Literary Terms: Synecdoche-Theme

Synecdoche
Is using a part for the whole. “Ten thousand feet marched down the street to an endless beat of drums” (people marched, just not feet)

Metonymy
Is substituting one term for for another because of the close association between the two. “The White House announced a new economic stimulus package today” (meaning the President or an administration official did so, not the physical structure at 1600 Pennsylvannia Avenue in Washington, D.C..)

Hyperbole
Is intentional overstatement. “I think of you a million times a day.”

Litotes
Is international understatement. “His donation to the charity was not insignificant” (meaning it was significant).

Irony
Is a contrast between appearance and reality. Irony can be situational ( a man proposing marriage to a woman in a comical setting such as being stuck in an elevator, or characters trying to keep from laughing out loud in a quiet museum), verbal (one character doing down thing foolish and another character saying the opposite, such as, “That was an intelligent thing to do!”), or dramatic (the reader knows more than the character does, so the reader knows that it is ironic that the character is doing this because it is fruitless or dangerous).

Oxymoron
Is a contradiction in terms. “The silence was deafening.”

Paradox
Is a phrase or statement that appears to be contradictory but in fact might convey a deep truth. ” I know that I know nothing at all.”

Antithesis
Is putting together two opposite ideas to achieve the effect of a contrast. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Personification
Is the giving of human traits to non human things. “The trees waited eagerly for the rising of the sun.”

Alliteration
Is the repetition of the same initial verbal sound. “Billy bounced a ball by the backyard barbecue.” To be more specific: assonance is the repetition of the same vowel sound; consonance is the repetition of the same consonant sound. Alliteration gives rhythm to a statement or phrase that can increase its emotional impact. “And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting/on the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door.”

Topic
Is a brief description of the book, such as, “The American Revolution”

Theme
Can usually be stated in one sentence and often expresses a universal idea that the story conveys. The theme of The Giver, for example, is the discovery and pursuit of truth.