Figurative Language

Figurative language by giving the writing a fictional effect, makes a literary work more interesting. The reader has more room to expand on the literal meaning as a result. A thorough explanation will aid in your comprehension of metaphorical language.

What is Figurative Language?

Words or word combinations with metaphorical meanings are those that do not have a literal meaning. It adds a creative touch that makes oral or written communication more interesting. The reader is affected by the “word” or “word phrase” because it conveys an overstated meaning that it does not actually have.

Examples

The mother said that her child was the sunshine of her life.

‘Sunshine’ is used figuratively in this line. The mother’s referenced child meant the world to her. She gave the child the name “sunshine” for this reason. However, if you consider the word “sunshine” in its literal sense, the sentence loses its intended meaning.

May I have dinner now? I am starving!

In the aforementioned illustration, “I am starving” is a heightened version of “being hungry.” The word does not indicate to be “starving,” but rather to be “hungry” and unable to wait for meals.

The aforementioned examples show us unequivocally how reading or listening to figurative language enables us to picture the meaning. Additionally, it makes sentences sound more intriguing to readers or listeners.

Types of Figurative Language

Here, we’ll go over the main categories of figurative languages. These types modify the writing style and add interest to the narrative because they can be utilized to communicate a variety of emotions or expressions in English.

Personification

Personification is a sort of metaphorical language where non-living things are given the characteristics of living beings. Additionally, personification can be found in many pieces of English literature. Personification is a technique we utilize to convey the force of our thoughts. By giving non-living things human characteristics using figurative language, the author gives the reader a more vibrant impression of the statement.

Examples

I felt scared in the middle of the ferocious waves.

‘ferocious waves’ is a personification used in the sentence. We are aware that ‘waves’ are inanimate objects. However, we can use the phrase “ferocious waves” to convey the idea of dangerous waves. The waves here are unusual. The statement alone contains a warning about potential danger.

The lily flower is dancing in the wind.

‘Lily blossom’ is personified in the statement by reference to ‘dancing in the wind’. Although it cannot dance, a flower can move in response to the wind. However, with such personification, the reader is given a visual and intriguing notion of the entire narrative.

Similes

Similes are expressions that use the prepositions “like” or “as” to compare two different word kinds. And in that way, it suggests that the two terms have similar qualities.

Examples

He has been as busy as a bee for the last two months.

In the sentence, “he” (a person) is compared to “a bee” for being extremely busy. Bees build beehives quickly and continuously for that purpose. Therefore, anyone claiming “as busy as a bee” can be compared to demonstrate a similar quality.

The man in the crowd is as brave as a lion, fighting against all odds to get justice.

The phrase “the man” is as courageous “as a lion.” We are aware of the lion’s fearlessness. We can compare such bravery with a smile if we observe this daring trait in any human.

Metaphor

Metaphor indicates a comparison between two things (living or non-living things) without using ‘like’ or ‘as’. And this is the difference between metaphor and simile.

Examples

He is a couch potato who spends all day eating and binge-watching TV shows.

In the sentence, ‘he’ is a ‘lazy person’. His laziness is compared to a couch potato, which does not mean a literal ‘potato on the couch’!

Hyperbole

In order to convey emotion and intensity of meaning, exaggerated thoughts are expressed through the use of hyperbole. The use of hyperbole makes it impossible to interpret its meaning literally. It compels the reader to invent an inflated meaning.

Examples

He has a million things to do today.

In the sentence, ‘he’ has many things to do, and it is expressed with ‘million’ things.

I have watched this TV show a hundred times.

Here, ‘a hundred times’ means many times, and it does not indicate the exact hundred times.

Allusion

An allusion is a literary device used to make reference to a certain location, time, object, or even another literary work. Because the meaning cannot be fully appreciated without the reference, it is assumed that the reader is aware of it.

Examples

The allure reminds me of Pandora’s box.

The allusion in the line is to Pandora’s box. It is called Pandora’s box because the “allure” is comparable to the effects of “Pandora’s box.” We are aware that the woman with the enigmatically wrapped box in Greek mythology is known as Pandora. She eagerly opened it to see what was inside. But because of her error, everything wicked in the box came to earth.

Purpose and Use of Figurative Language

Figurative language is used to increase the reader appeal of a piece of writing. It aids in creating a creative link between the writer’s and the reader’s thinking. The English language allows for a wide range of figurative language usage. It enables the writer to employ a variety of writing styles. It aims to infuse the text with emotion, irony, exaggeration, and a variety of tones. However, using figurative language too frequently loses its flavor and makes the idea harder to understand.

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Conclusion

Figurative language can alter the writing’s tone. A dull piece of writing becomes intriguing as a result. It works best when used sparingly. Therefore, you need to use caution when writing in figurative language. The various forms of figurative language provide readers a sample of various writing styles.

FAQs

Questions and Answers 1. What do you mean by “figurative language”?

Ans. Figurative language uses exaggerated expression rather than literal meaning to suggest the writing is in an artistic form.

Question number two: Why use a simile?

Ans. A simile compares two things by utilizing the words “as” or “like.”

Why do we utilize metaphors in language?

Ans. In order to write something more engagingly and artistically, we often employ figurative language.

What purpose does personification serve in a sentence?

Answer: Personification is a literary device in which non-living objects are given human traits. In this approach, it helps to make the writing more engaging and communicative.

 

 

 

 

 

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