What are the figures of speech used in the story ‘A Face in the Dark’?

QuestionsWhat are the figures of speech used in the story ‘A Face in the Dark’?
Kunal Kashyap asked 2 years ago

What figures of speech and other literary devices are used in the story ‘A Face in the Dark’ by Ruskin Bond?

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Jayanta Kumar Maity Staff answered 1 year ago

Figures of speech are generally not-so-widely used in stories as compared to poetry. In Ruskin Bond’s short story “A Face in the Dark” I find only a few of them —

Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the beginning or stressed syllables of nearby words.  Alliteration is used in the following instances:

When its flickering light fell in the figure of a boy … (repetition of ‘f’ sound)
His head hung down, he held his face in his hands … (repetition of ‘h’ sound) etc.

Metaphor: Metaphor is an indirect comparison between two things where there is a point of similarity. When the author compares the English school where Mr. Oliver teaches with the Eton college of England in ‘Eton of the East‘, it’s a metaphor.

Allusion: An allusion is a figure of speech where an indirect reference is made and it is left to the readers or audience to make the direct connection.

When in an imaginary plot of the story the narrator makes a reference to Kipling in the sentence “From before Kipling’s time, the school had been run on English public school lines”, the readers would make the connection with Rudyard Kipling, the great poet, but the narrator here doesn’t make it clear who this Kipling is. This is an allusion.

Oxymoron: Oxymoron is using two terms together, that normally contradict each other.

“Silent sobbing” is an example of oxymoron in the story. Sobbing generally means noisy cry with convulsive gaps. So placing the two contradictory words ‘silent’ and ‘sobbing’ side by side the author has used an oxymoron here.

Other literary devices used in this story are third person narrative technique and climax.


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