Figurative Language: special effects for books!
Writers could just give us the facts. • Example: Superman can run really fast.
He changed really fast, didn't he? • How about this? • Like a speeding bullet shot across the way, Clark Kent changed into Superman and grabbed the bad guy before he knew what hit him.
By using figurative language, writers paint pictures for the reader's mind.
So now that you know about the power of language, why not learn the tools of the trade?
simile: original comparison using "like" or "as." • Like a speeding bullet shot across the way, Clark Kent changed into Superman and grabbed the bad guy before he knew what hit him.
metaphor: original comparison without "like" or "as." • Superman was a streaking comet in the sky.
analogy: an original, extended comparison explaining the relationship between two unrelated things. • Superman was a streaking comet in the sky. He soared high above the planet and left a trail that could be seen from miles away.
hyperbole: exaggeration. • The student was so eager to get to English class, he broke an Olympic record.
idiom: an unoriginal figurative expression. • The student didn't get any sleep last night and didn't eat a good breakfast. She was running on empty.
personification: describing things by giving them human qualities. • The tea kettle was screaming.
Writers choose a simile, metaphor, etc. with a purpose in mind. • tone: author's attitude toward the subject. • mood: feeling or atmosphere. • His hands began to tremble. He could feel extra hair, like vines, twining up and down his body. Knowing the change was coming, his heart beat faster and his breathing increased as he braced for evil while staring at the full moon.