Definition of Contour Line in Literature


The use of contour lines is a popular technique in the world of literature. It is a visual representation that presents the physical and emotional aspects of a character, situation or object in a descriptive manner. This technique is vital in offering readers a deep understanding of the subject and creates a vivid image in their minds. In this article, we will explore the definition of contour lines in literature and how it is used by authors to enhance their writing.

In simple terms, contour lines in literature refer to the use of descriptive language to create a mental map of the subject being described. It involves the use of words and phrases that highlight the physical features, characteristics, emotions, and thoughts of the characters in a story. These lines are like a sketch that outlines the subject, giving it depth and dimension, allowing readers to feel as if they are a part of the story.

Contour lines are not limited to one specific type of literature, but they can be found in various genres such as novels, short stories, and poetry. The key purpose of using contour lines is to vividly depict the subject to the readers. For instance, in a novel, the author may describe the physical features of a character, their body language, and their surroundings in detail, allowing the reader to form a mental image of the character and their environment. In this way, contour lines can bring life to the story, making it more relatable and engaging for readers.

One of the primary reasons authors use contour lines is to add depth to their writing. By using descriptive language, authors can give their characters a unique voice, personality, and backstory. Take, for example, Shakespeare’s character Lady Macbeth in the play “Macbeth.” Her dialogues and actions portray her as a calculating, manipulative and ambitious woman. Through the use of contour lines, the readers can clearly understand her character and how she influences the events in the play.

Another practical example of contour lines is in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby.” The author uses vivid descriptions to create a panoramic view of the setting, the extravagant lifestyle of the characters, and the emotions they experience. In this way, the readers can understand the lavish and carefree lifestyle of the characters, the underlying tensions, and the societal pressures they face.

Moreover, contour lines are not limited to the physical aspects of a character or setting. They can also be used to showcase the emotions and thoughts of the characters. In Emily Bronte’s novel “Wuthering Heights,” the moors and the wild nature of the setting reflect the passion and intensity of the characters’ emotions. The stormy weather and the dark, eerie atmosphere in the story reflect the dark and tumultuous relationships between the characters.

In conclusion, contour lines in literature are a vital tool used by authors to enhance their writing and bring their stories to life. By using descriptive language, authors can create a visual representation of their characters, settings, and emotions, making it easier for readers to connect with the story. Without contour lines, literature would lose its essence and become dull and unappealing. Therefore, authors must master the art of using contour lines to create a lasting impact on their readers.