Anacoluthon is derived from the Greek word anakolouthos, which means "missing sequence". It is a stylistic device that is defined as a syntactic deviation and interruption within a sentence from one structure to another. This interruption lacks the expected sequence of grammar. The grammatical flow of sentences is interrupted to start more sentences.
Characteristics of Anacoluthon
It is used intentionally, unintentionally, or as a rhetorical device. In rhetoric, anacoluthon is also referred to as a disorder figure, in which the syntax of a sentence does not correlate with what is expected. However, it should not be confused with hyperbaton, which also involves changing the normal position of words, phrases, and sentences. Anacoluthon is the break within a sentence from one construction to another against the expected logical order of the sentence. This change can be done within a sentence or in the form of the time.
Examples of Anacoluthon in Literature
Example 1: Ulysses (by James Joyce)
“... I could have brought him to his breakfast in bed with a bit of toast as long as I didn't Because of bad luck on the knife or when the woman has made her rounds with the watercress and something nice and tasty, there are a few olives in the kitchen that he may never want to wear the look of them in abrines. I could do the criada. The room looks ok as I changed it differently. You can see that something was telling me all along, to introduce myself without knowing myself from Adam it… ”
This is an example of anacoluthon where the stream of consciousness makes it easier to use. Since thoughts are not coherent and lack a grammatical sequence, it makes readers stop and think about the order of sentences.
Example # 2: King Lear (By William Shakespeare)
I will do such things,
What they are, but not I know ... ”
In the example above, King Lear talks about exacting revenge. However, he himself does not know how he will take revenge because he is in a state of mental confusion. This excerpt can be considered as a good example of anacoluthon, as there is an interruption from one sentence to another, and the interruption is made to attract the attention of readers.
Example # 3: A portrait of Mabel Dodge (by Gertrude Stein)
“The board that was dry was not disturbed by the smell of burning and overall there was the best kind of seat there could never be all the edges that the bigger chair had ...”
In this case, Gertrude has deviated from one sentence to another. start, he she talks about a table and the smell of it. Then more sentences are added, and the result is that the grammatical order is changed.
Example # 4: The Walrus and the Carpenter (by Lewis Carroll)
“'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk about many things:
Of shoes, and boats, and sealing wax,
And cabbages, and kings,
And why the sea is boiling,
And if pigs have wings' ”.
Here, Walrus proclaims everyone. Listening to oysters the time has come to talk about many things. Following his assertion that "the sea is boiling," there is an interruption in the grammatical flow of the sentences through an abrupt change and insertion of conjunctions.
Function of Anacoluthon
The common use of Anacoluthon is to imitate a thought or speech and then move the necessary information to the beginning of the sentence. It is widely used in literary writings and in casual speech. In casual conversation it is used in such a way that the sentence is not considered grammatically correct. However, in written work, it is used to imitate ungrammatical, confused, and informal language and to attract the attention of readers.
Anacoluthon is widely used in poetry, plays, and dramatic monologues.Furthermore, this technique works well with the flow of mind-writing style which is intended to identify thoughts that are close to each other, as thoughts are not always consistent and hardly grammatically correct
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