What Is Figurative Language?Figurative language, or figures of speech, describe onething in terms of another and are not meant to beunderstood on a literal level.•Figurative language involves an imaginative comparison between seemingly unlike things.
Kinds of Figurative LanguageFigurative language includes• similes• metaphors• personification• symbolism
SimilesA simile makes a comparison between two seeminglyunlike things by using a connective word such as like, as,than, or resembles.•What two things does the author of the passage below compare? What point do you think the author makes with this comparison? I think that I shall never see A poem as lovely as a tree. from “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer
MetaphorsMetaphors make a comparison between two unlikethings without using connective words such as like, as,than, or resembles. Metaphors may be direct or indirect.•Direct metaphors directly state the comparison between two things, using a verb such as is. • Jay’s cell phone was a lifeline linking him to his friends.•Indirect metaphors imply rather than directly state the comparison. • Jay’s cell phone anchored him to his friends.
Other Types of Metaphors•An extended metaphor is developed over several lines or throughout an entire poem or other work. A writer may use both direct and implied metaphors to develop an extended metaphor.•Beware of mixed metaphors. A mixed metaphor is the inconsistent combination of two or more metaphors. • He clammed up and refused to utter a peep.
PersonificationPersonification is a type of metaphor in which anonhuman thing or quality is talked about as if it werehuman.•Animals, objects, and ideas may be personified. • The army of ants marched across the sidewalk. • The open doors welcomed us to the auditorium. • Love is blind.
SymbolismA symbol in literature is something that is identified withsomething else that is very different from it but thatshares some quality.•A symbol in literature stands for something else—a character, a universal truth, or an important human quality or condition.•An author usually emphasizes the main symbol in a work. Symbols may appear frequently and at important points in the story or in the story’s title.•A symbol usually points toward the theme of a work.
What Have You Learned?Identify the figure of speech used in each item below.Simile Metaphor Personification Symbolism1. As Marcie dried her tears, a vibrant rainbow Symbolism appeared through the clouds.2. The crowd’s applause washed over Ed and Metaphor carried his nervousness away.3. Spot’s tail wagged as rhythmically as a Simile metronome.4. The tree stretched its arms toward the sun. Personification5. Her new driver’s license was Jordan’s passport Metaphor to freedom.