Literary Devices Not as scary as they seem
Devices of Figurative Language Metaphor, Simile, Personification, Hyperbole, Synecdoche, Metonymy
Metaphor • Denotation: • A direct comparison between two things, where one thing takes the place of another. • Example: • I have a mountain of laundry to wash this weekend. • My kitchen was a disaster zone after the party guests went home.
Simile • Denotation: • A direct comparison between two unlike things which uses either “like” or “as” • Example: • The toddler hit the living room like a tornado, leaving toys scattered everywhere. • The engine ran like an offensive lineman, so we bought a new car.
Personification • Denotation: • Giving human-like qualities to something that is not human (either animal or inanimate) • Example: • It was so cold that the trees were shivering and the birds put on extra socks. • I was late to school this morning because my keys were hiding from me.
Hyperbole • Denotation: • Exaggeration. It is used to make a strong point, not meant to be taken literally. • Example: • We have one million hours of homework from Mr. Marsh and Ms. Spiceland every night. • I met Shaquille O’neal once; he was eighty feet tall.
Synecdoche • Denotation: • A type of metonymy where a part represents a whole. • Example: • He asked for her hand in marriage. • My sister just bought a new ragtop, and she wants to take us all out for ice cream to celebrate.
Metonymy • Denotation: • Calling something by something closely associated with it, but not by its own name. • Example: • When the story got out to the press, the entire school became famous. • The candidate campaigned on bringing change to the White House.
Devices of Sound Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Onomatopoeia, Slant Rhyme
Alliteration • Denotation: • Two or more words with the same beginning consonant sound • Example: • Lovely lucky ladies’ lunch. • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Assonance • Denotation: • Words with the same internal vowel sound • Example: • Puppy and Duck • I wrote an ode to a gross host who didn’t wash her toes.
Consonance • Denotation: • Repetition of the same consonant sound, not to be confused with alliteration. • Example: • All mammals named Sam are clammy. • “And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain” – Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”
Onomatopoeia • Denotation: • When a word is defined by its sound • Example: • The thunder boomed in the distance. • “Knock, knock!” said the visitor, walking through my open classroom door.
Slant Rhyme • Denotation: • “Rhyming” lines of poetry which do not actually rhyme, but end with the same consonant sound. • Also called half rhyme, near rhyme, or imperfect rhyme. • Example: • Soul and all • Hard and tired • Food and good
Devices of Reference Allusion, Apostrophe
Allusion • Denotation: • Making reference to literature, history, art, a place, a person, or mythology. • Example: • I named my cat Schroedinger because he likes to get into boxes. • It’s like he has the Midas touch; he’s never failed to make money with his crazy schemes.
Apostrophe • Denotation: • Addressing something that cannot hear. This could be something inanimate or someone not present. • Example: • O Muse!Come help me write these examples for my students! • Curse you, rain! How dare you ruin my baseball game!