Connotation refers to an implied meaning that’s associated with a word in addition to its literal meaning. This association can be cultural or emotional. For example, the word “stingy” promotes a negative image. Meanwhile, “thrifty” might connote something far more positive, meaning the person simply likes to be smart with their money.
Connotation can set up other rhetorical devices too, including symbolism and personification. The recurring symbol of doves in a story will connote a sense of peace. In fact, some would argue that the terms sometimes cross boundaries and serve a dual purpose.
For a quick review of the positive and negative effects of certain words, this list of connotation examples will bring you up to speed. Now, let’s explore several examples of connotation in literature.