When we use words, we don’t always use them literally. In some cases, we use words or expressions in a figurative way. This is known as a trope. You’ll see tropes appear regularly in fiction, poetry, and in other works as well.
Of course, writers aren’t the only people that use tropes. Tropes are also something that pop-up in normal conversation. Many people find that tropes are the best way to express themselves.
Being Literal Doesn’t Always Allow You To Be Expressive
When you stick to the literal meaning of words, you can’t always be as expressive as you would like to be. Sometimes, you can say what you mean without really conveying any of the emotions or feelings behind those words. People tend to use tropes when they’re looking for a better way to express themselves. If people are feeling a strong emotion, like anger or sadness, tropes may be one of the first things that they turn to.
Why Writers Use Tropes
Writers tend to use tropes because they allow them to express things in a more interesting and engaging way. When something is written in a dry and literal way, it isn’t always fun to read. Using tropes can help to spice up a written work. In a lot of cases, content is more interesting to read because of the tropes that it contains. If you feel like a piece of writing you’re working on is dull, you may want to add some tropes to your work.
- Hyperbole – I’ll die from embarassment
- Irony – Your explanation is clear as mud
- Litotes – I am not a happy camper
- Metaphor – You are my sunshine
- Metonymy – Man of the cloth
- Oxymoron – Jumbo shrimp
- Personification – The old car wheezed and complained
- Pun – Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana
- Rhetorical Question – How can I reach these kids?
- Simile – blind as a bat
- Synecdoche – I just got a new set of wheels
- Zeugma – He broke my heart and my car.