Alliteration is the repetition of sounds at the beginning of a set of words in close proximity. For example, tongue twisters are alliterative because they tend to repeat the same sound at the beginning of adjacent words (i.e., She sells seashells down by the seashore—the s sound is repeated). Alliteration is a device used to draw the reader’s attention to specific important details that they might otherwise pass right over. By drawing the reader’s attention, the author is helping the readers understand something deeper within the text, usually something related to theme or characterization.
In paragraph four of the story, Maupassant uses alliteration when describing some of the finer things that Mathilde desires. In the paragraph, there is alliteration to focus on things like “shining silverware,” “fairy forests,” and “delicious dishes.” Each of these things is a fantasy that Mathilde entertains while her husband enjoys the simple dinner they can afford....
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