Aug 23, 2020 · We’re going to break down flashbacks by looking at how they’re used by writers, with examples from classical literature like The Odyssey and recent films like Manchester By The Sea. But before we jump into our examples let’s define flashback. Tools For Screenwriters Literary Devices Literary Elements Antagonist Anticlimax Backstory Catharsis Climax
- Definition of A Flashback
- Common Examples of Flashback
- Significance of Flashback in Literature
- Examples of Flashback in Literature
- Test Your Knowledge of Flashback
In literature, a flashback is an occurrence in which a character remembers an earlier event that happened before the current point of the story. The definition of flashback is identical to that of analepsis, which comes from the Greek for “the act of taking up.” There are two types of flashbacks—those that recount events that happened before the st...
Many of us have flashbacks quite frequently. We may have flashbacks when we think of someone whom we haven’t thought of in a while, and remember some memory that that person was a part of. Or we may look at an object and think of when we first got it, or why it’s significant. Lots of different things in our daily lives can trigger flashbacks and we...
Authors use flashbacks in their works for many different reasons. One key reason is to fill in elements of one or more characters’ backstories. Flashbacks can help the reader understand certain motivations that were otherwise unclear, or provide characterizationin other ways. Flashbacks can also create suspense or add structure to a story. Some aut...
(Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad) This flashback example comes from near the beginning of Heart of Darkness as sailors are at rest on their boat on the Thames. Since they are not presently working, their fellow sailor Charles Marlow decides to tell them about his experience traveling upriver in the center of Africa to find an ivory trader named Kurtz. Therefore, the great bulk of Conrad’s novel occurs in flashback.
(The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald) This excerpt from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gastby is the very opening line of the novel. Much of the first chapter occurs in flashback as the narrator Nick Carraway thinks about what has brought him to the East Coast and how out-of-place he feels there. His father’s quote stays with him, and it’s an interesting example of flashback that also carries some element of foreshadowingin that Nick will spend much of the book considering privilege and...
(One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez) This is another example of flashback that occurs as the opening line of a novel. In fact, the first line of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of the most famous opening lines in all of literature. In it, we meet one of the central characters of the book, Colonel Aureliano Buendía, and know some important factors about him right away. We know that later in the book he will face a firing squad, and we also kno...
1. Which of the following statements is the best flashback definition? A. A device in which time is moved forward from the present moment. B. An occurrence that a character thinks about which happened before the present moment in the narrative. C.A novel with no chronological order. 2. Consider the following scenario: The opening of a novel begins ...
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Aug 23, 2021 · Definition and Examples of Flashbacks. Written by MasterClass. Last updated: Aug 23, 2021 • 4 min read. When writing a work of fiction, an author can take the reader out of the present story and jump into an earlier time period in a character’s life. This narrative tool is called a flashback.
Example #1: The Holy Bible (By Various Contributors) The Bible is a good source of flashback examples. In the Book of Matthew, we see a flashback has been used when Joseph, governor of Egypt, sees his brothers after several years. Joseph “remembered his dreams ” about his brothers, and how they sold him into slavery in the past.