Figurative Language

Figurative Language
 Take a look at the following examples of figurative
 As we look at each example, try to think about what
each example has in common.
 Imagery- writing that appeals to one or more of the
five senses---sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. The
use of imagery paints a living picture for the reader.
A new sound, raucous and sassy
Cascading over the asphalt village
Breaking against the black sky over
1-2-5 Street
Announcing Hallelujah
Riffing past resolution
- Harlem, Walter Dean Myers
Figurative Language
 Metaphor- describes one thing as if it were something
 "Between the lower east side tenements
the sky is a snotty handkerchief." (Marge Piercy, "The
Butt of Winter")
 "The streets were a furnace, the sun an executioner.”
(Cynthia Ozick, "Rosa")
 "But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely
hill." (William Sharp, "The Lonely Hunter")
Figurative Language
 Personification- gives human qualities to something nonhuman.
“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.”
(James Stephens, "The Wind")
Figurative Language
 Simile- uses “like” or “as” to compare two unlike things.
His skin was as cold as ice.
It felt as hard as a rock.
She looked as gentle as a lamb.
My love is like a red, red rose.
These cookies taste like garbage.
His explanation was as clear as mud.
Watching the show was like watching paint dry.
A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle – U2
It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog. -The Beatles.
 Like a Rolling Stone- Bob Dylan
Figurative Language
 Idiom- an expression whose meaning is not predictable
based on the words used.
 "He should be in jail for what he did, but he got off with just a
slap on the wrist.”
 “It looked like Sally got a taste of her own medicine."
 Kirk: If we play our cards right, we may be able to find out
when those whales are being released.
Spock: How will playing cards help?
(Captain James T. Kirk and Spock in Star Trek IV: The Voyage
Home, 1986)
 "Fads are the kiss of death. When the fad goes away, you go
with it."
(Conway Twitty)
Figurative Language
 Hyperbole- extreme exaggeration
 "I was helpless. I did not know what in the
world to do. I was quaking from head to
foot, and could have hung my hat on my
eyes, they stuck out so far."
(Mark Twain, "Old Times on the
 Yo’ mama is so big she threw on a sheet for
Halloween and went as Antarctica!
 Yo’ mama is so ugly that when she went to
the beautician, it took her twelve hours…
to get a quote!
Figurative Language
 Take three minutes to
write down some descriptions of the word figurative
language. These are YOUR OWN ideas, not someone
else’s, so DON’T TALK about them yet.
jot down related terms
draw a picture/symbols that you think relates to the
term (and can help you remember the term)