When a noun or word is followed by another noun or phrase that renames or identifies it, this is called an appositive. This is a literary device that appears before or after a noun or noun phrase. It is always used with a comma, we can define it as a noun phrase or a noun that defines or explains another noun that it follows.
In this grammatical structure, writers place elements next to each other like noun phrases, with one element serving to add to the other define, and one is in apposition to the other. For example:
“We waited in front of the condemned cells, a row of double-barred sheds, like little animal cages.” (A Hanging, by George Orwell)
In this line, “the condemned cells” is a noun phrase, while “a row of sheds “Is an appositive that explains this noun phrase or noun in apposition. It clarifies the meaning of a phrase, but if the appositive is removed, the meaning of the entire sentence changes. Commas aren't necessarily used in this type of appositive, as in “John's friend Michael likes chocolates. Here John has other friends, but the statement is limited to Michael only.
Non-Restrictive Appositive does not give essential or additional information that is not important to identify the phrase or noun in the apposition, often used with commas, for example "John, my friend, likes to eat chocolates." Here my friend is a non-limiting appositive because there is no need to identify John.
Examples of appositive in literature
Example 1: A Christmas reminder (from Truman Capote)
Butcher is supposed to buy Queenie's traditional gift, a good edible beef. “
In the above excerpt, a restrictive appositive clarifies and describes a noun“ traditional gift ”. Here this literary device appeared after the noun and indicated the type of gift.
Example 2: Bronx Primitive (By Kate Simon)
“Although her cheeks were brightly colored and her teeth were strong and yellow, she looked like a mechanical woman, one Machine with blinking, glassy eye circles. "
In this example, the noun" mechanical woman "is defined and identified by a long noun phrase, a restrictive appositive," blinking, gaseous eye circles "that serves as a useful device in this excerpt and adds variety to the sentence, thereby improving its meaning .
Example 3: The Pride of the Yankees (By Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig)
“I was honored to have played with these great skilled ball players on my left - Murderers Row, our 1927 championship team. I had the further honor of living and playing with these men to my right - the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees of today.
Gehrig identified a noun, "ballplayer" by using the restrictive appositive "killer line", and he adds a noun "championship team". These two appositive are used with commas and give the sentence meaning and meaning.
Example 4: In Cape Town (by Joshua Hammer)
“The Koeberg nuclear power plant, Africa's only nuclear power plant, was inaugurated in 1984 by the apartheid regime and is the main source of electricity for the 4.5 million Inhabitants of the Western Cape. “
In the above excerpt, Hammer used an appositive immediately after the noun“ Kernkraftwerk ”, which adds information to the sentence. This is an example of non-limiting appositive that when removed does not change the meaning of the sentence.
Example 5: Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self (by Alice Walker)
“My father, a fat, fun one Man with beautiful eyes and a subversive joke tries to decide which of his eight children to take to the fair. “
This is another good example of non-restrictive appositive in which the noun" father "does not need any additional information, but the author has used a long noun phrase," a fat, funny man ... and a subversive joke "to describe it
Function of appositiv
The function of appositiv in literary works is to provide information, which is either essential or additional. It also gives meanings to different sentences in literary texts and helps identify other nouns. An appositive noun also defines, explains, and clarifies the meaning of a sentence. It is helpful to combine sentences to avoid too many choppy and short sentences.In addition, an appositive phrase adds variety to a literary work by using sentences of different lengths so that authors can use interesting details with a smooth flow of the reading experience.
Popular Literary Devices
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- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
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- Red Herring
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