Metaphors and Similes

Literary Terms
•Metaphor: A comparison of two unlike
things that have something in common
–The clear lake was a mirror reflecting the
•Simile: A metaphor using “like” or “as”
–The lake was like a mirror.
• Irony: The contrast between what we
expect and what actually happens
– He was so busy helping other people
study that he did not study himself
and failed the test.
• Alliteration: The repetition of initial
consonant sounds
– Come quickly, Ken!
– She sells sea shells down by the sea
• Hyperbole: exaggeration to make a
– My backpack weighs a ton!
• Personification: Giving human
qualities to an inanimate object
– The wind screamed all night.
• Onomatopoeia: Words that
imitate the sounds they refer to
--The bacon sizzled and crackled in the
•Foreshadowing: Hints and clues that tip the
reader off as to what is to come later in the
–Nothing bad had happened…yet.
•Tone: The writer’s attitude towards
his or her subject
–Examples: amused, objective, angry,
•Mood: Atmosphere or feeling that a
literary work conveys to the reader.
–Examples: scary, happy, tension,
anticipation, suspenseful
• Understatement: when a writer or
speaker deliberately makes a situation
seem less important or serious than it
is. (opposite of hyperbole)
– It’s only 32 degrees below zero outside. Just a
bit chilly.
• Euphemism: A phrase used in place of
something disagreeable or upsetting
– He passed away.
– She has a bun in the oven.
– I need to use the facilities (restroom).
• Exposition: Characters, setting and
conflict are introduced.
• Rising Action: Conflict begins to develop
producing interest and suspense.
• Climax: The turning point of the story;
character(s) in conflict must make a
• Falling Action: Loose ends are beginning
to be tied up.
• Resolution: Story comes to a reasonable