Anecdote in literature: definition & examples

Definition of Anecdote

Anecdote is defined as a short & interesting story, or an amusing event, often proposed to lớn support or demonstrate some point, và lớn make the audience laugh. Anecdotes can include an extensive range of tales và stories. In fact, it is a short mô tả tìm kiếm or an account of any event that makes the readers laugh or brood over the topic presented for the purpose.

Bạn đang xem: Anecdote in literature: definition & examples


There are several types of anecdotes. Amusing anecdotes are often used in literature, or at such events as family reunions, wedding receptions, và other get-togethers. Teachers tell anecdotes to their students in classrooms about eminent people and celebrities. Writers and poets use them in their literary works.

Example #1: The Crucible (By Arthur Miller)

Parris: “(It is very hard khổng lồ say): Aye, a dress. And I thought – someone naked running through the trees!”Abigail: (In terror) “No one was naked! You mistake yourself, uncle!”Parris: (With anger) “I saw it! (Her moves from her, then, resolved.) Now tell me true, Abigail. And I pray you feel the weight of truth upon you, for now my ministry’s at stake, my ministry and perhaps your cousin’s life. Whatever abomination you have sầu done, give sầu me all of it now, for I dare not be taken unaware when I go before them down there.”Abigail: “There is nothin’ more. I swear it, uncle.”Parris: (Studies her, then nods, half convinced) “Abigail, I have fought here three long years to lớn bover there stiff-necked people to me, and now, just now when some good respect is rising for me in the parish, you compromise my very character. I have sầu given you a home, child, I have put clothes upon your bachồng – now give sầu me upright answer. Your name in the town – it is entirely White, is it not?”Abigail: (With an edge of resentment) “Why, I am sure it is, sir. There is no blush about my name.”Parris: (To the point) “Abigail is there any other cause that you have told me, for you being discharged from Goody Proctor’s service? I have heard it said, và I tell you as I heard it, that she comes so rarely to lớn church this year for she will not sit so cthua kém khổng lồ something soiled. What signified that remark?”Abigail: “She hates me, uncle; she must, for I would not be her slave sầu. It’s a bitter woman, a lying; cold, sniveling, woman, & I will not work for such a woman!”Parris: “She may be. And yet it has troubled me that you are now seven month out of their house, and in all this time no other family has ever called for your service.”Abigail: “They want slaves, not such as me. Let them sover lớn Barbados for that. I will not black my face for any of them! (With ill-concealed resentment at hyên ổn.) Do you begrudge my bed, uncle?”Parris: “No – no.”Abigail: (in a temper) “My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soiled! Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar!”Here in this literary text, Reverkết thúc Parris finds her niece Abigail Williams chanting and nhảy đầm in the woods, along with the native village girls. He suspects them of magic và witchcraft. However, she does not accept any of the accusations of Parris và starts narrating whimsical stories lớn justify her actions. Abigail makes an trương mục that Goody Proctor is a liar. The stories of Abigail are perfect examples of anecdotes.

Xem thêm: Literary Theory Journals And Publications, Literary Theory Journals

Example #2: Death in the Arctic (By Robert W. Service)


is that? Bells, dogs again! Is it a dream? I sob and cry. See! The door opens, fur-clad men Rush to lớn my rescue; frail am I; Feeble và dying, dazed và glad. There is the pistol where it dropped. “Boys, it was hard – but I’m not mad … Look at the cloông chồng – it stopped, it stopped. Carry me out. The heavens smile. See! There’s an arch of gold above. Now, let me rest a little while – Looking lớn God & Love … and Love…”In this poem, the speaker is freezing slowly in the Arctic. He recollects the memories of his life and tells the whole story to the readers, but sees flashes of his life before he dies. In fact, he is using anecdotes lớn tell his life story.

Xem thêm: Ham Long Sunny, Hanoi - May De Ville Old Quarter Hotel, Hanoi

Function of Anecdote


Anecdotes and humorous pieces are not only jokes, but exquisite literary devices as well. Their primary purpose is to stir up laughter, khổng lồ discđại bại a truth in a general way, or lớn describe a feature of a character in such a way that it becomes humorous, và at the same time gives us a better understanding of the character.Anecdotes may also serve as cautions. Writers tell their readers about the possibilities of future happenings, in case they vày not follow particular processes and techniques.

Chuyên mục: literature