Accumulation is a literary device that involves the repetition of words, phrases, or clauses in a series, with the purpose of creating emphasis, building momentum, and increasing the emotional impact of a text. It is often used in speeches, poems, and other forms of literature to create a sense of urgency, heighten tension, and create a more vivid and dynamic description.
Examples of Accumulation
- “We saw lightning and heard thunder and felt raindrops and smelled wet earth.”
In this example, the repetition of sensory details emphasizes the intensity of a storm, creating a more immersive and vivid description for the reader.
- “I want my money, and my car, and my house, and my life back.”
In this example, the repetition of possessions creates a sense of desperation and loss, highlighting the speaker’s emotional state and their desire to regain what they have lost.
- “She laughed and cried and hugged and kissed him, all at once.”
In this example, the accumulation of emotions emphasizes the intensity of the character’s response, creating a more powerful and memorable scene.
- “I will not rest, I will not stop, I will not give up until justice is served.”
In this example, the accumulation of verbs creates a sense of determination and urgency, emphasizing the speaker’s commitment to their cause.
- “The city was dark and dirty and crowded and noisy and dangerous.”
In this example, the accumulation of adjectives creates a more detailed and vivid description of the city, emphasizing its negative qualities and creating a more ominous tone.
Accumulation is a powerful tool that is used to create a variety of effects in literature, from emphasizing sensory details to creating a sense of urgency and tension. By repeating words or phrases, writers can create a more immersive and memorable reading experience for their audience.
Functions of Accumulation
Accumulation is a literary device that involves the repetition of a word or phrase in order to create an effect of amplification or accumulation.
The primary function of accumulation is to intensify or emphasize a particular idea or concept, and to create a sense of building tension or momentum in the text. Here are some of the key functions of accumulation in literature:
- Emphasis: One of the primary functions of accumulation is to emphasize a particular idea or concept. By repeating a word or phrase multiple times, the writer can draw attention to it and reinforce its importance in the reader’s mind. This can be especially useful in persuasive writing, where the writer wants to convince the reader of a particular point of view.
- Amplification: Another key function of accumulation is to amplify the impact of a particular idea or concept. By repeating a word or phrase, the writer can create a sense of building tension or momentum, and can make the text more powerful and impactful.
- Rhythm: Accumulation can also be used to create a particular rhythm or cadence in the text. By repeating a word or phrase, the writer can create a sense of flow and continuity, and can make the text more memorable and musical.
- Imagery: Accumulation can also be used to create vivid and memorable imagery in the text. By repeating a word or phrase, the writer can create a sense of visual or sensory overload, and can make the text more evocative and powerful.
- Satire: In some cases, accumulation can be used as a form of satire. By repeating a particular word or phrase, the writer can poke fun at a particular idea or concept, or can highlight its absurdity or excessiveness.
Accumulation Examples in Literature
Here are some examples of accumulation in literature
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
In this excerpt from William Wordsworth’s poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” the accumulation of natural imagery intensifies the speaker’s sense of wonder and awe at the beauty of the natural world. By describing the daffodils as a “crowd” and a “host,” and by emphasizing their color and movement with the phrases “golden” and “fluttering and dancing in the breeze,” Wordsworth creates a vivid and memorable image of the daffodils in the reader’s mind.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
In this excerpt from Dylan Thomas’s poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” the accumulation of imperatives intensifies the speaker’s exhortation to resist death and cling to life. The repetition of the phrase “rage, rage” creates a sense of building energy and emotion, and the forceful tone of the poem reflects the urgency of the speaker’s plea.
In a somer seson, whan softe was the sonne,
I shoop me into shroudes as I a sheep were,
In habite as an heremite unholy of werkes,
Wente wide in this world wondres to here.
In this excerpt from the prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” the accumulation of descriptive phrases creates a vivid picture of the narrator’s appearance and actions. The repetition of “shroudes,” “sheep,” and “heremite” emphasizes the narrator’s desire to withdraw from the world and seek solitude, and the phrase “wente wide in this world wondres to here” suggests a sense of curiosity and adventure.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
In this excerpt from T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land,” the accumulation of paradoxical images creates a sense of disorientation and despair. The juxtaposition of “winter” and “warm,” and of “forgetful snow” and “feeding,” suggests a world that is both comforting and unsettling, and the phrase “dried tubers” implies a sense of decay and loss. Overall, the accumulation of these contradictory images emphasizes the theme of fragmentation and disillusionment that pervades the poem.
More to read
- List of 75 Literary Devices
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