agitated discontent.

Of literary techniques, Lahiri uses many sensory details in The Namesake. She tells the texture, smell and appearance of things from food to clothes. In close connection with sensory detail, Lahiri also gives detailed descriptions of what her characters wear, where they go, what they look at as well as what their feelings and actions are. The imagery--the mental visions triggered by the sensory detail and descriptive detail--is heightened to a level that some critics called "lyrical," which is akin to poetical.

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