Category Archives: Alice

Literary Devices from A to Z – Brought to you by the letter S




is for Symbolism




Sometimes a red rose is just a pretty flower sitting in a vase on the shelf while others it is a symbol of love. Visual symbols, like the rose, are usually linked to imagery. Other symbols may be linked to theme. The bottom line is that if something recurs in a story and means something other than the obvious literal meaning, it’s probably a symbol and not just another pretty flower.

In The Revenant, Morgan is a symbol of good, his brother Malchus, a symbol of evil. The sum of their lives show that good and evil are more than simple black and white divisions. There is a little bit of evil thought and good intentions in the best of us, but in the case of Morgan and Malchus, their personalities ultimately polarize and repeated references to this polarization is what makes them symbols (and foils).

In I am, Was, Will be Alice, the ability of Alice to control her time traveling becomes a symbol of hope. If she can control when she travels, maybe she can save the lives of her teacher and student peers and ultimately, herself.

Likewise, in the short story “Hope Floats”, a butterfly found by a child in a dystopic world becomes a symbol of hope. Having settled underground, a child ventures to the surface and captures a butterfly to give to his mother to show her there is still hope for returning to the old way of life. But when the butterfly dies, he realizes there is no turning back the clock.

Symbols are all around us in everyday life and in popular culture. I prefer the puzzle of the subtler symbols, no rose = love in my writing! Do you think of symbols at all? Can you think of any you noticed recently? Share examples of the best ones in the comments below.

Literary Devices from A to Z – Brought to you by the letter R




is for Repetition




Repetition occurs when a word or phrase is repeated for emphasis or effect.

In I Am, Was, Will Be Alice, when Tina learns Alice and Pete have not had sex yet, she tells Alice, “Maybe he’s just not that into you.” Through her adventure, Pete has been her faithful sidekick and the thought of losing him is horrifying. As Alice lies in bed that night, the phrase plays over and over like an ear-worm in Alice’s mind:

Maybe he’s just not that into you.

He tells me he loves me every time he sees me.

Maybe he’s just not that into you.

He took care of me that time at the ROM, got me out of a bad situation and took me to safety, clothed me, and fed me.


The point of this repetition of phrase is for the reader to identify with Alice’s stress in anticipation of another time leap.

Can you recall an effective use of repetition in something you’ve read? Why did you think it was so effective? Share your thoughts in the comments below.