Alliteration is the use of a consonant sound or combination of sounds to emphasize a word or phrase. Typically, this is done by beginning a word with a hard consonant.
Assonance is similar to alliteration, but instead of using consonant sounds, assonance uses a similar vowel sound. Like alliteration, this is most noticeable when emphasizing a word or phrase.
Both are used frequently in poetry, especially romantic poetry. When writing a love poem, the poet wants to emphasize the love that two people feel for each other. Alliteration and assonance help convey this feeling of love.
In this article, we will discuss two excerpts from Ghost House and identify alliteration and assonance used in each one. You will learn how to identify these poetic devices and how they enhance the text.
“She was sad and lonely”
Alliteration is used in the above excerpt to emphasize the sadness that Lina felt. The author uses the letter “s” in words like sad, lonely, and Stevie to add emphasis on these feelings.
Assonance is used in the above excerpt to emphasize the loneliness that Lina felt. The author uses the pronoun “I” and words like alone, isolated, and deserted to accentuate this emotion.
Both alliteration and assonance are poetic devices that are not limited to any specific genre of literature. They can be used in any type of writing to add a little extra something. They are both forms of repetition, but one repeats sounds and the other repeats words or meanings.
Alliteration and assonance are both tools that can be picked up by novice writers as they learn more about poetry. Most do not know that they are also common elements in fiction writing as well.
“Until she met a ghost”
Alliteration can be used in sentences, in paragraph form, to add emphasis or create a certain tone. A writer can use alliteration in their vocabulary, in the names they choose for characters or actions, or even as a joke.
In this excerpt from “Ghost House” by Noreen Guzzie and Dan Angeli, the ghost character is named Maurice. The name is chosen for the alliteration on the M sound.
Another example of alliteration in this excerpt is “little lemonade lips” referring to the ghost girl. The L and L sounds are repeated to emphasize her thin lips.
The last example of alliteration is found in the word “linger”. The letter ‘l’ is repeated to emphasize that she stays until she meets a ghost.
“In a haunted house”5) “That shook her to her core”6) “But also made her bolder”7) “Because now she knew… ghosts exist!”8) “And one lived right next door!”9) “In fact, there were several ghosts!”10) “And they all wanted to be friends!
Alliteration is used in the above excerpt to emphasize several key things: Lina’s fear, her courage, the ghosts that she knew existed, and the fact that the ghosts wanted to be friends.
Assonance is used in the above excerpt to emphasize the words “core” and “know.” The ghost shook her core, or made her more scared, but she knew what was going on and could accept it. She became bolder because of this event.
Both alliteration and assonance are used subtly in this excerpt, which makes it even more effective in emphasizing the details of this spooky event.