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Introduction to Figurative Language
Transcript of Introduction to Figurative Language
talking about two different types of language: Literal Figurative Literal language refers to words that mean
the same as their dictionary definition. Figurative language refers to words that
are not meant to be taken literally. In class, we will study
types of figurative language: 1. simile A comparison between two unlike things
using the words "like" or "as." FOR EXAMPLE -“I’m going down like there’s a whale in the boat.”
(Lil Wayne, “Live from the 504”) -“The wind blow, my dreads swing
He had hair like wool, like rain.”
(Lil Wayne, “Dontgetit”) -“My face looks like a wedding cake left out in the rain.” (W. H. Auden) 2. personification Assigning human qualities
to inhuman things (animals, objects, etc.) FOR EXAMPLE -“Got spring hating on me ’cause I ain’t never sprung” (Lil Wayne, “Mr. Carter”) -“Because I could not stop for Death --
He kindly stopped for me –”
(Emily Dickinson) A comparison between two unlike things
without using the words "like" or "as" 3. metaphor FOR EXAMPLE -“You can be my umbrella” (Rihanna, “Umbrella”) -“Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken winged bird
That cannot fly.”
(Langston Hughes, “Dream”) 4. hyperbole A comparison between two unlike things
without using the words "like" or "as" FOR EXAMPLE -“Got summer hating on me ’cause I’m hotter than the sun.”
(Lil Wayne, “Mr. Carter”) -“Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.”
(Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Concord Hymn”) 1.
Why does a boy who’s fast as a jet
Take all day – and sometimes two –
To get to school?
-- John Ciardi, “Speed Adjustments”
simile The boy's speed is being compared
to a jet's speed - the boy is fast. Type of figurative language? Explain how you know. hyperbole It wouldn't literally take him aa day
or more to get to school. 2.
People moved slowly then. There was no hurry, nothing to buy and no money to buy it, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb county.
-- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
hyperbole None of these statementsi s
literally true - the author
just wants to show how slow
life was in Maycomb. 3.
The adjectives all ganged up on the nouns,
insistent, loud, demanding, inexact,
their Latinate constructions flashing.
-- Ronald Wallace, “The Student Theme” personification Adjectives can't "gang up" on anything!
That is a HUMAN quality. 4.
Like a storm
of hornets, the
little white planets
layer and relayer
as they whip around
in their high orbits,
getting more and
more dense before
they crash against
-- Kay Ryan, “Hailstorm” simile The hail is being compared to hornets
using the word "like," which makes it
seem angry. 5.
But tonight, the lion of contentment
has placed a warm, heavy paw on my chest,
and I can only close my eyes and listen
to the drums of woe throbbing in the distance
and the sound of my wife’s laughter
on the telephone in the next room....
-- Billy Collins, “Osso Bucco” metaphor The lion represents contentment. First, let's try reading it aloud. Now, let's see what the poem
LOOKS like. Time to partner up! With your partner, you must present:
(1) What type of figurative language is in your stanza.
(2) How you were able to identify it.
(3) What is being compared in your stanza.
(4) What this comparison means (about poetry,
the speaker, or students). by Billy Collins Meet Billy Collins.