The use of irony, sarcasm, or ridicule to emphasize the vice, foolishness or weaknesses in humans, organizations, or social conventions.
Gulliver's Travels, a satire of eighteenth-century British society, and "A Modest Proposal," both by Jonathan Swift.
Most political cartoons in newspapers and magazines
The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, skits on Saturday Night Live
An extended metaphor or "conceit" that is sustained through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters often represent abstract ideas such as charity, greed, or envy.
The Pandora woods in Avatar is an allegory for the Amazon Rainforest. Also, the attempt to get the Na'vi to 'cooperate' carries overtones of the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan." (Owen Gleiberman, review of Avatar. Entertainment Weekly, Dec. 30, 2009).
Lord of the Flies is an allegory, with the island representing Eden or paradise, each of the boys representing a type of government, the conch representing authority, and so on.
Writing that provides information such as an explanation or directions.
In 1997, 175,000 volunteers picked up three million pounds of garbage along the coasts of the United States. As a result, both people and sea animals can enjoy cleaner and safer environments. Glass bottles, lumber, and syringes are less of a threat to barefooted beachgoers. Fewer seabirds, fish, and crabs will die entangled in plastic can holders, fishing nets, and fishing line. People put trash in the oceans, but by volunteering their time to help clean up after themselves, people are also the solution to the problem.
A story or short narrative designed to reveal allegorically some religious principle, moral lesson, psychological reality, or general truth.
Biblical parables such the prodigal son and the good Samaritan
A scorpion was walking along the bank of a river, wondering how to get to the other side. Suddenly he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river.
"The fox said, 'No. If I do that, you'll sting me, and I'll drown.' "The scorpion assured him, 'If I did that, we'd both drown.' "The fox thought about it, finally agreed. So the scorpion climbed up on his back, and the fox began to swim. But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him.
"As the poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said, 'Why did you do that? Now you'll drown, too.'
"'I couldn't help it,' said the scorpion. 'It's my nature.'"
Drawing attention to something by pretending to pass over it
Mark Antony's famous Friends, Romans, Countrymen speech - "Let the commons hear this testament,/Which (pardon me) I do not mean to read,/And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds.../have patience, gentle friends; I must not read it./It is not meet you know how Caesar lov'd you.../Tis good you know not that you are his heirs."
"The music, the service at the feast, The noble gifts for the great and small, The rich adornment of Theseus's palace . . . All these things I do not mention now." (Chaucer, "The Knight's Tale," The Canterbury Tales)
A type of sentence in which the main idea (independent clause) comes first, followed by dependent grammatical units such as phrases and clauses. If a period were placed at the end of the independent clause, the clause would be a complete sentence. The effect can be to make a work seem informal, relaxed, and conversational.
The hotel has greatly expanded its customer base through the addition of a fitness spa, extensive advertising, and weekend specials.
He was willing to pay slightly higher taxes for the privilege of living in Canada, considering the free health care, the cheap tuition fees, the low crime rate, and the comprehensive social programs.
A similarity of grammatical structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses
"It is by logic we prove, but by intuition we discover." (Leonardo da Vinci)
"Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature." (Tom Robbins, author)