Figurative language What is figurative language? By Mrs. Ferrell Mitchell Elementary Figurative language • Figurative language uses "figures of speech" - a way of saying something other than the literal meaning of the words. • Literal meaning is what something actually says that it is. • Figurative meaning is what something represents. Idioms: In the sentence, It’s raining cats and dogs, • The literal meaning is: • Cats and dogs are falling from the sky. • The figurative meaning is: • It is raining a lot. Similes: In the sentence: Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’ll get next. • The literal meaning is: • Life is really a box of chocolate candy. • The figurative meaning is: • Life is uncertain because you do not know what will happen next. Metaphors: In the sentence: That car is a bullet. • • • • The literal meaning is: The automobile is some type of slug. The figurative meaning is: The automobile is incredibly fast. There are several types of figurative language. • • • • Metaphors Similes Hyperboles Personification Metaphors • A metaphor is a comparison. • Comparisons associate two things that are usually unalike. They evaluate how they are alike. • Metaphors compare two things that are usually not compared. Metaphors compare two things. • From Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, she writes, “When you go owling you don’t need words or warm or anything but hope. That’s what Pa says. The kind of hope that flies on silent wings under a shining Owl Moon.” • What two things are being compared in the metaphor? • They are hope and flying with silent wins under an Owl Moon. How are they alike? • Hope lifts your spirits, and flying lifts things in the air. What two things are being compared? • From White Snow Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt, he writes, “Even the church steeple wore a pointed cap on its top.” • They are the church steeple and white pointed cap. How are they alike? • They are both triangles pointing up. What are the metaphors, and what do they mean? • My love is a red, red rose. • Happiness is a cheese pizza. • - All the world's a stage, – And all the men and women merely players – They have their exits and their entrances; — (William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2/7) Similes • A simile is a metaphor using the words like , as, than, seems, or as if. • Most similes use like or as. • They compare two things that are essentially unalike. • “She’s as busy as a bee,” is a familiar simile. What does it mean? More Similes • Faith Ringgold writes in Tar Beach, “Daddy said that the George Washington Bridge is the longest and most beautiful bridge in the world . . . I can wear it like a giant diamond necklace, or just fly above it and marvel at its sparkling beauty. • What two things are being compared in the simile? How are they alike? “ I could wear (the bridge) like a diamond necklace.” Poor as a church mouse. strong as an ox, cute as a button, smart as a fox. thin as a toothpick, white as a ghost, fit as a fiddle, dumb as a post. bald as an eagle, neat as a pin, proud as a peacock, ugly as sin. When people are talking you know what they’ll say as soon as they start To use a cliché. Hyperboles • Hyperboles are bold, deliberate overstatements not intended to be taken literally. They are used as a means of emphasizing the truth of a statement. From Robert Frost’s poem “After Apple Picking” • “Of apple-picking: I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired. There were ten thousand fruit to touch, Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall. For all . . .” • What is over-exaggerated? From Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening” • Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. • Can the woods really fill up with snow? • What does he mean? Personification • Personification is a comparison in which distinct human qualities like honesty, emotion, beauty, agility, etc., are attributed to animals, plants, or things. The Mirror by Slyvia Path • I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions. Whatever I see I swallow immediately Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike. I am not cruel, only truthful— • How is the mirror personified? Remember The Little Engine That Could? • How was the train given human qualities? • It showed persistence. It never gave up when trying to get up the hill. Remember The Gingerbread Boy? • He used problem solving skills by running away from the people who wanted to eat him. Which statements show personification? • • • • • • • • • Walking desks took over the school. We listen to the wind. The dog stares carefully at the visitor. My hamster loves food. The flowers dance in the wind. Fall leaves skipped down the sidewalk. My dog read my mind. His brother smiles at the sunshine. The wind whispers its secrets through the trees. Dreams by Langston Hughes Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow. What is personified? Explain. A symbol is one thing that stands for another. • The U.S. flag is a symbol of our country. We know what it stands for when we see it. More common symbols: What do they mean? Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. Works Cited Frost, Robert. 2006. Accessed 3 Noember 2006. <http://www.coldbacon.com/poems/frost.html>. Lansky, Bruce. 2000. If Pigs Could Fly . . . And Other Deep Thoughts. Minnetonka, Minnesota: Meadowbrook Press. Ringgold, Faith. 1991. Tar Beach. New York: Crown Publisher, Inc. Shakespeare, William. 1939. As You Like It. Boston: Ginn and Co. Teesselt, Alvin. 1988. White Snow, Bright Snow. New York: Mulberry Books. Yolen, Jane. 1987. Owl Moon. New York: Philomel Books.