Enumeration is a rhetorical device used for listing details, or a method of citing words or phrases step by means of step. In fact, it is a sort of amplification or division in which a topic is further allotted into components or parts. Writers use enumeration to elucidate a topic, to make it comprehensible for the readers. It also helps avoid ambiguity within the minds of the readers.
Examples of Enumeration in Literature
Example #1: I Have a Dream (through Martin Luther King)
“[W]bird we allow freedom to ring, while we permit it ring from each village and every hamlet, from each nation and each city, we are able to be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black guys and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join arms and sing inside the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at final! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are loose at remaining!’ “
In this example, if we take away commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks, it would be difficult to recognize the text.
Example #2: Hints Toward an Essay on Conversation (by Jonathan Swift)
“[A]mong together with deal in multitudes of words, none are comparable to the sober planned talker, who proceedeth with much notion and caution, maketh his preface, brancheth out into numerous digressions, findeth a hint that putteth him in thoughts of another story, which he promiseth to tell you while this is done; cometh back often to his subject, can not readily call to mind a few person’s name, conserving his head, complaineth of his memory; the whole employer all this while in suspense; at length says, it's far no matter, and so is going on. And, to crown the business, it possibly proveth at remaining a tale the agency hath heard fifty times before; or, at best, a few insipid journey of the relater.”
In this example, by the usage of enumeration, Swift describes a sober, planned talker, and then adds information of his qualities, making his message clean to apprehend.
Example #3: Elegy for Jane (via Theodore Roethke)
“I consider the neckcurls, limp and damp as tendrils;
And her quick look, a sidelong pickerel smile;
And how, as soon as startled into talk, the mild syllables leaped for her,
And she balanced within the pleasure of her concept … “
In the above lines, the speaker remembers how Jane – a useless student – looked. He offers information via remembering her smile, her hair, and her stunning spirit.
Example #4: The Atlanta Compromise Address (by Booker T. Washington)
“Cast down your bucket amongst these those who have, with out strikes and labour wars, tilled your fields, cleared your forests, builded your railroads and cities, and taken forth treasures from the bowels of the earth, and helped make feasible this surprising representation of the progress of the South. Casting down your bucket among my people, assisting and encouraging them as you're doing on these grounds, and to training of head, hand, and heart, you may locate that they may purchase your surplus land, make blossom the waste places to your fields, and run your factories.”
Booker describes people by way of including their traits one by means of one, which helps the audience to gain a actual knowledge of the writer’s ideas.
Example #5: Address to the Jury at some point of the Anti-Conscription Trial in New York City, July 1917 (by using Emma Goldman)
“We say that if America has entered the warfare to make the sector safe for democracy, she have to first make democracy safe in America. How else is the arena to take America seriously, while democracy at domestic is day by day being outraged, unfastened speech suppressed, peaceable assemblies broken up via overbearing and brutal gangsters in uniform; while free press is curtailed and every unbiased opinion gagged.”
Emma Goldman discusses how America can shop democracy even as waging struggle. She lists details about what might happen if America does now not make it secure at domestic.
By the use of enumeration, writers lay emphasis on certain ideas to complicated them in addition. In fact, enumeration effortlessly creates an impression at the minds of the readers. The info and list make it clean for them to convey the real message they need to impart. However, if there may be no need of enumeration in a text, it would become hard for the reader to get the authentic meanings of ideas.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw