Why is anastrophe effective?

1 Answer
Oct 2, 2017

Because of the extra emphasis it gives a sentence.


Anastrophe is the reversal of the normal sentence structure of a word. For example, "This food is amazing" becomes "Amazing, this food is." It has been in use since Ancient Greece, although popular use these days comes from the movie character Yoda.

Anastrophe is effective because it forces the reader to think longer about the sentence. Due to the sentence structure being scrambled, the viewer has to actively puzzle out the meaning, which causes the viewer to spend longer on that sentence, which in turn gives the sentence a sense of depth it normally migh not have. For example,

"Talent, Mr. Micawber has; capital, Mr. Micawber has not."

This comes from Charles Dickens David Copperfields. The use of anastrophe here is effective because it tells the reader what they need to know about Mr Micawaber in a quick, concise manner which omits unnecessary words. If this sentence wasn't in anastrophe, it would probably look like this:

"Mr Micawber has talent, but he does not have capital."
Although it gets the meaning across, this sentence is not as polished or refined as the previous sentence, and fails to really emphasize and contrast Mr Micawber's strengths and weaknesses.

I hope I helped!