AP Language & Composition Unlocking the Rhetorical Devices
Balance Parallelism Chiasmus Antithesis
Parallelism-- is the repetition of a grammatical structure. The effect of parallelism is usually one of balance arrangement achieved through repetition of the same syntactic form. Ex: To think carefully and to write precisely are interrelated goals. Vs. To think carefully and precise writing are interrelated goals. By matching the cadence, the form, or the subjects, you’ll be able to make your essay easier to read and digest and your speeches easier to listen to. Understanding Balance
Chiasmus • Figure of speech—a pattern in which the second part is balanced against the first but with the parts reversed. This may involve a repetition of the same words. • Ex: “Pleasure’s a sin, and sometimes sin’s a pleasure.” Bryon Understanding Balance
Parallelism vs. Chiasmus Parallelism: The code breakers worked constantly but succeeded rarely. verb adverb verb adverb verb verb adverb adverb Chiasmus: The code breakers worked constantly but rarely succeeded. Parallelism: What is learned unwillingly is forgotten gladly. Chiasmus: What is learned unwillingly is gladly forgotten.
Antithesis—contrasting two ideas by placing them next to each other By contrasting legality and morality, wisdom and learning, or success and happiness, you make your reader think about the subtle shades of difference between concepts. Ex: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong “We live within our limits, for we are men, not gods.”
Emphasis 1 Climax Asyndeton Polysyndeton Expletive
Climax—is the presentation of ideas of increasing importance. Random Order: When the bucket fell off the ladder, the paint splashed onto the small rug, the drop cloth, the Rembrandt painting, and the sofa. Climactic Order: When the bucket fell off the ladder, the paint splashed onto the drop cloth, the small rug, the sofa, and the Rembrandt painting.
Asyndeton (uh SIN duh tahn)– consists of omitting conjunctions between words, phrases, or clauses in a list. • Ex: When he returned, he received medals, honors, riches, titles, fame. Conj: He was a winner and a hero. Asyndeton: He was a winner, a hero.
Ex: “I slithered under the sheets, and under the blankets, and under the top quilt to evade the monsters.” The commas draw out the action and make escaping more suspenseful. Polysyndeton (pol e SIN duh than) –is the use of a conjunction between each word, phrase, or clause and is thus structurally the opposite of asyndeton. The general feel of polysyndetonis one of an increasing urgency and power, with an almost hypnotic rhythm forming quite quickly.
Without expletive: The lake was not drained before April. With expletive: The lake was not, in fact, drained before April. Expletive—a word or short phrase, often interrupting a sentence, used to lend emphasis to the words
Irony Understatement Litotes Hyperbole Emphasis II: The most emphatic part of a sentence is at the end, while the second most emphatic part is at the beginning. How do you want to leave your readers?
Ex: When the tow truck driver pulled up, he saw the girl sitting in the rain on the spare tire, her prom dress ripped, grease on her face, mud on her shoes. As he stepped out of the truck, she asked him, “Does this mean my fun is over?” Irony—involves a statement whose hidden meaning is different from its surface or apparent meaning.
Understatement The opposite of exaggeration. It deliberately expresses an idea as less important than it actually is. “I know my actions were a little inappropriate,” stated Tiger Woods.
Litotes • A form of understatement, created by denying the opposite of the idea in mind. Without litotes: Those who examine themselves will gain knowledge of their failings. With litotes: Those who examine themselves will not remain ignorant of their failings. Many writers have created litotes by using a non un- construction: Instead of saying, “We were willing,” they would write, “We were not unwilling.”
Hyperbole • A figure of speech, emphasized by exaggeration. • Ex. There were millions of people at school.
Figurative Language I • Clarifying the unfamiliar by comparing it with the familiar is one of the “key” methods of teaching and learning. Simile Analogy Metaphor
Simile It compares two very different things that have at least one quality in common. Ex: After long exposure to the direct sun, the leaves of the houseplant looked like pieces of overcooked bacon. The difference between subject and image should be substantial!
Analogy Ex: In order to solve a problem, you first have to know what the problem really is, in the same way that you can’t untie a knot until you’ve found the knot. -Aristotle A word, thing, or idea chosen for the purpose of comparison.
Metaphor • It identifies the subject with the image: That is, instead of saying the subject is like the image, a metaphor asserts that the subject is the image in some sense. Simile: A good book is like a friend. Metaphor: A good book is a friend.
Metonymy Synecdoche Personification Figurative Language II
Metonymy (muh THAN uh me) • One entity is used to stand for another associated entity (The substitution of the name of a thing by the name of an attribute of it.) Ex: the “crown” =monarchy “John Hancock”=signature The “big apple”=NYC A “Mercedes” rear-ended me (Ex: The word me stands for the car that the speaker was driving.)
Synecdoche (sin EK duh Ke)(a kind of metonymy) • A part is used to describe the whole Ex: If I had some wheels, I’d put on my threads and ask for Jane’s hand. Wheels=automobile/motorcycle Threads=clothes Hand=part-for-whole substitution for Jane
Personification • Human attributes to animals, objects, or ideas. Ex: This coffee is strong enough to get up and walk away. The ship began to creak and protest as it struggled against the rising sea.
Allusion Eponym Apostrophe Figurative Language III
A short, informal reference to a famous person or event. The allusion often functions as a brief analogy or example to highlight a point being made. Allusion Ex: Plan ahead: It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. --Richard Cushing “It was like Romeo and Juliet, only it ended in tragedy.” (Milhouse from the Simpsons implying the effects from his first love)
Eponym (EP uh nim) • Is a specific type of allusion, substituting the name of a person famous for some attribute in place of the attribute itself. The person can be a historical, mythological, literary, or Biblical figure. Ex: This lid is stuck so tight I need a Hercules to open it. Is he smart? Why, the man is an Einstein. Is he creative?
Apostrophe (uh POS truh fe) Ex: O books who alone are liberal and free, who give to all who ask of you and enfranchise all who serve you faithfully! –Richard de Bury A direct address to someone, whether present or absent, and whether real, imaginary, or personified. Its most common purpose is to permit the writer to turn away from the subject under discussion for a moment and give expression to built-up emotion. After this last piece of unexpected news, the stock collapsed completely, ending its fall from $84 a share a year earlier to less than a dollar now. You poor shareholders! If only you had known about those secret partnerships! How much wiser you could have been!
Syntax I • The term syntax refers to the way words and phrases are put together to form sentences.
Zeugma (ZOOG muh) • Linking together two or more words, phrases, or clauses by another word that is stated in one place and only implied in the rest of the sentence. Ex: Jane and Tom jogged along the trail together. (One verb links two subjects.) She grabbed her purse from the alcove, her gloves from the table near the door, and her car keys from the punchbowl. (The verb grabbed is implied in front of her gloves and her car keys.)
Diazeugma (di uh ZOOG muh) • Consists of a single subject linkingmultiple verbs or verb phrases. • Ex: The book reveals the extent of counterintelligence operations, discusses the options for improving security, and argues for an increase in human intelligence measures. (The word book links the verb phrases beginning with reveals, discusses, and argues.)
Restatement I • Anaphora • Epistrophe • Symploce
Anaphora Ex: You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, it’s true. --J. Blunt Your body is a wonderland. –John Mayer Rhetorical figure of repetition in which the same word or phrase is repeated (found often in prose and verse).
Epistrophe The same word or phrase is repeated at the end of successive clauses, sentences, or lines. Whitman’s Song of Myself: The moth and the fish-eggs are in their place. The bright suns I see and the dark suns I cannot see are in their place, The palpable is in its place and the impalpable is in its place.
Symploce (SIM plo ke) • Combines anaphora and epistrophe by repeating words at both the beginning and the ending of phrases, clauses, or sentences. Ex: Whenever Chef Robaire cooked, his soup du jour began with chicken broth and garlic, his soup a la Chef included vegetables and garlic, and his soup Forentine was made with onions, cheese, and garlic. Soup (repeated) Garlic (repeated)
Restatement II • Anadiplosis • Conduplicatio
Anadiplosis (an uh di PLO sis) • Formed by the repetition of the last word or words of a sentence or clause at or very near the beginning of the next clause. Ex: The treatment plant has a record of uncommon reliability,a reliability envied by every other water treatment facility on the coast.
Conduplicatio (con doo plih KAHT e o) • Takes an important word from anywhere in one sentence and repeats it at the beginning of the next sentence. • Ex: Working adults form the largest single group of customers for on-line courses in the United States. On-line courses allow them to schedule academic assignments around full-time jobs and family responsibilities.
Sound • Alliteration • Onomatopoeia • Assonance • Consonance
Alliteration A sequence of repeated consonantal sounds in a stretch of language Without Alliteration: Jonathan was the child of mature parents, who were calm and relaxed. With Alliteration: Jonathan was the product of a mature marriage, whose partners were calm and relaxed.
Onomatopoeia • Words which sound like the noise they describe. Ex: Swish, cuckoo, smack, plonk, etc.
Assonance (As uh nuns) • Repeating vowel sounds in the stressed syllables of successive words or words relatively close to each other. • Ex: A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.—Matthew 5:14b • To get within sight of the lava, the geologists took a high-temperature hike.
Consonance (KON suh nuns) • Repeating the same consonant sound at the end of stressed syllables (or short words) with different vowels before the consonants. • Ex: Without consonance: He was so thirsty that he tried to tear the lid from the top. With consonance: He was so thirsty that he tried to rip the cap from the top.
Drama • Rhetorical Question • Aporia
Rhetorical Question • The expected answer is implied by the question itself, and is often just a yes or no. • Ex: So, then, do we want to continue a business model that guarantees we will lose more money next year than this year and more money than ever each coming year?
Aporia (uh POR e uh) • Expresses doubt about a fact, idea, or conclusion. The doubt may be real or pretended. • Ex: I cannot decide whether I approve of dress codes for middle-school children: Dress codes prevent gang clothing and conspicuous consumption, but they also produce a gray uniformity that suppresses personality and individual taste.
Apophasis (uh POF uh sis) • Brings up a subject by pretending not to bring it up. Its legitimate use is to call attention to something briefly, mentioning the existence of an idea without going into it. • Ex: I will not mention Houdini’s books on magic, nor the tricks he invented, nor his well-known escapes, because I want to focus on the work he did exposing swindlers and cheats.
Anacoluthon (an uh kuh LOO thun) • A sentence whose two pieces do not fit together grammatically. • Ex: Suddenly we heard an explosion from the direction of the hut. I turned to see the windows blowing out and the roof coming off. I began to—we were all knocked down.
Word Play • Oxymoron • Pun • Anthimeria
Oxymoron • A condensed paradox, usually reduced to two words. (Paradox= an apparent contradiction) • Ex: Your dog whimpers and scratches to be picked up, but when I pick him up, he turns his head away as if he doesn’t care that he’s being held. It’s clearly a case of clinging aloofness.