Distinguishing Anaphora from Parallelism

Anaphora vs Parallelism

Repetition is a writing style used by writers to achieve various objectives. A writer repeats an idea primarily because they believe it is important. This repetition draws the reader’s attention. There are many ways to repeat an idea, and repetition can occur within a sentence, within a paragraph, or across different chapters of a book. There are many different figures of repetition, but two that often cause confusion are anaphora and parallelism. This article examines these two repetition devices to determine if they are the same or if there is any difference between the two.

Anaphora is the practice of repeating a word at the beginning of every successive clause or sentence. The term comes from ancient Greek and refers to the act of carrying back. It is an effective way to remind readers about a central idea or when listing essential points. Consider the following excerpt from a speech given by Winston Churchill to understand the meaning of anaphora: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender.”

Key Takeaways

  • Anaphora is the repetition of a word at the beginning of every successive clause or sentence.
  • Parallelism uses parallel words or phrases in a sentence to indicate that the ideas expressed are equal in importance.
  • While both anaphora and parallelism are repetition devices, anaphora repeats the same words, while parallelism uses words or phrases that are identical in meaning, structure, or sound.

Parallelism is the practice of using parallel words or phrases in a sentence, allowing the writer to convey that the ideas expressed are equal in importance. This practice adds balance and rhythm to the sentence, making the idea very clear in the reader’s mind. Parallelism allows the writer to emphasize a point beautifully while simultaneously lending rhythm, balance, and clarity to the sentence. Take a look at the following examples:

– I enjoy reading books, listening to music, and watching TV shows.
– This device is easy to use, safe, and convenient.
– The box is on the table or in the closet.

What is the difference between Anaphora and Parallelism? The main differences between anaphora and parallelism are:

• In anaphora, the same words are repeated, whereas, in parallelism, exact words are not repeated, but words or phrases identical in meaning, structure, or sound are used.
• In anaphora, the writer repeats a word or phrase at the beginning of every clause in a sentence to make it clear to the reader.
• Parallelism lends balance and rhythm to the sentence while allowing the writer to express the centrality of the idea.
• Both anaphora and parallelism are used as figures of repetition by writers for creative writing.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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