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Important Literary Devices Used in LNAT Explained

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Understanding all the important and popular literary devices is a very essential part of your LNAT section A preparation.

Literary devices are techniques and structures used by writers to convey their message, express ideas, and enhance the overall impact of their work. For example, writing “He ran like the wind” conveys a more colorful image,  then “He ran very fast” – even though both of them may have the same meaning.

Literary devices feature regularly in the LNAT section A MCQs and also in the comprehension passages.

In the questions, you may be given an a word, phrase or sentence; and asked to identify the literary device that has been used.

While reading the passages, identifying these devices can help in understanding the context of the passage, the tone, the writers intentions and other nuances that may not be directly evident.

As such, the list of literary devices is quite extensive – however, in this article, we’ll learn about all important ones which may appear in the LNAT.


A story or narrative with a deeper, symbolic meaning, often used to teach a moral lesson or express a political or philosophical idea.

Example: George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” is an allegory for the Russian Revolution and the rise of communism.


The repetition of initial consonant sounds in neighboring words.

Example: She sells sea shells by the seashore.


A reference to another work of literature, historical event, or famous person.

Example: “This place is like the Garden of Eden,” alludes to the biblical paradise.


The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences.

Example: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up… I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi…”


Assigning human traits or characteristics to non-human entities, such as animals or objects.

Example: In “Winnie-the-Pooh,” the animal characters display human emotions and behaviors.


The repetition of vowel sounds within close proximity.

Example: “Hear the mellow wedding bells” by Edgar Allan Poe.


The emotional or cultural associations attached to a word beyond its literal meaning.

Example: “Home” often connotes warmth, safety, and belonging.


An author’s choice of words, which contributes to the overall style, tone, and meaning of a text.

Example: Using “slay” instead of “kill” can give a text a more formal or dramatic tone.


An appeal to the credibility or character of the speaker or writer, often used in persuasive writing or speeches. Ethos relies on demonstrating that the speaker or writer is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and credible.

Example: In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. establishes his ethos as a religious leader and civil rights activist, lending credibility to his arguments.


A mild or indirect expression used in place of a harsh or blunt one.

Example: “Passed away” is a euphemism for “died.”


Hints or clues about what will happen later in the story.

Example: In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Romeo’s dreams foreshadow the tragic ending.


An exaggeration used for emphasis or effect.

Example: “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.”


Descriptive language that appeals to the senses, creating a vivid mental picture.

Example: “The crimson sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow across the rippling water.”


A contrast between what is expected and what actually occurs, often for comedic or dramatic effect.

Example: In “The Gift of the Magi,” the characters sell their most valuable possessions to buy gifts for each other, only to find that the gifts are now useless.


An appeal to logic or reason, often used in persuasive writing or speeches. Logos relies on presenting clear, rational arguments supported by evidence.

Example: In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, he uses logos by citing constitutional guarantees and arguing for equal treatment under the law.


A figure of speech that directly compares two unrelated things.

Example: “The world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”. “Time is a thief”


Words that mimic the sounds they represent.

Example: “The bees buzzed, and the brook babbled.”


A combination of contradictory words or phrases.

Example: “Jumbo shrimp” or “deafening silence.”


A statement or situation that appears contradictory but may reveal a deeper truth.

Example: “This is the beginning of the end.”


The use of similar grammatical structures, word order, or syntactical patterns to create balance or emphasize a point.

Example: “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

Pathetic Fallacy

The attribution of human emotions or characteristics to aspects of nature, often to reflect a character’s feelings or mood.

Example: In “Wuthering Heights,” the stormy weather often mirrors the tumultuous emotions of the characters.


An appeal to emotions, often used in persuasive writing or speeches. Pathos relies on evoking feelings such as sympathy, pity, or fear to persuade the audience.

Example: In Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, he uses pathos by appealing to the audience’s fear of tyranny and desire for freedom.


Giving human qualities or actions to non-human objects or concepts.

Example: “The wind whispered through the trees.”


A play on words that exploits the multiple meanings of a term or the similarity between two different words for humorous or rhetorical effect.

Example: “Why did the scarecrow win an award? Because he was outstanding in his field.”


The deliberate use of the same word, phrase, or structure multiple times for emphasis or to reinforce a point.

Example: In “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the repetition of the phrase “I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth” intensifies the narrator’s paranoia.


The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize human vices, follies, or shortcomings.

Example: Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is a satirical essay that suggests solving the problem of poverty by eating the children of the poor.


A comparison between two things using “like” or “as.”

Example: “Her cheeks were as red as roses.”


The use of an object, person, or event to represent a deeper meaning.

Example: In “The Great Gatsby,” the green light symbolizes Gatsby’s dreams and aspirations.


A figure of speech in which a part of something represents the whole, or the whole represents a part.

Example: “All hands on deck” is a synecdoche that refers to sailors, using “hands” to represent the whole person.


The author’s attitude or feelings toward the subject matter, often conveyed through word choice, imagery, and figurative language.

Example: An author might adopt a sarcastic tone to mock a character’s naivete.


A figure of speech in which something is deliberately presented as less significant or important than it actually is, often for ironic or humorous effect.

Example: “It’s just a scratch” when describing a large, deep wound.


The appearance of being true or real, often created through the use of realistic details or authentic dialogue.

Example: In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee creates a sense of verisimilitude through her depiction of life in a small Southern town.


A figure of speech in which a word applies to two others in different ways, often for humorous or dramatic effect.

Example: “He stole both her heart and her wallet.”

Why should you use literary devices in your essays?

We strongly recommend that you should use one or two literary devices within your LNAT section B essays. (Not more than two, unless the essay requires more for some reason). These elements not only enhance the appeal of your writing but also demonstrate your comfort in the English language. Generally, well crafted essays that feature judiciously placed literary devices tend to receive higher marks compared to those using ordinary language.

Examples of Literary Device related questions from the LNAT Section A.

What is the primary purpose of the author’s use of alliteration in this passage?
a) To create a sense of rhythm
b) To emphasize a particular idea
c) To establish a humorous tone
d) To create an auditory appeal
e) To convey a sense of urgency

How does the writer’s use of similes in this text contribute to the overall meaning of the passage?
a) By drawing attention to similarities between two seemingly unrelated concepts
b) By providing a sense of contrast between two different ideas
c) By offering a more vivid description of an object or scene
d) By creating a sense of continuity in the narrative
e) By evoking an emotional response from the reader

Which literary device is primarily used in this passage to highlight the protagonist’s internal conflict?
a) Imagery
b) Foreshadowing
c) Irony
d) Symbolism
e) Flashback

In this excerpt, the author uses personification to:
a) Provide a unique perspective on an inanimate object
b) Establish a connection between the reader and the subject matter
c) Convey a sense of loneliness and isolation
d) Create a vivid and engaging setting
e) Add humor to an otherwise serious situation

The repetition of the phrase “I remember” throughout the passage serves to:
a) Reinforce the importance of memory in the narrative
b) Create a sense of rhythm and structure
c) Emphasize the protagonist’s longing for the past
d) Illustrate the protagonist’s fixation on a specific event
e) Show the passage of time in the story

How does the author’s use of metaphors in this passage affect the reader’s understanding of the subject matter?
a) By providing a clearer explanation of complex ideas
b) By offering a more vivid and engaging description
c) By revealing the hidden meaning behind the words
d) By creating an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue
e) By evoking an emotional response from the reader

In this text, the author’s use of hyperbole serves to:
a) Exaggerate a particular point for dramatic effect
b) Create a sense of irony and sarcasm
c) Offer a more engaging and entertaining reading experience
d) Emphasize the protagonist’s naivety and inexperience
e) Convey the extreme nature of the situation

The writer employs an anaphora in this passage to:
a) Establish a connection between different ideas
b) Create a sense of rhythm and structure
c) Emphasize the importance of a particular theme
d) Offer a more engaging and dynamic reading experience
e) Provide a sense of continuity throughout the text

In this excerpt, the use of onomatopoeia primarily serves to:
a) Create a vivid and immersive setting
b) Emphasize the intensity of a specific event
c) Convey a sense of chaos and confusion
d) Provide a more engaging and entertaining reading experience
e) Highlight the emotional impact of the narrative

How does the author’s use of oxymorons in this passage contribute to the overall meaning of the text?
a) By emphasizing the contradictions inherent in the subject matter
b) By providing a sense of contrast between two opposing ideas
c) By revealing the true nature of the protagonist’s thoughts
d) By creating a sense of irony and sarcasm
e) By engaging the reader’s curiosity and interest in the narrative

LawMint LNAT Practice Tests
  • Revised LNAT 2024 Edition
  • 30 Full-Length Practice Tests
  • 360 LNAT-Style Passages
  • 1,260 Multiple-Choice Questions
  • All Answers Include Explanations
  • 90 Essay Questions - with model answers
  • Access for 6 Months from Purchase Date
  • Option to Repeat All Tests Thrice for Enhanced Practice
  • Random Shuffling of Answers for Repeat Practice Sessions
  • Use coupon LNAT20 on checkout screen for 20% off
  • Try the Free Full Length LNAT Practice Test
LNAT Important Literary Devices For Section A questions Lawmint LNAT prep