it has meaning beyond the literal words
Types of Figurative Language
• compares two dissimilar ideas in order
to emphasize their similarity
• Uses a comparative word (“like” or “as”)
Example: Her feet felt like ice.
…as old as time
dead as a doornail
• Compares two dissimilar ideas to
emphasize their similarities
• Says one idea “is” another.
• Examples: a blanket of darkness.
• My brother’s room is a pigpen.
• a human qualities are given to a
• The leaves danced in the autumn wind.
• The lightening lashed out with anger.
•Exaggeration or overstatement
•I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!
•I’m so full I’m about to pop.
• words express a situation that defies
reality or readers’ expectations
• Three types:
• The situation is the opposite of expectations
–A greedy millionaire winning the lottery.
–Two robbers have their car stolen while
robbing a bank.
–A man survives a plane crash only to be
killed on the way to the hospital in an
• When the audience knows something the
–We see the ax murderer hiding in the
closet as the unknowing character enters
•Words literally mean one thing but intend
to express the opposite: SARCSAM
•Tom makes a mistake and Jane
says, “Nice going, Einstein!”
•Jane trips and falls, and Tom calls
out, “Slick move!”
Imagery / Sensory Detail
• The use of words that appeal to one or more of our
senses (sight, sound, smell, sensation, taste)
• The cold of late December blew against my
skin as I walked up to my family’s festive
house for our holiday dinner. As I walked in
the door, the aromas of warm apple pie and
honey baked ham made me feel at home once
• The repetition of an initial consonant sound
• "The soul selects her own society.“
• “A moist young moon hung above the
mist of a neighboring meadow."
• a statement that is seemingly contradictory
or opposed to common sense and yet is
• Freedom is Slavery
• Ignorance is bliss
• I know that I know nothing.
How does figurative language work in the text
we are reading now?
Find at least five examples, identify the quotes
in which they appear, and analyze how the use
of each device changes the way you understand