Parallelism is the use of components in a sentence that are grammatically identical. or similar in their construction, their sound, their meaning or their meter. Examples of parallelism can be found in literary works as well as in ordinary conversations.
This method gives sentences balance and rhythm and, due to their repetition, gives ideas a more even flow and thus persuasiveness. For example: "Alice ran into the room, into the garden and into our hearts. " We see the repetition of a phrase that not only gives balance to the sentence, but also gives rhythm and flow. This repetition can also appear in similarly structured clauses, such as: “Whenever you need me, wherever you need me, I will be there for you. “
Common examples of parallelism
Like a father and a son.
Simply come, just go.
Whether in class, at work or at home, Shasta was always busy.
Flying is fast, comfortable and safe.
Brief examples of parallelism in speech
They met, talked and dispersed, but to no avail
He came, saw and conquered
He wanted to have a new house to live in and a new car to drive
The plaintiff was approached by phone, Email and snail mail
His new teacher was neither Catholic nor Anglican
His favorite foods are chocolate, chips and soda.
The new airline claims to be fast, efficient and safe
James liked how fast food while Mary liked conventional food.
The boss said, "You have to work hard and be efficient to get a promotion."
The political leader said: “The current government has ruined the economy; it has ruined the educational system; and it has ruined our country's healthcare system.
Shakespeare was a prolific playwright and an excellent sonnet
The culprit was wanted dead or alive
He preferred fruits to sweets
The book was interesting and adventurous.
To succeed in life one needs to pursue one's goal with determination and perseverance.
Examples of parallelism in literature
In literature, parallelism is used in different ways to impress readers with certain messages or moral lessons. Let's look at some examples of parallelism in the literature:
Example # 1: An Essay on Criticism (by Alexander Pope)
Antithesis is a kind of parallelism in which two opposing ideas come together in parallel structures. Alexander Pope, in his Essay on Criticism, uses an antithetical parallel structure:
“To err is human; forgive divine ”.
Imperfection is a human trait, and God is extremely forgiving. Through these antithetical but parallel structures, the poet means that God forgives because his creation is wrong.
Example 2: Community (by John Donne)
“Good, we must love and hate sick,
For sick is sick and good is still good;
But there are things that are indifferent,
We are neither allowed to hate nor love,
But one thing, and then another proof:
When we are going to bend our imaginations. ”
Opposing notions of“ good ”and“ sick ”,“ love ”and“ hate ”are grouped together in parallel structures to emphasize the fact that we love good because it is always good and we hate bad because it is is always bad.
Example 3: A story of two cities (by Charles Dickens)
We see the repetition of parallel structures in the following lines from A story of two cities by Charles Dickens:
“It was the best time, it was the worst time , it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of stupidity, it was the age of faith, it was the age of unbelief, it was the time of light, it was the time of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. "
When repeating" It Was ... "i The passage urges readers to focus on the features of the" Age "they will read about in the following passages.
Example 4: The Tyger (by William Blake)
“What the heck? What the chain?
In what oven was your brain?
What is the anvil? What kind of horror do you dare to carry out its deadly horrors? “
Blake uses parallel structures starting with“ what ”in each phrase, creating a nice rhythm in the lines above.
Example # 5: Henry VIII, Act 3, Scene 2 (By William Shakespeare)
The parallelism takes the form of "Diazeugma", in which a single subject is connected with multiple verbs. Read the following lines from Norfolk's speech in William Shakespeare's Henry VIII, Act 3, Scene 2:
“My lord, we have stood
here watching him: A strange
shock is in his brain: he bites his lip and is startled ;
stops suddenly, looks at the ground,
Then, puts his finger on his temple; right,
he Jumps into a brisk pace; then he stops again,
hits his chest hard; and immediately, he sets his eye against the moon: in the strangest positions
we have seen him put himself ”.
The use of multiple verbs in the lines above creates a dramatic effect on Norfolk speech, making your description vivid.
Example 6: I have a dream speech (by Martin Luther King Jr.)
“I have a dream that one day this nation will be resurrected and live out the true meaning of its creed:“ We take these truths for self-evident; that all human beings are created equal.'
"I have the dream that one day my four little children will live in a nation where they are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
" Me have a dream today. “
This is a speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. in which he repeated the phrase“ I have a dream ”several times. This sentence later became the title of the speech. This is a good example of parallelism.
Example 7: How I Love You (by Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
“I love you freely, like men seek right.
I love you purely when they turn away from praise.
These two verses from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem were paralleled by the repetition of "I love you".
Example 8: Presidential inauguration speech (by Barack Obama)
task that awaits us, grateful for the trust you have placed in us, aware of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
In this speech, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, uses structural parallelism in the bold sentences, giving his speech its beauty. Speech or writing structures allow speakers and writers to maintain consistency in their work and create a balanced flow of ideas. Additionally, it can be used as a persuasive tool.
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