Figurative Language PowerPoint

Literature Terms, Rhetorical
& Figurative Language
• Repeated consonant sounds at the
beginning of words
• Ex: Sweet smell of success
• Ex: Sally sells seashells down by the
• Ex: Hear the loud alarum bells-Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency
--Edgar Allan Poe
• Cross reference to another work of
art, piece of literature, historic event,
landmark, etc.
• “She’ll be not hit with Cupid’s arrow.
She hath Dian’s wit.” (Romeo and Juliet)
• Ex: If you stub your toe and say, “D’oh!”,
you’re making an allusion to The
• Form of repetition that occurs when the
last word or terms in one sentence,
clause, or phrase is/are repeated at or
very near the beginning of the next
sentence, clause, or phrase.
• Ex: "The general who became a slave.
The slave who became a gladiator. The
gladiator who defied an Emperor.
Striking story!” –Joaquin Phoenix as
• Point-by-point comparison of two things
that are alike in some way; usually used to
explain something unfamiliar in familiar
• Hot:Cold::Tall:Short
• Repetition of the initial word(s) over successive phrases
or clauses
• Ex: “…I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up
and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these
truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ I
have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the
sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners
will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that…
• Two contrasting ideas are intentionally juxtaposed;
a contrasting of opposing ideas in adjacent phrases,
clauses, or sentences
• Ex: “That's one small step for [a] man; one giant
leap for mankind." –Neil Armstrong
• Ex: "We observe today not a victory of party but a
celebration of freedom, symbolizing an end as
well as a beginning, signifying renewal as well as
change." --JFK
• A figure of speech in which someone
absent or dead OR something
nonhuman is addressed as if he/she/it
were alive and present.
• Ex: “O books who alone are liberal and
free, who give to all who ask of you and
enfranchise all who serve you faithfully!”
-- Richard de Bury
• Repeated vowel sounds
• Ex:
"Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”
--Dylan Thomas,
"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"
• a string of words not separated by normally
occurring conjunctions
• Ex: “…You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it.
Dey's, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan
fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp,
lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp
soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes,
shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich….”—Bubba in Forrest
• "We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these
words as the backbone of a life spent defending
something. You use them as a punch line."
• Attitude or feeling associated with a term
• Example:
– Enthusiastic=positive
– Rowdy=negative
• Repetition of consonant sounds within or
at end of words
• Example: lonely afternoon
• Dictionary definition
• Opposite of connotation
• Example: I drive a cheap car.
– Denotation=inexpensive
– Connotation=piece of junk
• Specifics that the author includes in the
text. Usually concrete nouns.
• Form of language spoken in a particular
geographic area or by a particular social or
ethnic group
• Example: “Who ask you be genius?” she
shouted. “Only ask you be your best. For
your sake. You think I want you be
genius?” (Amy Tan, “Two Kinds”)
• Written conversation between two or more
• Word Choice that expresses tone or
• Ex: “World, I wish you would sort of take
him by the hand, and gently…”
• Beginning and ending a phrase or
clause with the same word or words
• Ex: “Mankind must put an end to war--or
war will put an end to mankind.” –JFK
• Ex: “Be all that you can be.” –U.S.
• Long, narrative poem on a serious subject,
presented in an elevated or formal style
• Traces the adventures of a great hero
whose actions reflect the ideals and
values of a nation or race
• Examples: The Illiad and The Odyssey
Epic Hero
• Larger-than-life figure who embodies the
ideals of a nation or race
• Take part in dangerous adventures and
accomplish great deeds
• May undertake long, difficult journeys and
display super-human strength
• Example: Odysseus
Epic Simile
• Homeric (or Epic) Simile - an extended,
elaborated, ornate simile developed in a
lengthy descriptive passage
• “He eats in bird-like quantities, accepting
tiny portions at fleeting intervals, as the
sparrow perched above the rose bush
snatches the small green aphids from the
dewy leaf.”
• Repetition of a word or words at the end of
successive phrases or clauses.
• Brief phrase that points out traits
associated with a particular character.
• Odysseus=“the master strategist”
• substitution of an agreeable or less
offensive expression for one that
may offend or suggest something
unpleasant to the listener
• Ex: “Let go” (instead of “Fired”)
• Ex: “Pre-owned” (instead of “Used”)
Figurative Language
• Language that is not meant literally
• Umbrella term for other lit terms.
Examples of figurative language include
simile, metaphor, personification,
• Interrupts a story to relate an event that occurred in
the past
• Ex: “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem
got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it
healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play
football were assuaged, he was seldom selfconscious about his injury. His left arm was
somewhat shorter than his right; when he stood or
walked, the back of his hand was at right angles to
his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh. He couldn't
have cared less, so long as he could pass and
punt.” –Scout, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
• An author drops subtle hints about plot
developments to come later in the story
• Ex: In Where the Red Fern Grows, there is a
dog fight in the beginning, and a dog is wounded
exactly like a dog is wounded later in the book.
• Ex: In Star Wars: Episode II, Obi-Wan Kenobi
says to Anakin Skywalker, "Why do I get the
feeling you will be the death of me?" He is later
killed by Darth Vader (a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker).
• An extreme exaggeration
• Ex:
– It would take a bazillion years to get through
Medical School.
– He's 900 years old.
– There are millions of other things to do.
– He was running faster than the speed of light.
– I am so tired I could sleep for a year.
– He is as skinny as a toothpick.
Descriptive words and phrases used in literature which appeal to one or more of
the five senses (see, hear, smell, taste, touch) and create word pictures in the
mind of the reader
– Visual - something described through sight, appears most commonly in
– Auditory - representation of a sound
– Olfactory - representation of a smell
– Gustatory - representation of a taste
– Tactile - touch: hardness, softness, wetness, heat, cold
Ex: “Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't
even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're
doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past.
Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person.
They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they
have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in
shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats
somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children
and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they
dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to
brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant
through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an
army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased
again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our
past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh...
people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.” -James Earl Jones as
Terence Mann, Field of Dreams
• The process of deriving logical
conclusions from premises known or
assumed to be true
• Dramatic: the audience knows something that
the characters do not
• Verbal: character says one thing and means
another (sarcasm)
• Situational: an incongruity between the intended
meaning of an action and the actual or
perceived meaning of an action
– Ex: A man steps backward to avoid getting
sprayed by a sprinkler only to fall in a
swimming pool.
• Placing two objects or ideas near one
another for comparison, contrast, or other
• “…and swiftly ran through all his evening
chores. Then he caught two more men
and feasted on them.” (juxtaposition of the
mundane chores with the heinous)
• Comparing 2 things (without using like or
• Ex:
– Life is a journey.
– This is our roadmap to peace.
• “All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;”
(Shakespeare, As You Like It)
• The atmosphere of a literary piece.
• The vibe or emotions that the writer
attempts to evoke from the reader.
• recurring element that has symbolic significance
in the story
• devices that can help to develop and inform the
text’s major themes.
• can be an idea, an object, a place, or a
• Ex: The Of Mice and Men author, John
Steinbeck, uses animals as repeated
symbols throughout his books.
• Words that sound like
what they are (or words
that imitate sounds)
• Ex: Snap, crackle, pop!
• Synonym for hyperbole
• Extreme exaggeration
• “I have told you a thousand times to stop
• contradictory word pair
• Ex:
“A little big”
“Pretty ugly”
"act naturally“
"found missing“
"alone together"
"peace force“
"terribly pleased“
"ill health"
"small crowd"
"clearly misunderstood"
“jumbo shrimp”
• Something that seems to
contradict itself, but actually
expresses a truth.
• Ex:
– “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
--Alexander Pope
– "The swiftest traveler is he that goes afoot."
--Henry David Thoreau, Walden
– "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is
--George Orwell, 1984
Parallel Structure
• Successive words, phrases, clauses with the
same or very similar grammatical structure.
• Ex: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us
well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any
burden, meet any hardship, support any
friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and
the success of liberty." --JFK
• Giving humanlike characteristics
to an inanimate object
• Ex: “The Wind” by James Stephens
The wind stood up and gave a shout.
He whistled on his fingers and
Kicked the withered leaves about
And thumped the branches with his hand
And said he'd kill and kill and kill,
And so he will and so he will.
• The deliberate and excessive use of
conjunctions in successive words or
• Ex: “Because he's the hero Gotham
deserves, but not the one it needs right now.
So we'll hunt him because he can take it.
Because he's not our hero.” –Lt. Gordon, The
Dark Knight
• Play on words
• Ex: I couldn't quite remember how to throw a
boomerang, but eventually it came back to me.
• Ex: What do you call cheese that doesn’t belong
to you? Nacho cheese!
• Ex: I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s
impossible to put down.
• Ex: I wondered why the baseball was getting
bigger. Then it hit me.
• Repeating words; rhetorical
strategy for producing
emphasis, clarity, amplification,
or emotional effect
• Many types: anaphora, polysyndeton, etc.
• Ex: “And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
(Robert Frost, "Stopping by Woods on
a Snowy Evening")
Rhetorical Fragment
• A word or phrase that is not a complete
sentence but punctuated as one.
• In other words, a fragment used on
Rhetorical Question
• figure of speech in the form of a question
posed for rhetorical effect rather than to
receive an answer
• Ex: "Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do
'practice'?” –George Carlin
• Ex: In The Simpsons, Lisa is singing Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in
the Wind," "How many roads must a man walk down/Before
you call him a man?”
Overhearing her, Homer shouts out, "Eight!"
Lisa: That was a rhetorical question!
Homer: Oh. Then, seven!
Lisa: Do you even know what rhetorical means?
Homer: Do I know what rhetorical means?"
• Literary technique in which ideas,
behaviors, institutions, etc. are ridiculed for
the purpose of improving society.
• The Onion
• Comparing 2 things using like, as,
resembles, than
• Ex: "Life is like an onion: You peel it off one
layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.” –Carl
• Ex: “My momma always said, ‘Life was like a
box of chocolates. You never know what you're
gonna get.’” –Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump
• “They were people, but lived like animals.”
(Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird)
• Something that represents
something beyond itself
• Ex:
– The American flag symbolizes freedom.
– An owl symbolizes wisdom.
– The phoenix symbolizes rebirth.
– The dove symbolizes peace.
• Arrangement of words in a sentence; choice of
word order; sentence structure or style. This
term is an umbrella term for a number of
rhetorical strategies.
• The central message of a literary work.
• It is expressed as a SENTENCE or
general statement about life or human
• One word is NOT a theme; it is a big idea
or subject. In other words, it would be
incorrect to say that love is a theme in
Romeo and Juliet.
Tragic Hero
• A dignified character in a tragedy who
experiences a downfall due to a fatal
character flaw
• Example: Romeo; Odysseus
• Author’s attitude toward a subject
• Form of irony in which a writer intentionally
makes a situation seem less important or
serious than it is
• Example: “It’s just a flesh wound.” (The
Black Knight, after having both arms cut
off, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)
• A writer’s unique use of language that
allows a reader to “hear” a human
personality in the work
• Includes syntax, diction, and tone
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