The Language of Comparison Literal v. Figurative Language Literal language Means exactly what it says it means Ex. That boy is smart. Figurative language Uses the language of comparison Not literally true But truth exists in the connection between two seemingly unlike things Ex. That boy is sharp as a tack. The Power of the Language of Metaphor Good similes and metaphors create different levels of recognition in the reader. 1st level: “I knew that.” 2nd—“I would have known that.” 3rd—“Wow! I never would have made that connection myself!” Excellent metaphors surprise us into a recognition that we would never have gotten on our own. They hand us an experience that gives us a new way of seeing the world. Simile A comparison between two seemingly unlike things, using “like” or “as” Formulas A is like B. A is as _____ as B. Example: The bruise on her arm was like a large purple flower. The bruise on her arm was as purple as a dark flower. Direct Metaphor A figure of speech that directly compares two seemingly unlike things Formula: A is B (A = B) Example: The bruise on her arm was a large purple flower. Implied Metaphor A metaphor that suggests, rather than states directly, the connection between two seemingly unlike things by assigning the characteristics of one to the other Does not directly name one of the items being compared Drops hints about it Formula: A has specific characteristics/qualities (of B). Example: The purple bruise on her arm blossomed quickly. The word “flower” never appears directly, but the bruise (A) is given the characteristics of a flower (B) in that it is purple and blossoms. Personification Assigning human characteristics to an animal or thing Is a type of implied metaphor Example: The wind whispered its secrets through the trees. Analysis: The implication is that the wind is human—only humans can tell secrets. Extended Metaphor Taking a metaphor, whether direct or implied, and exploring different points of comparison between the two items—not just one Think of turning a diamond over in your hand, exploring each facet, instead of looking at it only from the top. Often runs through several lines of a poem Ex. Robert Frost’s “A Hillside Thaw” Application/Practice Time! Using the following two seemingly unlike things, create original examples of two different types of similes, a direct metaphor, and an implied metaphor: Stapler Alligator Even though these two items are seemingly unlike, think of all the possible connections you could make between them. What qualities or characteristics do they share? Similes: A is like B The stapler is like an alligator. The stapler snapped down on the paper like an alligator on its prey. The stapler is like an alligator chomping its jaws on the paper. The stapler locked my paper like the jaws of an alligator. The stapler’s metallic incisors are those of an irate alligator. (A is like B.) A stapler silently waits for its prey like an alligator. The alligator shut its jaws, and like a stapler to paper, stuck to the gazelle’s leg. Similes: A is as _____ as B A stapler is as quick as an alligator. The stapler is as mean as the jaws of an alligator. The stapler swung open like the thrashing tail of an alligator. The staples are as sharp as an alligator’s teeth. A stapler is as heartless to its victims as an alligator is to its own. The stapler lies in wait like an alligator ready to pounce on its prey. The alligat0r’s body was like a stapler, thick, tough as metal, and ready to pierce. Direct Metaphor The stapler is an alligator. The stapler is the head of a black alligator. This paper pincher is no less than a fresh-water predator. A stapler is an alligator with its intimidating bite. The stapler was a powerful alligator with clenched jaws. When merging stack of papers, the stapler becomes a hungry alligator. As I watched the teacher prepare the homework, her stapler became an alligator on attack. The stapler looked hungry, waiting; its jaws were those of an alligator’s, ready to close on its prey. Implied Metaphor The stapler sits with open jaws in wait for its next feast. The stapler waits patiently for its prey, the paper. The stapler clamped its jaws on my paper. The stapler’s teeth gnashed viciously at my paper. I keep a tiny alligator in my pencil pouch.