Name:_____________________________________
English 6 Historical Fiction The Slave Dancer
Date:____________________
Class:___________________
Figurative Language
The Slave Dancer is particularly rich in figurative language such as metaphors, similes
and personification or hyperboles, which the author uses to describe Jessie's new
environment.
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A metaphor is an implied comparison. That means that the comparison is not
really stated directly. For example: "My dad is a bear."
A simile is a comparison that uses "like" or "as". For example "Bob runs like a
deer" or "she's as sweet as candy."
Personification gives human characteristics to objects or events. For example
(from Chapter 3): "daylight was being born.”
A hyperbole is a deliberate and wild exaggeration. For example: "I've told you a
million times!"
Activity 1 *Directions: Decide if each of the following is a metaphor (M) a simile (S),
a personification (P), or a hyperbole (H). Write the letter for your answer on the line
provided.
_________1. Jessie found out quickly that the sailors didn't smell like Sunday morning.
_________2. A gull, like a puff of smoke, flew across the bow.
_________3. The smell of the ship had been nourished by darkness.
_________4. Jessie's knees turned to pudding.
_________5. Jessie curled up like a worm.
_________6. "We'll have a ship full of royalty," said the Captain.
_________7. Purvis opened his mouth so wide he looked like an alligator.
_________8. "What a fearful runt,” shouted the Captain.
_________9. The hammock curled around Jessie like a peapod.
_________10. Stout claimed that the ship was speaking to him.
_________11. "I'm a neat packer!" roared the Captain. "As neat as a pin."
_________12. "I stack them up like flannel cakes."
_________13. "You're as deaf as a post!" Purvis exclaimed.
_________14. Jessie knew that if he didn't do as he was told, he'd get skinned.
_________15. Every fear found in hell was in Jessie's mind.
_________16. The tears fell in rivers down Jessie's face.
Activity 2 *Directions: Now try inventing your own examples for #1-4 of hyperbole,
simile, metaphor and personification. Do not use expressions you have heard or read
before. For each character or topic you must list an example for each type- S, P, M, H.
You may use a separate sheet of paper.
Example: The Ship
Simile: The ship was tossed around in the storm like a ball in a swimming pool.
Personification: The sky hung so low that the masts of the ship seemed to scratch it.
Metaphor: To Jessie the ship was nothing but a chariot of doom.
Hyperbole: The wind drove the ship with the speed of a thunderbolt.
1. Jessie
3. The ocean
2. The Captain
4. Loneliness

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