I'm trying to understand the use of literary devices, and in particular the literary conventions related to metonymy, metaphor and similar figures of speech.

For example, in the following sentence, could "women echoed" be regarded as a valid figure of speech?

The women echoed in my daydreaming.

I'm not sure whether "women" can be thought to echo, when it's actually the sound of the women that causes the echo:

The laughter of women echoed in my daydreaming.

Is this a valid figure of speech or is it an error to call it that? More specifically, is using "women" to represent the sound of laughter an example of metonymy (and is metonymy a subset of metaphor)? If not, can "women echoed" be interpreted as some figure of speech other than metonymy or metaphor, and does it occurring in a daydream affect that interpretation?

  • 2
    Welcome to Literature Stack Exchange, take our tour! Where is this from?
    – bobble
    Apr 28, 2021 at 1:09
  • If what you want is a non-literary-specific identification of a figure of speech, that is a question for English Language Learners. Here at Literature we require that questions of this nature be taken from some specific literary work so we can use literary context. Again, general English questions are not in this site's scope.
    – bobble
    Apr 28, 2021 at 4:37
  • @bobble I can't see anything in the Help Centre's on-topic page requiring a literary work as context. The page says it's on-topic to ask "Specific questions about ... literary conventions". This is certainly a specific question about a literary device, and although it's a bit awkwardly expressed, I think it's a valid thing to ask. I'll make a further edit, focusing on the "literary convention" angle and seeking to nail down the distinction between metonymy and metaphor (and whether "women echoed" is either). :-) Apr 28, 2021 at 9:06
  • 2
    If it's not from a particular literary work, I don't see how it's on-topic? I agree a meta discussion seems indicated.
    – verbose
    Apr 28, 2021 at 9:41
  • 2
    I've opened a meta discussion about this.
    – bobble
    Apr 28, 2021 at 21:05


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