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Effective Repetition

Intentional--as opposed to careless or inadvertent--repetition of sounds, words, phrasing, or concepts is used in literary works to create unity and emphasis.
Hamilton, Essential Literary Terms (98-111; 150-166) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

This is something I have always found to be interesting. When a thought or concept--whether significant or not--is repeated numerous times throughout a work of literature, it has a great impact. It always seems to tie the story together much better than if it was only stated once. I always thought that this was most effective when an idea stated towards the beginning is reiterated at the end. It helps to give the story, or poem, a greater sense of finality.

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Comments (2)

BethanyMerryman:

I agree with you, it is clear that when something is repeated throughout a story it is important and you should take note of it. It is a nice tool to have when reading and I enjoy when a phrase or word is used over and over.

Derek Tickle:

I agree with you. It is very interesting to me that words which are repeated throughout a piece of work have great meaning. As you stated, when an author reiterate's an idea it seems to give some closure to the work. On the other hand, I agree with Jenna about when an author repeats something and has no point, it can be annoying.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 14, 2007 8:55 PM.

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