Dissonance Examples


Dissonance refers to the use of letter sounds and words to create harsh, contrasting sounds in poetry or in writing. Dissonance is the opposite of assonance, which is the repetition of the same vowel sounds to create a lulling sound in the writing.

The use of unpleasant, conflicting sounds makes the writing difficult to read with any sort of reading.

Examples of Dissonance:

Crack, bang when the guns of war, with harsh, echoing cadence.

Halt! For shame! Quick, the horse! Leave the fire.

Examples of Dissonance in Literature:

From Hopkins' "Carrion Comforts":

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.

From Shakespeare's Macbeth:

Of all men else I have avoided thee. / But get thee back. My soul is too much charged / with blood of thine already.

From John Updike's "Player Piano":

My stick fingers click with a snicker
And, chuckling, they knuckle the keys;
Light footed, my steel feelers flicker
And pluck to these keys melodies.

Gertrude Stein's "Susie Asado" also contains several examples of dissonance.

Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea.

Susie Asado.

Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea.

Susie Asado.

Susie Asado which is a told tray sure.

A lean on the shoe this means slips slips hers.

When the ancient light grey is clean it is yellow, it is a silver seller.

This is a please this is a please there are the saids to jelly. These are the wets these say the sets to leave a crown to Incy.

Incy is short for incubus.

A pot. A pot is a beginning of a rare bit of trees. Trees tremble, the old vats are in bobbles, bobbles which shade and shove and render clean, render clean must.

Drink pups.

Drink pups drink pups lease a sash hold, see it shine and a bobolink has pins. It shows a nail.

What is a nail. A nail is unison.

Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea.

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Literary Terms Examples