07 July 2011

Literary Blog Hop: July 7-10

Literary Blog Hop

What is one of your favorite literary devices? Why do you like it? Provide a definition and an awesome example.

Oh my goodness, could I have squeed any louder? Is this really the question for this week? Well gosh, let me suppress my psycho literary self as I tackle this monster of a question!

... No, really.

My mind sort of flooded with... everything. I love literary terms and all those goodies, and I thought of so many to toss in here. Some are well known, others completely out there, but I smiled as each one came to mind. But then I frowned when I realized I had to narrow it down to one!

I decided to go with an easy one, however. Connotation, as relative to a didactic. Connotation is a term that carries an emotional attachment to it, a sense of feeling, and is the opposite of a denotation. (So a denotation would be a house; walls, roof, door... While a connotation would be a home; family, love, support...). This amount of power in a word is what can really drive a plot or a tale going, and leads it to a...

Didactic! (Did you see what I did just there? I snuck in two literary terms... Silly Becca...) A didactic is a piece of work that has instruction, tells a morale, educates the reader. A lot of times these are loaded with connotations. These help to weigh the book with morals and understandings to create those educational, coming-of-age, mind-blowing plots.

I love these terms because, in my opinion, novels should never be without them. I have yet to read a novel that has not had these elements and declared it a favorite of mine. They are two ingredients that I just need to have in a novel for it to strike me.

It goes without saying that most readers can find a book ether a didactic or not, or see a term as a connotation or denotation. It can sometimes be a matter of opinion... at least that is my opinion.

I really could have gone on forever about these terms, or I could have gone on about a lot of terms, but as usual I'll rein myself in. Literary theory is just THAT sexy.

Well, how did I do? Confuse you, do you agree or disagree? What about your favorite terms? Really, comment, because if you don't well... it gets lonely around here without you all!


  1. Brilliant. I totally learned some things from your post and I was equally excited about this week's topic and had to address it right away.

    Check out my list here.

  2. Really nice one!...Personally, I don't take too much to literature that is didactic, except when tastefully or subtly done. And connotations definitely work wonders with writing!....I found quite a bit of it, recently, in The Poisonwood Bible....taking the book title into account, for example. :D

    Btw, you have a very pretty blog!

  3. The connotation of the word "didactic" is a bit of a downer. I mean, "died"? That's what I consider when I hear the word. "Died," and then a sneeze...


    Kidding - I love the word. And if Little Women is a didactic, I love didactics.

  4. Beautiful answer! There are words to describe the "why" of good literature. You did such a lovely job of defining some of them and bringing excitement to the task.

  5. I love this week question! It leads to very didactic answers ;)

    Unlike you, I don't think novels should necessarily be didactic to be appreciated. I would associate the term "didactic" with a work that clearly expresses what it is doing. Other works might be more subtle and ambiguous, yet, still valuable if read correctly (I think that might be what you imply when saying that not all readers might find a work didactic).

  6. A didactic is best served when nobody knows what it's trying to do. I don't want it to be completely obvious to the reader, however-

    Have you ever read tasteless writing? I'm shining my spot beam on Young Adult Fiction, to be honest. They have no meaning, no story telling, and nothing to carry away when you're done reading the novel. That's why some YA novels never make it/aren't as good as some of the classics!

    So if a reader can draw something from the piece, which I think can almost always happen, than I think it deserves this praise. It doesn't have to have been written to teach a lesson.

  7. Oh, good old connotation and denotation! I'm a high school English teacher and this is something we're constantly working on. Many of my students are English Learners to a degree and this is tough for them, but so important to truly understanding the written word.

  8. This is my favorite literary blog hop, I think. I love reading about all these clever literary terms, most of which I am totally in-the-dark about.

    Here's my attempt to pick my favorite literary device. Also, I'd like to invite you to throw your name into the hat for a $25 Amazon gift certificate in Readerbuzz's July Giveaway!It's international!

  9. sneaky, slipping in the 2nd answer, although a great answer all the same.

  10. Is this not just he best question ever? I got seriously excited when I saw it, and you have a great answer. Connotation is incredibly important, though I tend to notice it more in poetry than I do in novels. Picking the word with just the right connotation can absolutely make or break a poem, at least in my opinion.

  11. This was the best question, I agree. I love LBH because of its questions. They're meant for people like me/us who just love getting down and dirty with literature.


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