English Language


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Understanding Foregrounding in Literature and Art

Foregrounding is a literary technique that uses unique linguistic devices to emphasize specific ideas and symbols within a text. This technique often involves repeating content or disrupting patterns to draw attention to certain elements. The resulting effect can be seen when certain linguistic features or parts of the text stand out, acting as the center, focal point, or focus of the piece.

The Effects of Foregrounding

By making images, symbols, or language prominent in a text, foregrounding serves to estrange or defamiliarize the reader from the text and its content. This technique offers fresh perspectives and responses, and has been described by scholars such as Viktor Shklovsky and Jan Mukarovsky. While originally used in literature, foregrounding can also be applied in the analysis of other forms of art, such as Edvard Munch's famous painting, The Scream (1893).


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