Flashback Definition | Examples of Flashback in Literature

 

example of flashback in literature

Examples in Literature. Example #1. In chapter two of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, the protagonist/narrator, Ponyboy, shares information about his friend Johnny. One of the things he mentions is that Johnny always carries around with him a knife. Ponyboy uses a flashback to tell the story about the time Johnny was beaten up by a rival gang. Flashback Definition. Many well-known works of literature begin their tales at the end and work their way back to the beginning. Other stories begin in in medias res and fill in the rest of the narrative with flashbacks before moving forward. Students may also be familiar with TV shows and movies that bend the chronological timeline. Definition, Examples of Flashbacks in Literature Flashback definition: A flashback is a scene the insertion of a scene that interrupts the present story in order to tell of a past event. What is a Flashback?


What is a Flashback? Definition, Examples of Flashbacks in Literature - Writing Explained


Flashback is a device that moves an audience from the present moment in a chronological narrative to a scene in the past. Flashback can occur as a sudden thought sequence, a hazy dream, or a vivid memory.

It can be announced or unannounced in the line of narrative. A man is about to give a speech to a large audience on biology. Suddenly, he remembers playing with frogs and toads in his backyard as a curious child. He smiles at the memory, and then begins to speak to the audience about a new, groundbreaking finding about frogs.

In this example, the flashback happens when the man remembers his childhood. The flashback serves to reveal that the man had an early passion for animals and has now, as an adult, made a fantastic discovery in that area of science. A woman is about to get married. A tear comes to her eye and she prepares to walk down the aisle. The memory brings a tear of happiness to her eye. A superhero is struggling to figure out where his nemesis would keep a hostage. In this scene, the flashback is the memory of the nemesis saying something.

The memory serves to guide the hero in the present with a clue pulled from his past. Flashback is important in that it adds complication and depth to a narrative that is otherwise straightforward and chronological. As is true in real life, sometimes information about charactersplaces, or things is only revealed when the past is abruptly pulled forth, mentioned, or remembered.

Flashbacks can thicken plotscreate dynamic and complex characters, reveal information otherwise left unspoken, or surprise the audience with shocking secrets. Flashback is a necessary element of most plots, as we gain information about nearly everything from referencing the past. Flashbacks provide poems and prose with a more interesting landscape than a purely chronological narrative. They explain personalities and actions of characters and explore the significance of memories recalled in the present moment.

Blue Hour begins in the present:. In the next section of the poem, we are launched into the past with a flashback. We know this because her son, now a man, is just being born:. My name is Fabian Vas. I live in Witless Bay, Newfoundland.

You would not have heard of me. Obscurity is not necessarily failure, though; I am a bird artist, and have more or less made a living at it. Yet I murdered the lighthouse keeper, Botho August, example of flashback in literature, and that is an equal part of how I think of myself. Norman begins the narrative in the present example of flashback in literature introduces the reader to Fabian, a character who is a bird artist but also a murderer. Such a shocking introduction then smoothly launches us into the past, where the story of the artist as a young boy begins.

Beginning in the present with an admission of murder and then launching into a peaceful past creates suspense, as the reader wants to know why or how Fabian has become a murderer.

It also serves to give Fabian a backstory. Flashback is an important aspect of many movies, television shows, and songs. Flashback serves to provide a backstory for characters, explaining how they have come to be how they are now. They also serve to complicate plots by interrupting the linear narrative. This scene in itself employs flashback when the Grinch remembers his teacher advising children to dress well and bullies making fun of him.

Watch this video on YouTube. The movie We Are Marshall uses a flashback in the seconds before a triumphant win for Marshall, the audience remembers the struggles the football team had to go through to finally come back together after a plane crash tragically killed the majority of the team and coaches.

This painful but ultimately joyful flashback emotionally charges the victory scene. Flash-forward, also known as prolepsis, is the rhetorical device in which a chronological narrative is interrupted and launched forward in time. Flash-forward is the opposite of flashback, as it shows events in the future or imagined future rather than in the past. Both devices, example of flashback in literature, though, serve to tell more example of flashback in literature a story and to interrupt the linear narrative, example of flashback in literature.

Blake meets Sarah at a bookstore. What he does not know is that one day she will become his girlfriend. Upon seeing her, he is launched into a childhood memory of a similar girl, a childhood crush, example of flashback in literature brunette hair and blue eyes. The flash-forward provides us with the knowledge that Blake and Sarah will eventually begin a relationship together, example of flashback in literature.

The flashback, on the other hand, shows us why Example of flashback in literature was first attracted to her—she reminds him of a childhood crush, example of flashback in literature. Flashback is an essential aspect of plot which allows the chronological narrative to be interrupted by information and memories from the past.

It can provide stories with background information, characters with personality development, and plots with more complicated structures. Flashback reveals the importance of the past and its ongoing effect on the present. List of Terms Action. Ad Hominem. Alter Ego. APA Citation. Comic Relief. Deus ex machina. Double Entendre. Dramatic irony. Extended Metaphor, example of flashback in literature.

Fairy Tale. Figures of Speech. Literary Device. Pathetic Fallacy. Plot Twist. Point of View. Red Herring. Rhetorical Device.

Rhetorical Question. Science Fiction. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Turning Point. Urban Legend. Literary Terms.

 

Flashback - Examples and Definition of Flashback

 

example of flashback in literature

 

Definition, Examples of Flashbacks in Literature Flashback definition: A flashback is a scene the insertion of a scene that interrupts the present story in order to tell of a past event. What is a Flashback? Examples in Literature. Example #1. In chapter two of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, the protagonist/narrator, Ponyboy, shares information about his friend Johnny. One of the things he mentions is that Johnny always carries around with him a knife. Ponyboy uses a flashback to tell the story about the time Johnny was beaten up by a rival gang. Flashback Definition. Many well-known works of literature begin their tales at the end and work their way back to the beginning. Other stories begin in in medias res and fill in the rest of the narrative with flashbacks before moving forward. Students may also be familiar with TV shows and movies that bend the chronological timeline.