Using varieties of sentences together can be tricky sometimes. Story writers have to do it all the time because writing can be detailed or vague based on how the sentences are used. One of the common story-telling is the use of Anecdotes.
Anecdote is a clever way to share personal stories using an assertive tone and different types of sentences. It is often a short story based on amusing or exciting experiences of the writer's own life. In modern language, many speechmakers use anecdotes to make their speeches interesting and relatable. One of the famous examples would be found in Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai's speech.
"I had two options — one was to remain silent and wait to be killed. And the second was to speak up and then be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up."
In the Nobel acceptance speech, Malala used an anecdote to describe her sense of rebel, survival, and personal struggle. She used compound-complex sentences, one of the common anecdotal features. Her short statement about fear and the will to fight back is intimately shared with the anecdote reference. The anecdote used in Malala's speech is also an example of an Inspirational anecdote.
- There was one time when I lost my wallet just like you. It had all my important cards and even my engagement ring. So I know exactly how someone feels when they lose something important.
Explanation: Here, a person narrates a short story about how they once lost their wallet. The anecdote here was to relate to someone "just like you" who also experienced something the same.
- My cat also likes that brand of snack. I wonder if it is healthy as he is getting too big.
Explanation: The use of anecdotes here is in a casual conversation. The person here mentions their cat and preference among people who were most likely talking about pets too.
- I remember my first cup of coffee, and it was not good. I think it might've been a strong espresso which I ordered without knowing better.
Explanation: Here, the person shares a short first experience of them trying coffee. The use of anecdotes here is working to humor or make someone laugh.
- I regret leaving my own family in such despair and losing them. I am not going to do the same with you all. You guys are my friends and family too.
Explanation: The use of anecdotes connects the lines between the narrator's friends and family. The person relates to both as family and does not want to repeat the past similarly.
- I love Switzerland! I remember going there for my 20th birthday with my boyfriend and his family. You will love it there too. The weather was always perfect for skiing, and there were so many walking trails. We took a walk every day until it was time to come back.
Explanation: Here, the narrator shows enthusiasm through her experience of Switzerland. The anecdote here is working to persuade another person who is thinking of going there too.
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5 types of anecdotes based on their use and context
1. Cautionary anecdote
This anecdote often involves a story with a lesson in the end. Cautionary anecdotes use short stories with flawed characters to teach morals or warn about punishments for bad actions. It's famous for its use in children's stories.
Example: Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein" is a horrific tale filled with cautionary anecdotes. In Frankenstein's diary, he shared how his unorthodox science experiment led to his misery. The anecdote shares a warning about how doing something you're not supposed to can be dangerous.
2. Characterizing anecdote
This anecdote describes another character in the writer's personal story. Characterizing anecdotes is vital for their influence on the main character's experience. The result can be positive or negative for the writer.
Example: In Khaled Hosseini's novel "The Kite Runner," the main character, "Amir" shares his story and describes another character "Hasan" and how he positively influenced his life. The relationship of two friends is shared with the use of anecdotes through the main character in the story.
3. Humorous anecdote
Example: I went to the market the other day because I ran out of milk. The store I went to also ran out of all the milk. So I had to go with the store owner to hunt for some milk.
4. Inspirational anecdote
This anecdote, too, like its name, is used to inspire or persuade the readers. An inspirational anecdote often consists of an emotional and persuasive personal experience. The purpose of an inspirational anecdote is to influence the readers in a positive direction through the limelight of the writer's experience.
Example: In the historical speech of Martin Luther King, "I have a dream," he repeatedly used inspirational anecdotes to persuade people toward a well-governed system without racism. His personal experience with racism in America made people relate with him, sympathize with him, and finally be influenced positively by him.
5. Reminiscent anecdote
Reminiscent anecdote consists of recalling memories and experiences in narrative stories. Writers are often reminiscent of good memories when something good happens in the present. Reminiscing on past struggles often leads to the same struggle continuing in the present. Reminiscent anecdote is used to give readers a picture of the past so the view of the present can become more apparent.
Example: In Kazuo Ishiguro's book "Never Let Me Go," the story begins with the main character "Kathy" reminiscing about her time in Hailsham with her friends "Ruth" and "Tommy." In the story, Kathy directly interacts with readers and narrates her story using a reminiscent anecdote.
So there you have it. All the mind-blowing ways about how Linguistics Studies can control the meaning of languages so efficiently and cleverly: every language is governed by the rules set by the Linguistics Field.
These rules can change depending on context and social nature when needed. As the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus mentioned, "Change is the only constant" it means, like everything in this World, our languages and their features will keep changing. But for now, our languages are bound to this set of linguistic features and regulations.
100 Examples of Anecdote in English Literature
|1. In "The Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer, the Wife of Bath tells a story about a knight who is saved from punishment by a woman who offers him a choice between being ugly but loyal or beautiful but unfaithful.
|2. In "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, Mr. Bennet tells the story of how he fell in love with his wife despite her silly behavior.
|3. In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, Huck tells a story about how he and Tom Sawyer stole a watermelon and got chased by a mob.
|4. In "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, Scout tells a story about how she and Jem made a snowman that looked like their neighbor, Mr. Avery.
|5. In "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway tells a story about how he witnessed Gatsby staring at the green light across the bay.
|6. In "1984" by George Orwell, Winston Smith tells a story about his mother and how she disappeared when he was a child.
|7. In "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare, Hamlet tells a story about a king who is murdered by his own brother.
|8. In "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, Lockwood tells a story about a nightmare he had in which he was attacked by a ghost.
|9. In "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield tells a story about how he got his hand broken in a fight.
|10. In "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge tells a story about how he became bitter and cold-hearted.
|11. In "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens, Oliver tells a story about how he was orphaned and mistreated by his caretakers.
|12. In "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte, Jane tells a story about how she was locked in a room as punishment by her cruel aunt.
|13. In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, Lord Henry tells a story about a man who becomes obsessed with a beautiful painting.
|14. In "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, the narrator tells a story about a governess who becomes convinced that the children she is caring for are being haunted by ghosts.
|15. In "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, Bilbo Baggins tells a story about how he outsmarted a dragon and stole a treasure.
|16. In "Dracula" by Bram Stoker, Jonathan Harker tells a story about his encounters with the vampire Count Dracula.
|17. In "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein tells a story about how he created a monster out of dead body parts.
|18. In "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne tells a story about how she fell in love with a man who was not her husband.
|19. In "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson, Mr. Utterson tells a story about his friend Dr. Jekyll and his strange experiments.
|20. In "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, Marlow tells a story about his journey up the Congo River and his encounter with the enigmatic Kurtz.
|21. In "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator tells a story about how he became obsessed with the eye of an old man and ended up killing him.
|22. In "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde, Algernon tells a story about a friend who created a fictitious invalid in order to avoid social engagements.
|23. In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the mariner tells a story about how he killed an albatross and brought a curse upon himself and his crew.
|24. In "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Mary Lennox tells a story about how she discovered a hidden garden and helped to bring it back to life.
|25. In "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville, Ishmael tells a story about his experiences aboard the whaling ship Pequod and his encounters with the legendary white whale.
|26. In "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien, Frodo Baggins tells a story about his quest to destroy the One Ring and defeat the evil Sauron.
|27. In "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott, Jo March tells a story about how she cut off her hair to raise money to help her family.
|28. In "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes tells a story about how he solved a case involving a stolen blue carbuncle.
|29. In "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton, Ponyboy Curtis tells a story about how he and his friends were attacked by a rival gang.
|30. In "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, Lucy Pevensie tells a story about how she discovered the magical land of Narnia through a wardrobe.
|31. In "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, Tom Joad tells a story about his experiences during the Great Depression and his struggles to find work and support his family.
|32. In "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway, Jake Barnes tells a story about how he was wounded during World War I and lost the ability to have children.
|33. In "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner, Quentin Compson tells a story about his tragic family history and his own struggles with mental illness.
|34. In "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer tells a story about how he and his friend Huck Finn witnessed a murder and had to testify in court.
|35. In "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton, Newland Archer tells a story about his forbidden love for a woman who is already engaged to be married.
|36. In "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker, Celie tells a story about her abusive childhood and her journey towards self-discovery and empowerment.
|37. In "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway, the old fisherman Santiago tells a story about his epic struggle to catch a giant marlin.
|38. In "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd, Lily Owens tells a story about her search for the truth about her mother's death and her journey towards healing and forgiveness.
|39. In "The Scarlet Pimpernel" by Baroness Orczy, Sir Percy Blakeney tells a story about his secret identity as the daring rescuer of French aristocrats during the Reign of Terror.
|40. In "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Aureliano Buendia tells a story about his family's multi-generational saga of love, loss, and political upheaval in the fictional town of Macondo.
|41. In "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens, Sydney Carton tells a story about his love for Lucie Manette and his ultimate sacrifice to save her husband's life.
|42. In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, Lord Henry tells a story about the rise and fall of Dorian Gray, a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty.
|43. In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams, Ford Prefect tells a story about his adventures traveling through space with his friend Arthur Dent.
|44. In "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath, Esther Greenwood tells a story about her struggles with mental illness and her experiences in a psychiatric hospital.
|45. In "The Adventures of Augie March" by Saul Bellow, Augie March tells a story about his journey from a poor boy in Chicago to a successful businessman and adventurer.
|46. In "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan, the four Chinese immigrant mothers tell stories about their lives in China and their struggles to raise their American-born daughters.
|47. In "The Hound of the Baskervilles" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes tells a story about his investigation into a legendary ghost dog that is said to haunt the Baskerville family.
|48. In "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver, each of the Price family members tells a story about their experiences living in the Belgian Congo in the 1960s.
|49. In "The Color of Water" by James McBride, the author tells a story about his mother, who was born Jewish but raised her twelve children in a black Baptist church.
|50. In "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, a father tells a story about his journey with his young son through a post-apocalyptic world.
|51. In "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel, Pi Patel tells a story about his journey across the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger after their ship sinks.
|52. In "Beloved" by Toni Morrison, Sethe tells a story about her escape from slavery and the haunting presence of her deceased baby daughter.
|53. In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, the artist Basil Hallward tells a story about how he painted a portrait of Dorian Gray, which later becomes a symbol of his corruption and decay.
|54. In "The Stranger" by Albert Camus, Meursault tells a story about how he kills an Arab man on a beach in Algeria and his subsequent trial and execution.
|55. In "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" by Muriel Spark, the titular character tells a story about her time as a teacher at a girls' school in Edinburgh and her relationships with her students.
|56. In "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ivan Karamazov tells a story about the suffering of innocent children and the existence of evil in the world.
|57. In "The Crying of Lot 49" by Thomas Pynchon, Oedipa Maas tells a story about her search for the truth behind a mysterious conspiracy involving a postal service called Tristero.
|58. In "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie Crawford tells a story about her three marriages and her journey towards self-discovery and independence.
|59. In "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler, private detective Philip Marlowe tells a story about his investigation into a wealthy family's dark secrets.
|60. In "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Ilyich tells a story about his life as a successful lawyer and his realization on his deathbed that he wasted his life pursuing meaningless goals.
|61. In "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin, Edna Pontellier tells a story about her awakening to her own desires and the constraints of societal expectations on women.
|62. In "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger, Henry DeTamble tells a story about his experiences time-traveling and his relationship with his wife, Clare.
|63. In "The Giver" by Lois Lowry, Jonas tells a story about his experiences living in a seemingly perfect society that is revealed to be dystopian.
|64. In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, Dorian Gray tells a story about his descent into moral decay and the consequences of his choices.
|65. In "A Room of One's Own" by Virginia Woolf, the narrator tells a story about the history of women's exclusion from the literary world and the need for female authors to have economic and social independence.
|66. In "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy, the narrator tells a story about a family in Kerala, India, and the tragic events that lead to the death of a young girl.
|67. In "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami, Toru Okada tells a story about his search for his missing wife and his encounters with strange and mysterious characters.
|68. In "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls, the author tells a story about her unconventional upbringing with her eccentric parents and their struggles with poverty and addiction.
|69. In "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas, Edmond Dantès tells a story about his wrongful imprisonment and his quest for revenge against those who betrayed him.
|70. In "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the narrator tells a story about his encounter with a young prince from another planet and the prince's search for meaning and understanding.
|71. In "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak, Death tells a story about a young girl named Liesel who lives in Nazi Germany and her love of books.
|72. In "The Martian" by Andy Weir, astronaut Mark Watney tells a story about his survival on Mars after being stranded there by a mission gone wrong.
|73. In "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway tells a story about his observations of the wealthy and privileged in 1920s New York.
|74. In "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, Offred tells a story about her experiences as a handmaid in a dystopian future where women's rights have been stripped away.
|75. In "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes tells a story about his investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a young woman.
|76. In "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini, Amir tells a story about his childhood in Afghanistan and his attempts to make amends for his past mistakes.
|77. In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, the hedonistic Lord Henry Wotton tells a story about the pursuit of pleasure and beauty.
|78. In "The Road to Wigan Pier" by George Orwell, Orwell tells a story about his experiences living with coal miners in northern England during the 1930s.
|79. In "The Book of Unknown Americans" by Cristina Henríquez, multiple narrators tell stories about their experiences as immigrants living in the United States.
|80. In "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco, a medieval monk named Adso tells a story about his experiences investigating a series of murders in an Italian monastery.
|81. In "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, each book tells a story about the adventures of different characters in the magical land of Narnia.
|82. In "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros, the narrator Esperanza tells a story about her experiences growing up in a Latino neighborhood in Chicago.
|83. In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, the actress Sibyl Vane tells a story about her tragic love affair with Dorian Gray.
|84. In "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson, journalist Mikael Blomkvist tells a story about his investigation into a wealthy family's dark secrets, aided by a mysterious and talented hacker named Lisbeth Salander.
|85. In "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath, Esther Greenwood tells a story about her struggles with depression and her experiences in a mental institution.
|86. In "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, O'Brien tells a story about his experiences as a soldier during the Vietnam War and the weight of the physical and emotional burdens he and his fellow soldiers carried.
|87. In "The Stranger" by Albert Camus, the protagonist Meursault tells a story about his detachment from society and his unexpected murder of an Arab man.
|88. In "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, Katniss Everdeen tells a story about her participation in a brutal, televised competition in a dystopian future.
|89. In "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker, Celie and her sister Nettie tell stories about their lives, their experiences with racism and sexism, and their search for happiness and fulfillment.
|90. In "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, the narrator Offred tells a story about her life in a theocratic regime that subjugates women and her attempts to resist and survive.
|91. In "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, the teenage protagonist Holden Caulfield tells a story about his experiences with alienation and disillusionment.
|92. In "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss, the protagonist Kvothe tells a story about his life as a legendary wizard and musician.
|93. In "The Stand" by Stephen King, multiple characters tell stories about their experiences during a deadly pandemic that has devastated the world.
|94. In "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, multiple narrators tell stories about their experiences as black maids in 1960s Mississippi and their efforts to challenge racial inequality.
|95. In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, the painter Basil Hallward tells a story about his admiration for the beauty of Dorian Gray and his own tragic involvement in Dorian's downfall.
|96. In "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot, the author tells a story about the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks, whose cancer cells were used without her knowledge or consent to create an immortal cell line that has been used for scientific research.
|97. In "The Silence of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris, FBI agent Clarice Starling tells a story about her pursuit of a serial killer and her psychological profiling sessions with the incarcerated cannibalistic psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
|98. In "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton, the protagonist Newland Archer tells a story about his forbidden love for the free-spirited Countess Ellen Olenska.
|99. In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, the teenage protagonist Huckleberry Finn tells a story about his journey down the Mississippi River with his friend Jim, a runaway slave.
|100. In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, the book's final chapter tells a story about Dorian Gray's ultimate fate and the destruction he has wrought upon himself and those around him.
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