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Writing About Literature

Writing About Literature

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Writing About Literature

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  1. Writing About Literature 11. Metaphor and Simile

  2. Metaphor • A comparison between two distinctly different things that actually have at least one thing in common. • Examples: • Baby this town rips the bones from yourback. It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap. -- “Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen • Eye, gazelle, delicate wandererDrinker of horizon’s fluid line. -- “Not Palaces, An Era’s Crown” by Stephen Spender

  3. Tenor and Vehicle • The building blocks of a metaphor. • Tenor is the subject that the metaphor is applied to. • Vehicle is the figure of speech which conveys meaning and helps us understand the tenor. • Example: America is a melting pot. • Tenor: America • Vehicle: melting pot

  4. tenor vehicle O, my love is like a red, red rose, (original: O, my luve's like a red, red rose, ) --Robert Burns "Red, Red Rose"

  5. tenor vehicle My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun --Emily Dickinson

  6. tenor vehicle tenor vehicle I was of three minds, Like a tree In which there are three blackbirds --Wallace Stevens “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

  7. tenor vehicle I'm a riddle in nine syllables, An elephant, a ponderous house, A melon strolling on two tendrils. --Sylvia Plath “Metaphors”

  8. Implicit metaphor • A metaphor in which the tenor is not specified, only implied. • Example: That reed was too frail to survive the storm of its sorrows. --M.H. Abrams • Unspecified Tenor: a human being; Vehicle: reed • Specified Tenor: sorrows; Vehicle: storm

  9. Simile • A comparison between two distinctly different things that actually have at least one thing in common, indicated by the terms “like” or “as.” While metaphor asserts identity, simile asserts similarity: When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherised upon a table from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by TS Eliot Idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge There are knives that glitter like altars In a dark church from "Butcher Shop" by Charles Simic