In literature, synesthesia refers to a technique adopted via writers to present thoughts, characters, or locations in this type of way that they appeal to a couple of experience, like hearing, sight, smell, and contact at a given time.
Generally, the term synesthesia refers to a certain medical situation in which one of the five senses simultaneously stimulates another feel. A individual with this type of circumstance may not best see letters of the alphabet, but also partner them with specific scents. This happens while the special components of the brain which are accountable in identifying color, sound, taste, and smell by hook or by crook get interlinked, and thus one sense triggers another feel.
Everyday Life Examples of Synesthesia
In ordinary language, we discover many examples of synesthesia, which includes the often used adjective “cool.” This phrase is generally related to temperature. However, in informal conversation, we listen phrases like “cool dress,”, “cool color,” or “you appearance cool,” wherein the visual sensation is mixed with the experience of touch. Moreover, we typically listen phrases like “loud colors,” “frozen silence,” “warm colors,” and “bitter cold.”
Examples of Synesthesia in Literature
In literature, synesthesia is a figurative use of words that intends to attract out a response from readers by means of stimulating a couple of senses.
Example #1: The Divine Comedy (By Dante Alighieri)
Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy contains a good synesthesia instance in literature. In the first canto, the poet tells us about an area called “Inferno.” He says,
“Back to the location wherein the solar is silent.”
Here, Dante binds the experience of sight (sun) with the sense of hearing (silent).
Example #2: Ode to a Nightingale (By John Keats)
We notice synesthetic imageries in John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale:
“Tasting of Flora and the country inexperienced,
Dance, and Provencal song, and solar burnt mirth!”
In the above example, Keats combines visual sensation with the sensations of flavor and hearing. In the same poem, he further states:
“In a few melodious plot,
Of beechen inexperienced,
Singest of summer in full throated ease.”
Keats friends the act of melodious making a song with a plot blanketed with inexperienced beechen trees, and therefore connects visible feel with the sense of listening to.
Example #3: King Lear (By William Shakespeare)
We see Shakespeare employing the synesthetic tool in his play King Lear, Act 2, Scene 2:
“Thou art a lady: if best to move warm were fabulous,
Why nature needs no longer what thou terrifi wear’st,
Which scarcely keeps thee heat.”
In the above excerpt, King Lear makes amusing of his daughter Goneril for wearing revealing attire. He friends the word “warm” with “fantastic,” that is an try to combo the feel of contact with the sense of sight.
Example #4: A Tuft of Flowers (By Robert Frost)
Robert Frost, in his poem A Tuft of Flowers, uses synesthesia:
“The butterfly and I had lit upon,
Nevertheless, a message from the dawn,
That made me listen the wakening birds around,
And listen his long scythe whispering to the ground…”
In the above excerpt, the speaker exhibits a mix of sensory experiences he's experiencing. The speaker’s visible experience and his experience of hearing make him aware of his surroundings.
Example #5: Dying (By Emily Dickinson)
Emily Dickinson, in her poem Dying, uses synesthesia:
“With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,
Between the light and me;
And then the windows failed, and then
couldn't see to see.”
Here, the poetess delivered a visual detail to the humming sound “buzz” by describing it as having a blue color.
Example #6: The Whole World Over (By Julia Glass)
The man or woman Saga, in Julia Glass’ novel The Whole World Over, has a condition of synesthesia, wherein she seems to feel colors inside the phrases she reads, as illustrated below:
“The phrase would fill her mind for a few minutes with a single color: now not an unpleasant sensation but nevertheless an intrusion… Patriarch: Brown, she thought, a temple of a phrase, a sparkly purple brown, just like the surface of a chestnut.”
These lines are remarks spoken with the aid of Duffy, who thinks that Saga’s synesthesia is a distraction.
Function of Synesthesia
Writers rent this tool to be creative in communicating their ideas to the readers. It makes their ideas extra vivid, and adds greater layers of meaning to a text for the readers’ pleasure. By blending specific senses, writers make their works more interesting and appealing.
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