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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.