Metaphors and Similes

advertisement
Metaphors and Similes
Tenor, Ground and Vehicle
How can you figure out a metaphor or simile
if it does not make sense at first?
Well, you break the metaphor or simile into
tenor, vehicle and ground.
What does that mean?
The tenor of a metaphor or simile is the
thing being described.
Let’s look at Langston Hughes’s poem
“Dreams.”
Dreams
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.
Tenor
OK, in this poem, Langston Hughes is trying
to describe what?
Tenor
He is trying to describe dead dreams—the
kind we have lost for our future. Thus, for
the first stanza, life with dead dreams is
being compared to a broken-winged bird.
What does he mean by that?
Vehicle
The vehicle of a metaphor or simile is the
new meaning that the poet is attaching to
the tenor. Vehicles carry things; thus, the
vehicle of a metaphor carries new
meaning.
Vehicle
So, the vehicle of Hughes’ metaphor is a
“broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
Ground
The meaning of a metaphor lies in the
similarities between the thing being
described and the thing that is describing
it. This is the ground of a metaphor. So
then, what do broken-winged birds and
living with dead dreams have in common?
Ground
What are some traits of living with dead
dreams?
Ground
What are some traits of a broken-winged
bird?
Ground
What are the traits that overlap in your lists?
The overlap is the ground, the meaning
the poet intended to convey with the
metaphor.
Download
Related flashcards

Hydrology

28 cards

Create Flashcards