Figurative Language
What is it?
Figurative language is language that
communicates meanings beyond
the literal meanings of the words.
Words are often used to symbolize
ideas and concepts they would not
otherwise be associated with.
Why do writers use it?
To create effects
To emphasize ideas
To evoke emotions
Which type of figurative language
is this quote an example of?
“America was different. America was a river,
roaring along, unmindful of the past. I
could wade into this river, let my sins
drown to the bottom, let the waters carry
me someplace far. Someplace with no
ghosts, no memories, and no sins.”
The Kite Runner (pg. 219)
Metaphor
A metaphor is a figure of speech
that makes a comparison between
two things that are basically unlike
but have something in common.
Can you find another
example of metaphor in the novel?
Which type of figurative language
is this quote an example of?
“The blast echoes through the street
of my father’s house. Hassan
slumps to the asphalt, his life of
unrequited loyalty drifting from him
like the windblown kites he used to
chase.”
The Kite Runner (pg. 219)
Simile
A simile is a figure of speech that
makes a comparison between two
things using the word “like” or “as.”
Can you find another
example of simile in the novel?
Which type of figurative language
is this quote an example of?
“That was a long time ago, but it’s
wrong what they say about the
past, I’ve learned, about how you
can bury it. Because the past claws
its way out.”
The Kite Runner (pg. 1)
Personification
A personification is a figure of
speech in which human qualities are
given to an object, animal, or idea.
Can you think of another
example of personification?
This quote contains metaphors
that are also an example of which
other type of figurative language?
“My father was a force of nature…
hands that looked capable of
uprooting a willow tree, and a black
glare that would drop the devil to
his knees begging for mercy…”
The Kite Runner (pg. 12-13)
Hyperbole
A hyperbole is a figure of speech in
which the truth is exaggerated for
emphasis or humorous effect.
Can you think of another
example of hyperbole?
Cliché
A cliché is a word or phrase regarded
as having lost its freshness and vigor
through overuse.
Clichés are the hallmark of mediocre
writing.
Good writers avoid clichéd language
and instead, use original word choice
and imagery.
Idiom
An idiom is a common figure of
speech whose meaning is different
from the literal meaning of its words.
Many clichés are idioms.
Many idioms are clichés.
Prompt:
Turn to page 197 in The Kite Runner
Read the paragraph that begins “A
creative writing teacher…”
What are the four clichés?
Create one clear alternative expression and one
original alternative expression for each cliché.
1. “avoid them like the plague”
Clear- avoid them assiduously
Original- avoid them like a dieter stays away from sweets
2. “got a bum rap”
Clear- got treated unfairly
Original- were treated like Japanese Americans after Pearl
Harbor
3. “they’re dead on”
Clear- they’re accurate
Original- a lightning rod of truth
4. “elephant in the room”
Clear- the uncomfortable fact that everyone is politely
trying to ignore
Original- the homeless man begging for change