Figurative Language English II
Figurative Language Is… • Language that uses words or expressions with a meaning that is different from the literal interpretation • Describing something by comparing it to something else
Kinds of Figurative Language (The Ones You’ll Be Expected To Know in This Class) • Tone • Mood • Irony • Idiom • Pun • Alliteration • Onomatopoeia • Simile • Metaphor • Symbolism • Personification • Imagery • Allusions • Hyperbole
Simile • Simile - comparison of two things using “like” or “as” • One of the easiest pieces of figurative language to use in writing • Examples…
Simile • Kool Moe Dee: “I Go to Work” “I go to work like a boxer / Train the brain and aim to out fox ya / Like a punch my rhyme rocks ya / Some times it knocks ya / So hard it stops ya / Dead in your tracks / So power packed / Before you can react / You're flat on your back” • This simile conveys how __________.
Simile • Joel Plaskett: “Precious, Precious, Precious” “You’re like a fragile Ming Dynasty vase / You’re a rare 45 that you’re scared to play / You’re a hundred dollar bill in a penny arcade” • What is the simile being used to convey?
Metaphor • Metaphor - comparison of two different things without using “like” or “as” • Shows that you are in better control of language if you use metaphors rather than similes • Examples…
Metaphor • Simon and Garfunkel: “I Am a Rock” “I am a rock, I am an island / I've built walls, a fortress deep and mighty.” • What do you know about the singer from this metaphor?
Metaphor • The Coasters: “Poison Ivy” “She's pretty as a daisy, but look out man, she's crazy / She'll really do you in, if you let her get under your skin.” • What did you learn about the girl from these metaphors? • What does the title lead you to believe?
Symbolism • Symbolism - a noun that has meaning in itself is used to represent something entirely different • Incredibly important in literature, movies, etc. • Examples…
Symbolism • Bruce Springsteen (but covered by Dion & The Belmonts): “If I Should Fall Behind” • “Now there's a beautiful river in the valley ahead / There 'neath the oak's bough soon we will wed / Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees / I'll wait for you, and if I should fall behind wait for me.” • What do the symbols (the beautiful river and valley; the shadow) represent?
Personification • Personification - human characteristics associated with non-human things • Anthropomorphic (animals having human qualities) literature and film are extremely common: Animal Farm, Finding Nemo, animals in Disney films, etc. • Examples…
Personification • Weakerthans: “Left & Leaving” “My city is still breathing but barely it's true / through buildings gone missing like teeth / The sidewalks are watching me think about you / sparkled with broken glass.” • What emphasis does the song give when the city is watching the speaker?
Imagery • Imagery - use of an object that is not there to create a comparison between a different object • Helps create a more meaningful experience • Using the five senses • Examples…
Imagery • The Shangri-Las: “Give Him a Great Big Kiss” “When I say I’m in love, you best believe I’m in love, L-U-V / Here comes my guy, walking down the street / Look how he walks with a dancing beat / Thick wavy hair, a little too long / All day long he’s singing his song” • This example of imagery helps you see exactly what the girl sees.
Imagery • Murder by Death: “Spring Break 1899” “The sun is comin’ up over the hill / Or maybe it’s not, I can’t even tell / But there’s a warmth on my face that isn’t the blood / and my tears are turnin’ the snow into mud / And I can’t feel my left leg but I think it’s still there / Did I kill anybody / Hell, I never fight fair / What state am I in / Am I still on the run…” • How does this imagery set the scene for the song? What do we learn about the speaker?
Allusions • Allusion - references to other literary works or historical figures • Not “illusion” - that’s a ghost or a spirit, and that’s totally different • It’s up to the reader to decide why someone or something has been referenced in a book • Examples…
Allusions • Lady Gaga: “Bloody Mary” “Love is just a history that they may prove / And when you’re gone, I’ll tell them my religion’s you / When Punk-tius comes to kill the king upon his throne / I’m ready for their stones / I’ll dance (dance dance) with my hands (hands hands) / above my head (head head) like Jesus said” • Who are the figures she is referencing (three total)? • Why does she change the name of one of them?
Allusions • Reeve Oliver: “I Want Burns” • “Heaven sent and so complete / I wonder if she misses me / When I am not around / I’m trying to be quiet / but I wanna start a riot in the street / So she’d come down / She doth teach the torches to burn bright” • “She doth teach the torches to burn bright” is from Romeo and Juliet. What does it mean?
Hyperbole • Hyperbole - an over-the-top exaggeration • Remember, it’s an exaggeration to prove a point, not just a lie for no reason • I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse. • What does it mean? • Examples…
Hyperbole • The Proclaimers: “500 Miles” “I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more / to be the man who walked a 1000 miles to fall down at your door” • What is the singer saying by using this hyperbole?
Hyperbole • Mr. T Experience (covered by Emocapella): “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend” “And even Hitler had a girlfriend that he could always call / Who'd always be there for him despite of all his faults / He was the worst guy ever, vile and despised / Even Hitler had a girlfriend so why can't I? Why can't I?” • What is the singer trying to convey? • How does hyperbole help? How does it go overboard?
Halftime Review! • What are these lyrics an example of? Shania Twain: “That Don’t Impress Me Much” “Okay, so you’re Brad Pitt? / That don’t impress me much / So you’ve got the looks but have you got the touch?” • Hyperbole • Allusion • Personification • Imagery
Halftime Review! • What are these lyrics an example of? • Joanna Newsom: “Monkey and Bear” “Did you hear that, Bear?” said Monkey / “We’ll get out of here, fair and square / They’ve left the gate open wide… / … Will you keep your fancy clothes on, for me? / Can you bear a little longer to wear that leash?” • Simile • Irony • Personification • Hyperbole
Halftime Review! • What are these lyrics an example of? • The Gaslight Anthem: “We Came to Dance” “And if they end it all by the end of tonight / If the big bomb drops down over this quiet Edison sky” • Metaphor • Simile • Personification • Hyperbole
Mood and Tone • Mood and/or Tone - the feeling or atmosphere of the piece • They are different, but can generally be used to describe the same things • Examples…
Mood and Tone • Aaliyah: “Are You That Somebody?” “Boy, I been watching you like a hawk in the sky up high / like you are my prey / Boy, I promise if we keep grippin’ hands / I know what one of these days / We goin’ hook it up, probably talk on the phone / But see, I don’t know if that’s good / I been holding back this secret from you / I probably shouldn’t tell it…” • What’s the message in the lyrics? • What’s the tone?
Mood and Tone • The Smiths: “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” “Take me out tonight / Take me anywhere, I don’t care / I don’t care, I don’t care / And in the darkened underpass / I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last / But then a strange fear gripped me / and I just couldn’t ask” • What’s the message in the lyrics? • What’s the tone?
Mood and Tone • Good, Bad, and the Queen: “’80s Life” “Call it living in this country / Calling it missing dawn patrol / It’s ‘80s life / And it’s all gone right on you” • After hearing the music, what is the mood the band is trying to convey?
Irony • Irony - the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning • People sometimes say things are ironic when, in reality, they’re just unfortunate (Alanis Morrisette’s entire song “Ironic”) • Good examples • From the movie Dr. Strangelove: “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the war room.” • Act natural. • Examples…
Irony • The Descendents: “Suburban Home” “ I don't want no hippie pad / I want a house just / Like mom and dad / I want to be stereotyped / I want to be classified / I want to be a statistic / I want to be masochistic / I want to be a clone / I want a suburban home” • What is the irony in this song?
Idiom • Idiom - a phrase that has figurative meaning and is understood as an expression but has no literal meaning • These are really hard to understand when learning a new language. • Examples…
Idiom • Martika: “Cross My Heart” “Cross my heart, hope to die / May lightning strike me if I’m telling a lie / Cross my heart, I swear it’s true / I’ve never loved anyone more than I’m loving you / Cross my heart, it’s true” • What are the idioms in this song? • If she was being completely literal, what could she say instead?
Idiom • Detroit Cobras: “Out of This World” “You really got something that’s out of this world / Gonna leave my heart on the floor now / Hey, help me baby” • What are the idioms in this song? • If she was being completely literal, what could she say instead?
Pun • Pun - a word that has several meanings, and all (or many) of them apply • Fun fact: Ms. Nazzaro hates puns! • Examples…
Puns • Britney Spears: “Hold It Against Me” “If I said my heart was beating loud / If we could escape the crowd somehow / If I said I want your body now / Would you hold it against me?” • Even Britney understands that several meanings are better than one when it comes to pop music.
Alliteration • Alliteration - repetition of a particular sound in the first syllables of a series of words and/or phrases • Helps create a rhythm when reading • Examples…
Alliteration • Jackson Five: “Rockin’ Robin” • “Pretty little raven at the bird-band stand / Told them how to do the bop and it was grand / They started going steady and bless my soul / He out-bopped the buzzard and the oriole” • What does the alliteration do in the song?
Alliteration • D.O.C.: “Whirlwind Pyramid” “Amplified by a microphone, my point it known / So yo, leave the pad at home” • It’s not just a rhyme scheme in this sense, it’s to further the mood and tone of the song
Onomatopoeia • Onomatopoeia - use of a word which sounds like it means • Used a lot in juvenile fiction, not so much in adult/general literature • Examples…
Onomatopoeia • Free Energy: “Bang Pop” • “Bang pop pop / When does this searchin’ stop? / Bang bang pop pop / When the mind goes / Bang bang pop pop / Where does the moment stop? / Bang pop pop, oh waaay oh” • In music, maybe onomatopoeia doesn’t do much besides provide a fun chorus. • But in literature, it helps create mood and provide some more sensory detail.
End-of-Game Review! • What are these lyrics an example of? Joanna Newsom: “Peach, Plum, Pear” “We speak in the store / I’m a sensitive bore / You seem markedly more / And I’m oozing surprise” • Pun • Onomatopoeia • Alliteration • Mood
End-of-Game Review! • What are these lyrics an example of? The Pipettes: “Pull Shapes” “Pull shapes! / I like to disco / I like to rock ‘n’ roll / Well, I like to hip hop / We can do it all / Just don’t let the music stop” • Pun • Idiom • Alliteration • Irony
End-of-Game Review! • What are these lyrics an example of? Nicki Minaj: “Moment 4 Life” “This very moment I slay Goliath with a sling / This very moment I bring / Put it on everything that I will retire with the ring / And I will retire with the crown” • Simile • Idiom • Allusion • Irony
End-of-Game Review! • What are these lyrics an example of? The Fixx: “One Thing Leads to Another” “You see dimensions in two / State your case with black or white / But when one little cross leads to shots / Grit your teeth / You run for cover, so discreet” • Simile • Idiom • Allusion • Symbolism
Assignment • For homework (or, if you have your iPod, classwork), you will find three songs that each use one different kind of figurative language. • On a piece of paper, write… • each song title (in quotation marks, like “Spring Break 1899”) • the artist • the type of figurative language • the lyric(s) that contain the figurative language • what it means!