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Alliteration in The Fallacy of Success

Alliteration Examples in The Fallacy of Success:

G. K. Chesterton's "The Fallacy of Success"


"splendid piece of society scandal..."   (G. K. Chesterton's "The Fallacy of Success")

The sibilant hissing of this alliteration mimics the sound of the whisper being described. Consistent use of sound-based techniques like this contribute to Chesterton’s colloquial tone; it’s easy to imagine this piece being read aloud. The tonal variety of his diction, combined with the rhythms of his parallel constructions, creates an immersive sonic experience for readers, contributing to his use of pathos by engaging their interests and sympathies on a subconscious level as well as an intellectual one.

"I sincerely and solemnly think may be called the silliest ever known..."   (G. K. Chesterton's "The Fallacy of Success")

Here and throughout this essay, Chesterton employs alliteration to link words and concepts that might otherwise seem to contrast each other entirely. In this instance, “sincerely” and “solemnly” both carry connotations of seriousness and gravity. While “silly” did not have quite the lightheartedly goofy connotation it does today, it is still a much more frivolous word than those proceeding, and the contrast solidly establishes Chesterton’s paradoxical tone.

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