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Imagery, in a literary text, is an author's use of vivid and descriptive language to add depth to their work. It appeals to human senses to deepen the reader's understanding of the work. Powerful forms of imagery engage all of the senses.
There are seven major types of imagery, each corresponding to a sense, feeling, action, or reaction:
- Visual imagery pertains to graphics, visual scenes, pictures, or the sense of sight.
- Auditory imagery pertains to sounds, noises, music, or the sense of hearing. (This kind of imagery may come in the form of onomatopoeia).
- Olfactory imagery pertains to odors, scents, or the sense of smell.
- Gustatory imagery pertains to flavors or the sense of taste.
- Tactile imagery pertains to physical textures or the sense of touch.
- Kinesthetic imagery pertains to movements.
- Organic imagery / subjective imagery, pertains to personal experiences of a character's body, including emotion and the senses of hunger, thirst, fatigue, and pain.