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denotation/connotation

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by

Mr Gibb

on 26 February 2014

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Transcript of denotation/connotation

denotation
connotation
Connotation
- what else is being suggested by the word, phrase or image (remember, poetic techniques create imagery).

This is the analysis. You should think about all the different possibilities the word can mean and then, in a piece of text, link it to the context and what is happening. The trick is to 'mould' your analysis to fit the context.

Denotation
- the literal meaning of a word or what a phrase or image actually means. There is no analysis here; you are simply telling the examiner that you understand what the word, phrase or image actually means.
The
denotation
- The teacher is shouting. To 'roar' is what lions do and it is usually as a threat to other animals.
"The teacher roared."
The
connotation
of the image 'the teacher roared' suggests that the teacher is roaring at the children like a lion. The suggestion is that the teacher, when he or she shouts, does it in an intimidating and aggressive manner towards the children."
"The teacher roared."
examples
The following examples are written as full paragraphs. You should be able to do this by yourself, with some practise, within a couple of lessons. Always also explain why it is an effective image.


"The candle cried"

The writer's use of personification when he says "the candle cried" is effective as the denotation of the image is that the wax is melting. However, the connotations of this are that the candle is sad and the running wax represents tears. The alliteration of the 'c' sound furthermore adds to the effect as it reminds the reader of the sound of the candle gently flickering as it melts.


"She sells sea shells on the seashore"

The writer uses a lot of sibilance in this quote in an effective way. The denotation of the image is that of a girl who sells sea shells for a living. However, the connotations of the phrase - and especially the repetition of 's' and "sh' sounds - instantly echo the sound of waves crashing on a beach.

"That man is a beast"

This metaphor successfully compares a man to a 'beast'. The denotation of it is that the man is simply of a large physical nature. However, the connotations of the word 'beast' allow us to understand it in greater depth. There are suggestions that not only is the man big, but also aggressive, wild and dangerous (as 'beasts' traditionally are).

Analytical Checklist
1. Identify if it is a poetic technique, word choice or sentence structure you are analysing. 

2. What is the denotation of the word, image or sentence structure; what does it actually mean; what is actually happening? 

3. What is the connotation of this word or phrase? What does it SUGGEST? 

4.Make sure it links with the content and context of the poem. 
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