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Figurative Language Continued. Figurative Language. Remember, figurative language is non-literal language. The meaning goes beyond what is actually said. This time we will be look at Hyperbole Symbols Irony. Hyperbole. A hyperbole is an exaggeration that is based in truth.

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figurative language
Figurative Language
  • Remember, figurative language is non-literal language.
  • The meaning goes beyond what is actually said.
  • This time we will be look at
    • Hyperbole
    • Symbols
    • Irony
  • A hyperbole is an exaggeration that is based in truth.
  • Hyperboles must be founded on truth to be meaningful.
  • Hyperboles can add interest, sometimes humour, and emphasis to what you’re trying to say.
  • “I’m so tired I could sleep for a week.”
    • This is hyperbole.
    • I couldn’t literally sleep for a week, but it feels that way. The truth lies in the extent of the tiredness.
  • A symbol is something that stands for something else.
  • Like metaphors and similes, symbols mean more than they say.
  • But, symbols actually appear in the text as well as representing something else.
symbols example
Symbols Example
  • A rainbow is considered a symbol of hope.
    • If we were reading a story about a group of kids who survive a shipwreck by floating through dangerous waters on a raft, and the story ends with a description of a rainbow over an island in the distance, we would know that the kids will make it to the island.
    • The rainbow is physically there, but it is also a symbol of hope in the story.
  • Irony is saying the opposite of what you mean.
  • We use irony all the time in speech.
  • Irony is not meant to be taken literally.
  • Sarcasm is a form of irony that often has the intention to hurt.
  • Saying, “Nice day, isn’t it” when it’s rainy outside is ironic.
    • You don’t really mean that it’s a nice day.
figurative language 7
Figurative Language # 7
  • He could shoot bumblebees in the eye at sixty paces, and he was a man who was not afraid to shake hands with lightning.
    • Harold W. Felton, Pecos Bill and the Mustang

1. This is example of hyperbole. Of course, Pecos Bill couldn’t literally do these things. What, then, is the purpose of saying that he could?

figurative language 71
Figurative Language # 7
  • 2. Compare Felton’s sentence with this one:

He could shoot very well, and he was not afraid of anything.

Which sentence better helps the reader understand what Pecos Bill is like? Why?

now you try it
Now you try it
  • Write a sentence about a great basketball player, using hyperbole.
figurative language 8
Figurative Language # 8
  • Flowers and other things have been laid against the wall. There are little flags, an old teddy bear, and letters, weighted with stones so they won’t blow away. Someone has left a rose with a droopy head.
    • Eve Bunting, The Wall

1. This passage is from a book about the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. Identify the symbols and explain what they mean.

figurative language 81
Figurative Language # 8

2. Look at the last sentence about the rose. Remember that it is a rose, but it’s also something else. What does the rose usually symbolize. Why does it have a droopy head here? What does the droopy head add to our understanding of the symbol and the feeling of the passage.

now you try it1
Now you try it
  • Think of as many traditional symbols as you can and include what the symbols stand for. Share your answers with a partner.