Imagery (literature)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Imagery is used in literature to refer to descriptive language that evokes sensory experience.

Forms of imagery (with examples)

Visual imagery is perhaps the most frequently used form.

  • The crimson liquid spilled from the neck of the white dove, staining and matting its pure, white feathers.

Auditory imagery represents a sound.

  • The bells chimed 2 o'clock.
  • Onomatopoeia: a word that makes a sound.

Kinetic imagery represents movement

Olfactory imagery represents a smell.

  • His socks, still soaked with sweat from Tuesday's P.E. class, filled the classroom with an aroma akin to that of salty, week-old, rotting fish.

Gustatory imagery represents a taste.

  • The sweet marinara sauce makes up for the bland sea-shell pasta beneath.
  • Tumbling through the ocean water after being overtaken by the monstrous wave, I unintentionally took a gulp of the briny, bitter liquid, causing me to cough and gag.

Tactile imagery represents touch.

  • The spongy soufflé was a pleasure to squeeze.
  • The clay oozed between Jeremy's fingers as he let out a squeal of pure glee.

Imagery can be showcased in many forms, such as metaphors and similes.

A simile is a literary device where the writer employs the words "like" or "as" to compare two different ideas. It can be a strong word to use as a describing word in a simile or metaphor.

  • He flew like a dove
  • I am as bold as a lion.
  • He has a heart as big as the outdoors.
  • Her eyes sparkle like a crystal.
  • Her hair is like a sea.
  • He is acting like a clown.
  • I am as red as a tomato.

A metaphor is similar to a simile, however this literary device makes a comparison without the use of "like" or "as".

  • He has a hyena's laugh.
  • Her face is a garden.
  • Her eyes were endless pools of beauty.
  • His voice was an explosion of sound.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Imagery (literature)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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