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Figurative Language


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Figurative Language

  1. 1. Figurative Language Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Apostrophe, Metonymy
  2. 2. Figures of Speech <ul><li>Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We don’t actually think that you have chicken eggs that you expect to hatch. That is the literal meaning of the expression. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rather, it is a figure of speech that indicates that you should not count on an outcome before it happens. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Figures of Speech <ul><li>Poetry provides the one permissible way of saying one thing and meaning another. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Robert Frost) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Figures of speech allow us to convey meaning in fresh, vivid, and powerful ways impossible through direct expression. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Figures of Speech <ul><li>Be Careful! </li></ul><ul><li>Using a figure of speech doesn’t guarantee good writing. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Lear should know that once he made his bed he was going to have to lay in it.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trite, hackneyed, banal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Hamlet feels like a Tasmanian when confronted by a wolf.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What in the world does that mean? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Simile <ul><li>Compares two unlike things using a comparative word. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He’s smart as a whip. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He eats like a horse. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>She was slower than molasses in January. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>His singing resembled the sound of a cat being killed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The speed of her car seems pantheresque. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Metaphor <ul><li>Compares two unlike things without using a comparative word. Instead one thing is substituted or identified with the thing it’s being compared to. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>She’s a horse. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>She has a whip smart mind. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He screeched and screamed his way through the aria. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The car pounced across the road. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Metaphor Forms Flour (implied) Snow (implied) “ It sifts from leaden sieves” Form D Wool (named) Snow (implied) “ It fills with Alabaster Wool.” Form C Snake (implied) Leaves (named) “ leaves got up in a coil and hissed.” Form B Hound (named) Life (named) “ life the hound” Form A Figurative Term Literal Term Line
  8. 8. Personification <ul><li>A specific type of metaphor where an animal, object, or concept is given human attributes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The wind laughed as it danced through the trees. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A lion, confused and alone, sits pondering its fate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Death trooped merrily into the house. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Apostrophe <ul><li>Addressing someone absent, dead, or non-human as if that person or thing were present. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Oh nature, thou art my goddess. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Little Lamb, who made thee?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Blow winds, blow!” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Personification & Apostrophe <ul><li>Both allow a writer to give life and urgency to their texts. </li></ul><ul><li>However, they don’t require a lot of imagination and as a result they appear in bad writing as frequently as in good. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Metonymy <ul><li>Metonymy occurs when a writer uses an aspect of an object to substitute for the object itself: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(We’re going to lump Metonymy and Synecdoche together under the umbrella of metonymy.) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Metonymy <ul><li>“ But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heart represents all of emotions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tongue represents speech. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The grave’s a fine and private place” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grave represents death </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The White House today issued a statement” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>White house represents the President. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Analyzing Figurative Language <ul><li>It’s not enough to be able to identify what a poet or writer is doing. </li></ul><ul><li>What use is being made of this expression? </li></ul><ul><li>How does it contribute to the experience of the poem? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Analyzing Figurative Language <ul><li>“ I noticed them sitting there | as orderly as frozen fish | in a package.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conveys the absence of life through the simile comparing the students to dead fish. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frozen similarly allows us to imagine a stillness and lack of movement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frozen fish also have a feeling of being mass produced, they aren’t unique or special. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This allows us to characterize both the audience being described and the speaker. The audience seems still, lifeless, and indistinctive. The speaker seems a bit judgmental. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>“ I heard the sounds | of fish in an aquarium” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compares the students to interesting, lively fish in a contained environment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An aquarium is typically a thing of beauty that an observer will admire. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintains the idea that the audience isn’t free to swim away to different ideas, through the use of the aquarium. He recognizes that this is still an artificial world. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflects the change on the part of the speaker as he recognizes the extraordinary nature of his audience. They thrive in the atmosphere of his poetry and become a thing wonderful to behold. </li></ul></ul>Analyzing Figurative Language
  16. 16. Exercises <ul><li>“ O Tenderly the haughty day Fills his blue urn with fire.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Haughty day = personification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blue urn (sky) = metaphor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire (sun) = metaphor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ It is with words as with sunbeams – the more they are condensed the deeper they burn. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Words (sunbeams) = metaphor </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>“ Joy and Temperance and Repose Slam the door on the doctor’s nose” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joy, Temperance, Repose Slam = personification </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The pen is mightier than the sword” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pen (persuasive writing), sword (armies) = metonymy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The strongest oaths are straw To the fire i’ the blood” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oath (straw), fire (impulse) = metaphor </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>“ The Cambridge ladies…live in furnished souls” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Furnished souls = conventional minds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Dorothy’s eyes, with their long brown lashes, looked very much like her mother’s. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The tawny-hided desert crouches watching her” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desert (lion) = metaphor </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>“Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tomorrow (day of death) = metaphor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>literal </li></ul></ul>