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Why is figurative language important?

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by adam raymond on 13 September 2013

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Transcript of Why is figurative language important?

The road to understanding figurative language
Figurative language within "The Kite Runner"
Rahim Khan laughed. “ Children aren’t like coloring books. You don’t get to fill them in with your favorite colors.” (page 21)

What is the meaning behind this?

Kids aren't things you can mold out of clay to be just the way you want them. The best you can do is influence them one way or another.

Figurative language within "The Kite Runner"
I thought about Hassan’s dream, the one about us swimming in the lake. There is no monster, he’d say, just water. Except he’d been wrong about that. There was a monster in the lake. It had grabbed Hassan by the ankles, dragged him to the murky bottom. I was that monster. (page 86)

What does this mean?

The speaker feels like he is bringing down those with whom he is closest, and isn't certain whether to be glad or upset that Hassan hasn't learned as much himself. He'll still stick around, but at what expense?
Figurative language within "The Kite Runner"
Baba believed Carter had unwittingly done more for communism than Leonid Brezhnev. “ He’s not fit to run this country. It’s like putting a boy who can’t ride a bike behind the wheel of a brand new Cadillac.” (page 126)

What is the meaning behind this?

This excerpt truly emphasizes how unfit he was to run the country, comparing Carter's ways to riding a bike when in fact driving a car is much more difficult.
Why is figurative language important?
Figurative language allows for the writer to express hidden meaning behind text without directly stating the obvious.

It is also a great sensory enhancement, creating mental images within your own writing for the readers pleasure.

Figurative language can come in many forms such as similes, metaphors, personification, and so on.

EX: The burning embers hissed with anger, like an infuriated snake coiled up, ready to attack.


Figurative Language within "The Kite Runner"
Baba was like a widower who remarries but can’t let go of his dead wife. He missed the sugarcane fields of Jalalabad and the gardens of Paghman. He missed the people milling in and out of his house. (page 129)


This excerpt is pretty blatant. He misses
his homeland and small details of every
day life such as the people milling in and
out of his house.
Truly understanding what the author is trying to express through figurative language takes more than just reading word for word.
How can we understand?
The entire sentence must be understood as a whole
Can we ever really know exactly what
the hidden meaning is behind everything we read?
How can we try?
See the full transcript