Imagery is visual symbolism, or figurative language that evokes a mental image or other kinds of sense impressions, especially in a literary work, but also in other activities such as psychotherapy.


There are five major types of sensory imagery, each corresponding to a sense, feeling, action, or reaction:

  • Visual imagery pertains to graphics, visual scenes, pictures, or the sense of sight.
  • Auditory imagery pertains to sounds, noises, music, or the sense of hearing. (This kind of imagery may come in the form of onomatopoeia).
  • Olfactory imagery pertains to odors, aromas, scents, or the sense of smell.
  • Gustatory imagery pertains to flavors or the sense of taste.
  • Tactile imagery pertains to physical textures or the sense of touch.

Other types of imagery include:

  • Kinesthetic imagery pertains to movements.
  • Organic imagery / subjective imagery, pertains to personal experiences of a character's body, including emotion and the senses of hunger, thirst, fatigue, and pain.[1]
  • Phenomenological, pertains to the mental conception of an item as opposed to the physical version.
  • Color imagery is the ability to visualize a color in its absence


  1. ^ "Poetics of Robert Frost: Examples". Friends of Robert Frost. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  2. ^ author., Wells, H. G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 (20 July 2021). The time machine. ISBN 978-1-7225-2491-3. OCLC 1261367980.

External links

  • "Imagery and Imagination". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Thomas, Nigel J.T (Winter 2011), "Mental Imagery", in Zalta, Edward N. (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, retrieved February 16, 2012
  • Belyaev, Igor A. (2020), “Human-sizedness as a principle of existance for literary-artistic image, Proceedings of the Philological Readings (PhR 2019), EPSBS European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences, London, 19-20 September 2019, pp. 560-567.