The Novel: Literary Elements

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.


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