The Novel: Literary Elements
I have my Bachelor of Arts in English, and I taught high school literature for three years. I wholeheartedly agree with this diagram.
Which is why today as I read over a chapter I was working on, I found it very amusing that I had managed to sneak something in that not only foreshadowed conflict but also provided insight into the two character’s personalities and motivations within the scene.
I was writing a romantic moment – which are quite fun because I find them humorous. Romance can be so awkward, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I like messing with my characters.
Anyway, I was working on this one moment when one of the characters quotes Lord Byron.
Now you might be thinking, Oh, Byron is so romantic! Or Yep, Emily, you’re a nerd. I agree more with the latter, to be perfectly honest, but I have to admit that when I wrote this scene back in January, I had chosen Byron because he is a romantic. And honestly, I kind of just threw the line in there to fill in the silence in my head.
Today I reread the poem from where the line came, and I realized that it was a stroke of genius.
Because you see, it highlighted the fact that my two characters are at very different places in their lives and want very different things.
Yep, I used an allusion to create foreshadowing. I am awesome.
Here’s the poem:
Don Juan, Canto the Fifteenth
George Gordon, Lord Byron
Between two worlds life hovers like a star,
- ‘Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon’s verge.
How little do we know that which we are!
- How less what we may be! The eternal surge
Of time and tide rolls on, and bears afar
- Our bubbles; as the old burst, new emerge,
Lash’d from the foam of ages; while the graves
Of empires heave but like some passing waves.
Time will tell if this remains in the book, I suppose, but I amused myself greatly with this discovery.
Sometimes the curtains are blue, and sometimes they’re not.