What Is An Anecdote – Definition and Examples Of Anecdote

What is an anecdote? Here’s a definition and some examples.

WHAT IS AN ANECDOTE – This is the definition of an anecdote in literature and some tips on how to make this.

An anecdote is a “short story with a practical purpose and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined this as “usually a short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident”. In literature, it is a short story about anything interesting with a theme and a lesson.

It could be true or fictional, with a serious tone or light-hearted jokes. Usually, anecdotes are told through speech; spoken instead of written – these stories are entertaining or amusing.

“Anecdote” actually came from the Greek phrase ἀνέκδοτα which means “things unpublished”. In literature, it functions as something to help the readers understand a certain character better. The story will reflect why the character or people in the piece of literature behave the way that way.

Here’s an example of this, an inspiring one from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for a 1965 magazine interview:

“I never will forget a moment in Birmingham when a white policeman accosted a little Negro girl, seven or eight years old, who was walking in a demonstration with her mother. “What do you want?” the policeman asked her gruffly, and the little girl looked him straight in the eye and answered, “Fee-dom.” She couldn’t even pronounce it, but she knew. It was beautiful! Many times when I have been in sorely trying situations, the memory of that little one has come into my mind, and has buoyed me.”

Just like other narratives, it has a beginning where the characters are introduced, a middle where the action or conflict of the story happens, and an end where the speaker wraps up the story. But this must be quick and simple and told at a faster pace with fewer details. 

It has different kinds: cautionary, characterizing, humorous, inspirational, and reminiscent. 


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