September 10, 2012
Critical Thinking – Assignment #2
In any story there are two types of language, figurative and literal. Language is, of course a necessary factor of any story. Without Language, an author could not tell the story. The author usually uses a combination of these two languages. Together, these languages characterize the author’s style. Literal language means exactly what is says, literal. It employs the primary meaning of a term or expression. It is actual, obvious, and free from exaggeration. An example of this would be: The girl baked the cake. Figurative language is imaginative, not literal. It employs figures of speech such as similes, metaphors, symbols, irony, and others. When someone uses a figure of speech, they are doing so to enhance or heighten the effect of the story. Usually a figure of speech is used to convey a secondary meaning. This conveyance is usually accomplished by comparing one thing to another that has a meaning presumably familiar to the reader. More often than not, the two things being compared are dissimilar. The secondary meaning that is created by the figurative language adds an element of interpretation or comparison not found in literal language. An example would be: The girl ran across the street like a frightened squirrel. The simile like a frightened squirrel is the author’s interpretation of the girl’s action. The simile adds depth to the reader’s perception. Figurative language is most effective when it appeals to common everyday experiences. Figurative imagery generally compares some abstract object or quality to some tangible concrete Critical Thinking Assignment 2
object. These comparisons take on many forms and the various forms are called figures of speech. A simile is a comparison between two dissimilar objects. This comparison is introduced by like or as. It is a...