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Black Men and Public Space by Brent Staples (Figurative Language)

This prezi teaches about descriptive and figurative language using Staples' creative non-fiction piece.
by

Bernie Harrington

on 25 February 2013

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Transcript of Black Men and Public Space by Brent Staples (Figurative Language)

Black Men and Public Space
Brent Staples Creative Non-Fiction - Writing that is 100% true and contains elements of descriptive and figurative language is. Connotation - the feelings or ideas associated with a word. Can be either positive or negative. Ex. My first victim was a woman. . .
"Victim" has a negative feel to the word. This is an example of connotation. Ex. My first victim was a woman. . .
"Victim" has a negative feel to the word. This is an example of connotation. (298) Alliteration - the repetition of the same
consonant sound or sounds at the beginning
of several nearby words. "My first victim was a woman - white, well dressed . . . (298)
The "w" words start with the same sound. This is alliteration. Sensory words - words that describe detail that appeal to the senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. "To her, the youngish black man - a broad six feet two inches with a beard and billowing hair . . . (298)
Billowing is a descriptive word that allows the reader to "see" the image. This is an example of a sensory word. Metaphor - a comparison that does not use the words "like" or "as". "It was clear that she thought herself the quarry of a mugger, rapist, or worse." (299)
The female pedestrian is being compared to an animal being hunted. There is no use of "like" or "as" in the sentence, so this is an example of metaphor. Understatement - downplays a situation
or comic effect. "As a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to raw chicken. . . (299)
Brent is downplaying his situation using humor. This is an example of understatement. Irony - a contrast between what is expected and what actually exists or happens. "And I soon gathered that being perceived as
dangerous is a hazard in itself." (299)
The opposite of what one would expect actually
happened to Brent. This is an example of irony. Assonance - the repetition of the same vowel sound within nearby words. "Where fear and weapons meet - and they often do in urban America - there is always the possibility of death." (299)
There are seven similar vowel sounds in the middle of words in the same sentence. This is an example of assonance. Onomatopoeia - words that express a sound. "At dark, shadowy intersections, I could
cross in front of a car stopped at a traffic
light and elicit the thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk. . . (299)

The word "thunk" is used to represent a sound.
This is an example of onomatopoeia. "After dark, on the warrenlike streets of Brooklyn where I live, I often see women who fear the worst from me."
The streets of Brooklyn are being compared to a warren, a crowded place where rabbits live. The word like is used in the sentence. This is an example of simile. Simile is the comparison of two different things using the words "like" or "as". "After dark, on the warrenlike streets of Brooklyn
where I live, I often see women who fear the worst from me." (299)
The streets of Brooklyn are being compared to a warren, a crowded place where many rabbits live. The word like is used in the sentence. This is an example of simile. "I understand, of course, that the danger they perceive is
not a hallucination." (299)
There are four "s" sounds in the middle of words in this one sentence. This is an example of consonance. Consonance - the repetition of internal consonant sounds. "I understand , of course, that the danger they perceive is not a hallucination." (299)
There are four "s" sounds in the middle of words in this one sentence. This is an example of consonance. Paradox - a seemingly contradictory or absurd statement that may nonetheless suggest and important truth. "It is not altogether clear to me how I reached the
ripe old age to twenty-two withouth being conscious
of the lethality nighttime pedestrians attributed to me." (299)
Brent calls himself old when he was only twenty-two. This absurd
statement, however, makes a point. This is an example of
paradox. Personification - human qualities given to nonhuman things, such as objects
or animals. "Perhaps it was because in Chester, Pennsylvania, the small, angry industrial town where. . . "(299)
A town is called angry, which is a trait that a person would have. This is an example of personification. Showing, Not Telling is the use of descriptive details to help a person show his/her ideas instead of just telling about them. "The office manager called security and, with an ad hoc posse, pursued me through the labyrinthine halls, nearly to my editor's door." (300)

Instead of telling his readers that a group of people followed him, Brent used descriptive language. This is an example of showing, not telling. Hyperbole - dramatic and obvious exaggeration used to create humor or emphasize a situation. "She stood, the dog extended toward me, silent to my questions, her eyes bulging nearly out of her head." (300)

Since her eyes were probably not really going to pop our of her head, this exaggeration is an example of hyperbole. Theme - the central idea or message
in a work of literature. As a prisoner of prejudice, Brent Staples discusses how he must take great care to appear nonthreatening.
This is the message of Brent's writing. This is an example of the writing's theme. Created By: Mr. Harrington
Prezi Adviser: Z. C. Loki
Full transcript