Guide to Literary Terms

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Imagery

Imagery refers to an author’s use of descriptive language to vividly depict settings, characters, objects, events, or ideas. Imagery need not be only visual; it can include any kind of sensory detail that appeals to one of the five senses. (These five types of imagery are referred to as visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile.) The key part of a passage that demonstrates imagery is the uncommonly descriptive language, which often also includes figurative language such as metaphor, simile, or personification.

Correct example:

  • “Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a...

(The entire section is 266 words.)