Use of Literary devices in The Hand That Signed That Paper

Topics: Literature, Poetry, Fiction Pages: 1 (320 words) Published: May 13, 2014
In Dylan Thomas’s poem, The Hand That Signed The Paper, uses a form of literary style that is difficult to understand. Thomas being a romantic and modernist, he strayed away from traditional forms of literature and used other literary devices to explicate the meaning of his poems. In The Hand That Signed The Paper, Thomas uses devices such as personification, synecdoche, and metonymy to contribute to the overall theme of the poem.

As a result of Thomas being a modernist and romantic, he strayed away from traditional literature and developed his works to be complex and difficult to understand. He did however was able to convey his message through literary devices. One-way Thomas conveys his message is through the use of personification. The use of personification is seen through the hand in how it is given human qualities such as being “taxed with breath,” “cramped with chalk,” “ rules with pity,” and “no tears to flow.” The use of personification of the hand is to exemplify the power that a hand grants with a signature on a war treaty. Another way to explain Thomas’s message is through the use of synecdoche. The use synecdoche can be seen through use of the hand in how an ordinary body part can be given such power and responsibility, also in how the imagery in the poem is given extra and special meaning to signify the man as a whole. Although not clear in the novel Thomas uses metonymy to explain how the hand is power. Thomas uses these literary devices to illuminate the theme of the poem.

Thomas’s use of personification, synecdoche, and metonymy helped contribute to the overall meaning of the poem. Thomas aimed to irradiate the power of the hand in how it itself holds the key to power in the world. Thomas is able to elucidate the meaning of the hand through the use of these literary devices.
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