D is for Denotation

This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge. Every day (minus Sunday’s) during April in 2015 I will be making a post related to a literary device which starts with a particular letter of the alphabet. I have a general idea that these posts will be describing the same characters as they go through their lives, but I haven’t written all the posts yet so no promises!

I apologize for being behind. I plan to catch up now that it’s my weekend!

Denotation – generally defined as literal or dictionary meanings of a word in contrast to its connotative or associated meanings.

I figured since my last post was on connotation it made sense to have denotation, the dictionary definition of a word for this post. Many poems start with words using the dictionary definition to create a picture, then use the implication of those words to make a bigger point.

The water sparkled under the blue sky, but then a raven flew by.

The winds started, the water churned, the world was about to burn.

The water sparkling under the blue sky using denotation sets the scene, making people feel calm and peaceful. The raven is used in a connotative sense to mean something bad comes to the front. Winds will actively buffet people while moving around the water, making the whole thing less peaceful. The whole world isn’t likely to burn, but a persons world which was peaceful could suddenly have a major problem, which is what is being described here.



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