Figurative Language - Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Figurative Language - Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Figurative Language Diction Imagery Details Language Syntax Figurative and Literal Language Literally: words function exactly as defined

The car is blue. He caught the football. Figuratively: figure out what it means Ive got your back. Youre a doll. ^Figures of Speech Simile A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things. Unlike

a metaphor, a simile draws resemblance with the help of the words like or as. Therefore, it is a direct comparison. John is as slow as a snail. Snails are notorious for their slow pace and here the slowness of John is compared to that of a snail. The use of as in the example helps to draw the resemblance. Metaphor Metaphor is a figure of speech which makes an implicit, implied or

hidden comparison between two things or objects that are poles apart from each other but have some characteristics common between them. In other words, a resemblance of two contradictory or different objects is made based on a single or some common characteristics. My brother was boiling mad. (This implies he was too angry.) Furthermore, a metaphor develops a comparison which is different from a simile i.e. we do not use like or as to develop a comparison in a metaphor. It actually makes an implicit or hidden comparison and not an explicit one.

Types of Metaphor Mixed: a combination of two or more inconsistent metaphors in a single expression (Hell have to take the bull by the horns to keep the business afloat.) Extended: an idea sustained throughout the work Dead: has been used so much it has lost its figurative meaning & is taken literally (eye of a needle, head of the class)

Personification Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. The sky weeps we are giving the sky the ability to cry, which is a human quality. Thus, we can say that the sky has been personified in the given sentence. Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a literary device in which a part of something represents the whole or it may use a whole to represent a part. Synecdoche may also use larger groups to refer to smaller groups or vice versa. It may also call a thing by the name of the material it is made of or it may refer to a thing in a container or packing by the name of that container or packing. The phrase gray beard refers to an old man. The word sails refers to a whole ship. Metonymy

It is a figure of speech that replaces the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated. The pen is mightier than the sword. (Pen refers to written words and sword to military force.) England decides to keep check on immigration. (England refers to the government.) Synecdoche vs. Metonymy Synecdoche examples are often misidentified as metonymy (another

literary device). Both may resemble each other to some extent but they are not the same. Synecdoche refers to the whole of a thing by the name of any one of its parts. For example, calling a car wheels is a synecdoche because a part of a car wheels stands for the whole car. However, in metonymy, the word we use to describe another thing is closely linked to that particular thing, but is not necessarily a part of it. For example, crown that refers to power or authority is a metonymy used to replace the word king or queen. Symbol

Generally, anything that represents itself and stands for something else. Usually a symbol is something concrete -- such as an object, action, character, or scene that represents something more abstract. However, symbols and symbolism can be much more complex. One system classifies symbols into three categories: (1) natural symbols are objects and occurrences from nature to symbolize

ideas commonly associated with them (dawn symbolizing hope or a new beginning, a rose symbolizing love, a tree symbolizing knowledge). (2) conventional symbols are those that have been invested with meaning by a group (religious symbols such as a cross or Star of David; national symbols, such as a flag or an eagle; or group symbols, such as a skull and crossbones for pirates or the scale of justice for lawyers). (3) literary symbols are sometimes also conventional in the sense that they are found in a variety of works and are more generally recognized. However, a works symbols may be more complicated, as is the jungle in Heart of Darkness.

Allegory The device of using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent an abstraction in addition to the literal meaning. In some allegories, for example, an author may intend the characters to personify an abstraction like hope or freedom. The allegorical meaning usually deals with moral truth or a generalization about human existence. Wizard of Oz as political allegory: The Scarecrow as a representation of American farmers and their troubles in the

late 19th century. The Tin Man representing the industrial workers, especially those of American steel industry's. The Cowardly Lion as a metaphor for the William Jennings Bryan. Hyperbole (Overstatement) A figure of speech using deliberate exaggeration or overstatement. (The literal Greek meaning is overshoot.) Hyperboles often have a comic effect; however, a serious effect is also possible. Often,

hyperbole produces irony. The opposite of hyperbole is understatement. Sabolcik is faster than the speed of light. Sabolcik is stronger than The Hulk. Litote (Understatement) a form of understatement that involves making an affirmative point by denying its opposite. Litote is the opposite of hyperbole.

Examples: Not a bad idea, Not many, It isnt very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain (Salinger, Catcher in the Rye). Apostrophe A figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or a personified abstraction, such as liberty or love. It is an address to someone or something that cannot answer. The effect may add familiarity or emotional intensity.

William Wordsworth addresses John Milton as he writes, Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour: / England hath need of thee. Another example is Keats Ode to a Grecian Urn, in which Keats addresses the urn itself: Thou still unravished bride of quietness. Many apostrophes imply a personification of the object addressed. Irony The contrast between what is stated explicitly and what is really

meant, or the difference between what appears to be and what is actually true. Irony is often used to create poignancy or humor. In general, there are three major types of irony used in language: (1) verbal irony when the words literally state the opposite of the writers (or speakers) meaning (2) situational irony when events turn out the opposite of what was expected; when what the

characters and readers think ought to happen is not what does happen (3) dramatic irony when facts or events are unknown to a character in a play or piece of fiction but known to the reader, audience, or other characters in the work. Allusion Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance. It does not describe

in detail the person or thing to which it refers. It is just a passing comment and the writer expects the reader to possess enough knowledge to spot the allusion and grasp its importance in a text. The rise in poverty will unlock the Pandoras box of crimes. This is an allusion to one of Greek Mythologys origin myth, Pandoras box. This place is like a Garden of Eden. This is a biblical allusion to the garden of God in the Book of Genesis. Paradox

A statement that appears to be selfcontradictory or opposed to common sense but upon closer inspection contains some degree of truth or validity. Think of the beginning of Dickens Tale of Two Cities: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.... Oxymoron From the Greek for pointedly foolish, an oxymoron is a figure of speech wherein the author

groups apparently contradictory terms to suggest a paradox. Simple examples include jumbo shrimp and cruel kindness. Government intelligence Euphemism From the Greek for good speech, euphemisms are a more agreeable or less offensive substitute for a generally unpleasant word or concept. The

euphemism may be used to adhere to standards of social or political correctness or to add humor or ironic understatement. Saying earthly remains rather than corpse is an example of euphemism. Synesthesia When one kind of sensory stimulus evokes the subjective experience of another. Ex: The sight of red ants makes you itchy.

In literature, synesthesia refers to the practice of associating two or more different senses in the same image. Red Hot Chili Peppers song title, Taste the Pain, is an example. Kandinsky and Synethesia Conceit A fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects. A

conceit displays intellectual cleverness as a result of the unusual comparison being made. Oh stay! three lives in one flea spare Where we almost, yea more than married are. This flea is you and I, and this Our marriage-bed and marriage-temple is Pun A play on words in which a humorous effect is produced by using a word that suggests two or more meanings or by

exploiting similar sounding words having different meanings. Humorous effects created by puns depend upon the ambiguities words entail. The ambiguities arise mostly in homophones and homonyms. A happy life depends on a liver, liver can refer to the organ liver or simply the person who lives. Atheism is a non-prophet institution the word prophet is used instead of profit to produce a humorous effect. Sound Devices

(Figurative Language) Alliteration The repetition of sounds, especially initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words (as in she sells sea shells). Although the term is not frequently in the multiple choice section, you can look for alliteration in any essay passage. The repetition can reinforce meaning, unify ideas, supply a musical sound, and/or echo the sense of the

passage. Onomatopoeia A figure of speech in which natural sounds are imitated in the sounds of words. Simple examples include such words as buzz, hiss, hum, crack, whinny, and murmur. If you note examples of onomatopoeia in an essay passage, note the effect.

Assonance Assonance takes place when two or more words close to one another repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds. For instance, Men sell the wedding bells. The same vowel sound of the short vowel -e- repeats itself in almost all the words excluding the definite article. The words do share the same vowel sounds but start with different consonant sounds unlike alliteration that involves repetition of the same consonant

sounds. Consonance Consonance refers to repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase. This repetition often takes place in quick succession such as in pitter, patter. It is classified as a literary term used in both poetry as well as prose. For instance, the words chuckle, fickle, and kick are consonant with one and other due to the existence of common interior consonant sounds (/ck/). The literary device of consonance is inherently different from assonance which

involves the repetition of similar vowel sounds within a word, sentence, or phrase. Another distinction to be appreciated is that of between consonance and rhyme. In the case of rhyme, consonant sounds can be present at the beginning, middle, or end of several successive words, rather than merely at the ends of words.

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