Out of the Dust

by Karen Hesse

Start Free Trial

Which literary devices can be found on pages 111-128 of Out of the Dust?

Quick answer:

Literary devices from pages 111–128 in Out of the Dust include aphorism, anaphora, alliteration, allusion, and hyperbole.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

My version may differ from yours, so be sure to double check any page numbers. I'll try to include a variety of pages to hopefully hit the right range.

In the poem "Outlined in Dust," Billie Jo makes use of an aphorism, which is a universally accepted truth that is given in a concise way. On page 111, she points out,

I'm my father's daughter.

This phrase is used to show her sense of connection to her father, even though she struggles in their relationship. Biologically, she is (of course) her father's daughter. Semantically, this makes sense. Yet she is also connected to him in deeper ways: his nature, his walk, and parts of his personality.

Anaphora is the repetition of the same word or phrase in consecutive lines of poetry. In the poem titled "The President's Ball," these lines appear:

Tonight, for a little while
in the bright hall folks were almost free,
almost free of dust,
almost free of debt,
almost free of fields of withered wheat. (113)

The word "almost" is repeated four times here and begins three of those lines. This is an intentional structure to show how close the "folks" came to this idea of perfection. They were gloriously close to sheer happiness, free from their constant worries. You'll also find alliteration twice in that last line. The f sound is repeated in "free of fields," and the w sound is repeated in "withered wheat." These are harsh sounds, meant to echo their harsh lives.

An allusion is a reference to a person, event, or piece of literature that exists outside of this work. There is an example of an allusion in in the poem "Family School":

We share it at lunch with our guests,
the family of migrants who have moved out from dust
and Depression
and moved into our classroom. (117)

"Depression" here is a reference to the Great Depression, which is important to the setting of the novel. This was time of great financial difficulty, and this migrant family is symbolic of those struggles.

Hyperbole is an intentional exaggeration. In the poem "Dreams," Billie Jo says,

I have a hunger
bigger than Joyce City. (126)

Clearly, her sense of hunger isn't larger than a city, but the exaggeration points out the depth of this "hunger."

I hope this helps as you examine other literary devices used in this section. Good luck!

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial