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An allegory is a device where the meaning of a greater, often abstract moral or political concept is conveyed with the aid of more material objects or ideas being used as an example.
Example: Faith is like a stony uphill climb: a single stumble might send you sprawling but belief and steadfastness will see you to the very top.
Before we get to the list of literary devices, however, we have a quick refresher on what literary devices are and how understanding them will help you analyze works of literature.
Literary devices are techniques that writers use to create a special and pointed effect in their writing, to convey information, or to help readers understand their writing on a deeper level.
Often, literary devices are used in writing for emphasis or clarity.
Authors will also use literary devices to get readers to connect more strongly with either a story as a whole or specific characters or themes.
So why is it important to know different literary devices and terms?
Aside from helping you get good grades on your literary analysis homework, there are several benefits to knowing the techniques authors commonly use.
This list and the terms included in it can help you begin to identify central concerns or elements in a work that might help facilitate your interpretation, argumentation, and analysis.
We encourage you to read this list alongside the other guides to literary interpretation included on the OWL Website.