Publication details [#866]

Chrzanowska-Kluczewska, Elżbieta. 2013. Synecdoche – an underestimated macrofigure? Language and Literature 22 (3) : 233–247. 15 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Thousand Oaks: SAGE


This study investigates synecdoche as a text-building mechanism. It considers synecdoche as an independent trope, different from metonymy, due to its own functions. In the literature, synecdoche has been viewed as the trope of essentiality, and having a status both among master tropes and among basic tropes. The study shows that synecdoche acts both as a microfigure, at phrase/clause level, and as a macrofigure, at textual level. The paper, in particular, focuses on one of frequent types of synecdoche that represents living organisms through their body parts. It examines body parts synecdoches, mainly drawn from Marcel Proust’s prose, as well as from a set of poems by Sylvia Plath and a set of poetic works by Czesław Miłosz. It demonstrates that the structuring force of (macro)synecdoche is evident in the overall textual cohesion. Lastly, the paper extends the importance of macrosynecdoche as a megafigure which is used as a rhetorical strategy in textual production and interpretation.