Academic Vocabulary Word Examples

Ten Classified Examples from Literature

Diction

"'Shoot no wonder then,' said Jem, jerking his thumb at me. 'Scout yonder's been readin' ever since she was born, and she ain't even started to school yet. You look right punny for goin' on seven.'

~To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Metaphor

"Well son, I'll tell you:

Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

It's had tracks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up, and places with no carpet on the floor-

Bare."

~Mother and Son by Langston Hughes

Situational Irony

Della cuts off her hair, her most prized possession, to get the money to buy a chain for her husband Jim's watch. Jim sells the possession he loves, his watch, to get the money to buy Della a hair comb.

~The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

Symbol

Katniss Everdeen represents the hope of the district


members that rebel against the capitol Panem. Katniss is the mockingjay.

~The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collin

Mood

"Her knees entered the ground. Her moment had arrived. Still in disbelief, she started to dig. He couldn't be dead. He couldn't be dead. He couldn't-within seconds snow was carved into her skin. Frozen blood was cracked across her hands."

~The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Allusion

"The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them the hardest."

The "crash" this quote is referring to is The Stock Market Crash of 1929.

~To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Syntax

"Go out I cannot, nor can I stay in."

~Beyond Decoration by P.J. Kavanagh

Simile

"I can still see Hassan up on that tree, sunlight flickering through the leaves on his almost perfectly round face, a face like a Chinese doll chiseled from hardwood."

~Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Hyperbole

"People moved slow then. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County."

~To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Assonance

"Poetry is old, ancient, goes back far. It is among the oldest of living things. So old it is that no man knows how and why the first poems came."

~Early Moon by Carl Sandburg