Why do People Use Literary Devices? The Mystery Revealed

You’ve probably been stuck reading your favorite novel when you came across an  unusual use of language in a sentence.

Perhaps, you were reading a poem of a famous poet or a poem your friend wrote to you, and you were taken aback by a strange phrase or sentence.

A sentence that makes you ponder and picture the scenes and the actions taking place in a poem, story, or write-up.

You probably know these unusual sentences and techniques are literary devices, but you keep wondering: why do people use literary devices in their works? If you are here and feel that way,  you are in the right place.

In this article, we will discuss what literary devices are and the top reasons people use literary devices in their works.

Let’s get started.

What are Literary Devices?

Literary devices are techniques writers use to convey a deeper meaning in their works.

Literary devices are concerned about how sentences sound, how they are described and how the plot and themes of a literary work are conveyed to the reader.

Writing a book on a PC

Why Do People Use Literary Devices?

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: why do people use literary devices?

Writers use literary devices to serve a wide range of purposes. Usually, these purposes are unique to what the writer wants and how the writer wants readers to feel while reading the book, story, poetry, or article.

Although different writers use literary devices for various reasons, there are top three general reasons for using literary devices in poetry or other forms of literature.

People use literary devices to:

1. Convey a Deeper Meaning

Many writers employ the use of literary devices to express their thoughts figuratively.

The writer uses this technique to invoke the reader’s thoughts and enable the reader to see beyond the literal sense of the sentences, to unravel the bigger picture.

For example: when William Wordsworth used “the child is the father of the man”  as an expression in his famous 1802 poem “My heart leaps Up”. He didn’t mean the child is the actual father of the man (although it might seem so literally).

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;     
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.”
            William Wordsworth, 1802.

He meant that the emotions he felt while citing the rainbow as a child are precisely how he felt even as a grown man, and he wishes to maintain his youthful excitement till the end of time.

What William Wordsworth did here was to take the reader from the surface meanings of the sentence, invoke deeper reasoning, and get the reader to understand the in-depth message he wants to pass across.

2.     Engage the Reader

Many writers use literary devices to captivate the readers’ attention and keep them glued to their story, poetry, or book.

Literary devices add an extra, intriguing touch to a writers’ work when done correctly.

For example the use of onomatopoeia and alliteration, can make sentences sound more punchy and interesting to read.

Also, the use of the right point of view, dramatic irony, suspense, foreshadowing, and story-within-story techniques can connect the readers better to a literary work.

Many writers use these techniques to draw the readers into the book to feel specific emotions they want them to feel and ultimately find their works intriguing enough to read to the end.

3.     Connect the Themes

Themes are the central idea of a literary work. Most times, they are the reasons writers pick up their pen to write.

Think of themes as the big goal the writer aims to achieve, and think of literary devices as the tools that help the writer achieve the goal.

For example, if writers aim to address the issues of poverty or corruption in their works, they use several literary devices such as different figures of speech and the suitable narrative technique to convey the central message of their works.

Bottom line: Without literary devices, writers can’t convey the central message of their works effectively.

Books arranged in a library

It is literary devices in poetry, novels, or books that weave the themes together and enable readers to understand the central message of a story in a captivating way.

However, note that writers don’t just randomly infuse literary devices into their works; it takes careful planning and thought to use suitable literary devices that align with the themes of a story.


Literary devices are essential to the success of any literary work, which is why many people use them. In this article, we unraveled the mystery behind the top reasons why people make use of literary devices.

We hope you had a good read.

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