Tuesday , July 5 2022
Figure of Speech

Anticlimax Examples: Anticlimax for Students and Children

Surely, you’ve come across literary works or movies where an idea is being described and suddenly it transforms into something less significant. By definition, anticlimax terms/phrases are figures of speech in which statements or ideas descend according to their importance. To put it in simpler words, a serial arrangement of phrases, words or clauses in an order of higher to lower priority. It is usually exciting to find sentences with an anticlimax but they have a negative effect and are a let-down. This occurs when the audience expects a climax that is more entertaining or thrilling. Even in spoken language, you might have often encountered people who speak in a meaningless manner that is contrary to their conclusion and buildup. It leaves you wondering whether the words were intentional or happened by mistake! Sometimes, anticlimax can be used for a satirical or a jocular purpose.

Examples Of Anti-Climax

In literature, anticlimax features a sudden transformation from an important idea to a comparatively less significant or a trivial observation or expression. If in case, movies have a very good and impressive beginning and later crash into unexpected and a disappointing ending, then it surely deserves a mention in the anticlimax examples!

  • ‘The Rape of the Lock’ by Alexander Pope, liberally uses anticlimax in the following verses:
    “Here thou, great Anna, whom three realms obey,
    Dost sometimes counsel take, and sometimes tea.”
  • “The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.” – Mark Twain.
  • “Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends.” – Woody Allen.
  • “And as I’m sinkin’
    The last thing that I think
    Is, did I pay my rent?”
    (Jim O’Rourke, Ghost Ship in a Storm)
  • “Jones was having his first date with Miss Smith and was utterly captivated by her. She was beautiful and intelligent as well, and as dinner proceeded, he was further impressed by her faultless taste.”
    (Isaac Asimov’s Treasure of Humor)
  • “As he hesitated over the after-dinner drink, she intervened to say, ‘Oh, let’s have sherry rather than brandy by all means. When I sip sherry, it seems to me that I am transported from the everyday scenes by which I may, at that moment, be surrounded. The flavor, the aroma, bring to mind irresistibly–for what reason I know not–a kind of faerie bit of nature: a hilly field bathed in soft sunshine, a clump of trees in the middle distance, a small brook curving across the scene, nearly at my feet. This, together with the fancied drowsy sound of insects and distant lowing of cattle, brings to my mind a kind of warmth, peace, and serenity, a sort of dovetailing of the world into a beautiful entirety. Brandy, on the other hand, makes me burp.”
    (Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov’s Treasury of Humor. Houghton Mifflin, 1971)
  • “In moments of crisis I size up the situation in a flash, set my teeth, contract my muscles, take a firm grip on myself and without a tremor, always do the wrong thing.”
    (George Bernard Shaw)
  • “I would have found it anticlimactic that after expecting to assemble a weapon of ultimate power you found a revelation you could have acquired from a fortune cookie.”
    (Victor Garber as Jack Bristow, “Succession.” Alias, 2003)
  • “For [Immanuel] Kant, the incongruity in a joke was between the ‘something’ of the setup and the anticlimactic ‘nothing’ of the punch line; the ludicrous effect arises ‘from the sudden transformation of a strained expectation into nothing.”
    (Jim Holt, “You Must Be Kidding.” The Guardian, Oct. 25, 2008)
  • “He has seen the ravages of war, he has known natural catastrophes, he has been to singles bars.”
    (Woody Allen, “Speech to the Graduates”)
  • “He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at KheSanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. T hese young men gave their lives. And so would Donny. Donny, who loved bowling.”
    (Walter Shobchak, played by John Goodman, as he prepares to spread Donny’s ashes, The Big Lebowski, 1998)
  • “Oh, poor Mr. Jones,” mourned Mrs. Smith, “Did you hear what happened to him? He tripped at the top of the stairs, fell down the whole flight, banged his head, and died.”. ” Died?” said Mrs. Robinson, shocked. “Died!” repeated Mrs. Smith with emphasis. “Broke his glasses, too.”
    (Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov’s Treasury of Humor. Houghton Mifflin, 1971)
  • “A condemned spy was being led out at dawn to the wall against which he was to be shot at sunrise. It was raining with ferocious intensity. On either side of him was a line of soldiers or to one of them the condemned spy said bitterly, “What beasts you all are to march me out to be shot in a rain like this.” And the soldier replied with equal bitterness, “What are you complaining about? We’ve got to march back.”
    (Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov’s Treasury of Humor. Houghton Mifflin, 1971)
  • Radio Commedy Show:
    Bloodnok: Seagoon, look here, a right twit you made of yourself firing that photo of a dinner at the enemy. Do you know what they’ve fired back?
    Seagoon: What?
    Bloodnok: The photograph of an empty plate.
    Seagoon: Ha haha… An empty plate..! Well, there you are folks, the old anticlimax.
    (The Goon Show)

Some Other Examples

  • The plane that Joanna was planning to board from Singapore crashed. Almost everyone got injured and their baggage got misplaced.
  • The fire burnt Peter’s house down and he lost his cell phone.
  • Yesterday I had good sleep but I have to meet my brother today.
  • The enemies had conquered about three fourth of the Empire and the Emperor realized he didn’t have his breakfast.

Usually people enjoy the variation of tone from a serious note to a comic effect, be it through verbal communication or literary works. If you relish humour then you will surely enjoy this figure of speech and create some on your own too. ‘A sentence in which the last part expresses something lower than the first’ as Dr.Johnson describes anticlimax, was the first time to record this word.

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