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This article is about imagery in literary texts. For imagery in cognitive psychology, see mental image. For various senses of the word imaging, see Imaging, a disambiguation page.

Imagery, in a literary text, is an author's use of vivid and descriptive language to add depth to his or her work. It appeals to human senses to deepen the reader's understanding of the work. Powerful forms of imagery engage all of the senses and use metaphors to express ideas and concepts.

Forms of imagery[edit]

There are seven types of imagery, each corresponding to a sense, feeling, or action:

  • Visual imagery pertains sights, and allows the reader to visualize objects, events, actions, or places.
  • Auditory imagery pertains sounds. (This kind of imagery may come in the form of onomatopoeia).
  • Olfactory imagery pertains to odors.
  • Gustatory imagery pertains to flavors.
  • Tactile imagery pertains to textures.
  • Kinesthetic imagery pertains to movements.
  • Organic imagery or subjective imagery, pertains to personal experiences of a character's body, including hunger, thirst, and fatigue.[1]


  1. ^ "Poetics of Robert Frost: Examples". Friends of Robert Frost. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 

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