Literary Devices in On the Death of Anne Bronte

Literary Devices Examples in On the Death of Anne Bronte:

On the Death of Anne Bronte 3

"Calmly..."   (On the Death of Anne Bronte)

The words in these lines are in tension with the sentiment of this stanza. The speaker describes the incredible pain that her subject experiences in her dying hours using positive words like “calmly,” “wishing,” and “longing.” This tension suggests that the narrator sees death as a type of mercy or relief for her subject.

"shade of death..."   (On the Death of Anne Bronte)

The nouns and noun phrases “Failing breath,” “sighs, “shade of death” all invoke a romanticized vision of death. The speaker emphasizes the beauty and drama of her subject’s dying hour in much the way Gothic romances found beauty in the grotesque and frightening. In this description, the speaker turns this moment of death into a moment of literary beauty that partially obscures the reality of the situation.

"little..."   (On the Death of Anne Bronte)

In repeating the word “little” in both lines, the speaker emphasizes the comparison between life and death. This first stanza serves to equalize these two life processes: for the speaker, life and death are similar.