Literary devices


Repetition of individual words is frequently used in the novel Looking for Alaska by John Green. Repetition stresses certain words and makes them seem evocative. For example, the Colonel tells Miles, “ ‘Pretty much the only important thing is never never never never rat.’ ” (p. 20). And Alaska urges him to run with her when she is afraid of the dark: “ ‘Run run run run run’ and took off, pulling me behind her.” (p. 23). Alaska's call to run develops its own momentum through repetition and has a cheering effect. Miles remembers this cheering when he and Takumi had to run away from the Eagle during the pre-prank. However, Takumi has to additionally prompt Miles in this situation: “And now, I thought. Now. Run run run run run. But my body didn’t move until I heard Takumi shout-whisper, ‘Go go go fucking go.’ ”  (p. 93). The repeated "go" here stresses the urgency and haste.

Repetition also appears as an epiphany when the Colonel suffers a breakdown after Alaska's death. He lies huddled on a bench, screaming, “The Colonel was screaming. He would inhale, and then scream. Inhale. Scream. Inhale. Scream.” (p.124). The sentences here become single words, which illustrates the stress, rush, and anxiety of ...

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