Parallelism in Literature


Parallelism in Literature

Parallelism in Literature

Parallelism in Literature

Parallelism in Literature

Parallelism in Literature – Introduction

Parallelism is a rhetorical and literary device where similar grammatical structures, patterns, or ideas are used to create balance and symmetry in a text. It involves the repetition of words, phrases, or syntactical structures to enhance clarity, rhythm, and emphasis within a piece of writing. Parallelism is often employed for stylistic effect, contributing to the overall coherence and aesthetic appeal of the literary work.


Parallelism manifests in various forms, including parallel structures, parallel clauses, and parallelism in lists. Writers use this device to create a sense of harmony and order, emphasizing the equivalence or contrast between different elements in a sentence or passage. By maintaining a consistent structure, parallelism aids in organizing information and guiding the reader through the text.

Parallel Structures:

Parallel structures involve the repetition of grammatical elements, such as phrases or clauses, with similar grammatical forms. This repetition establishes a rhythm and symmetry that can enhance the impact of the message. For example:
“She likes reading, writing, and hiking.”

Parallel Clauses:

Parallelism in clauses involves the repetition of similar sentence structures. This technique helps to create a balanced and rhythmic flow in the writing. For instance:
*”He not only enjoys playing the piano but also excels in composing music.”*

Parallelism in Lists:

In lists, parallelism ensures that each item is presented in a consistent grammatical form. This contributes to clarity and readability. For example:
*”The conference aimed to inform, inspire, and engage participants.”*


Consider the opening lines of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.”

Dickens employs parallelism to create a rhythmic and balanced structure, emphasizing the contrasting nature of the historical period in which the story is set.


Parallelism is a valuable literary tool that contributes to the overall aesthetic quality of a text. Writers use parallel structures to create symmetry, rhythm, and emphasis, making their writing more engaging and coherent. Whether applied to individual sentences, clauses, or lists, parallelism enhances the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of literature, enriching the reader’s experience and facilitating a more nuanced understanding of the text. 0 0 0. Parallelism in Literature

Parallelism in Literature

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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