What are examples of aposiopesis in literature that emphasize what the speaker is trying to say, and makes it more dramatic?

1 Answer
Jun 19, 2017

aposiopesis is the breaking off of a statement leaving the reader's imagination to fill in the incomplete thought.


Aposiopesis is a literature device that engages the reader by leaving a thought incomplete. Engagement makes the story more dramatic by involving the reader's imagination. The reader has to use their imagination to complete the thought.

An example from the Wizard of Oz

" Just because you own half the country doesn't mean you have the power to run the rest of us For 23 years I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you..... and now .... well being a Christian woman I can't say it !

The reader can fill in all of the resentment that the reader may have toward overbearing people. The reader can add more color in completing the thought than the writer could have put in.

An example from Tom Sawyer

" She looked perplexed for a moment and then said not fiercely well if I lay..... if I get hold of you I'll .....

knowing what kind of mischief Tom Sawyer was creates all sorts of images of what she might want to do to Tom.

By engaging the reader's imagination aposiopesis adds drama and interest to the piece of literature being read.