Figurative Language

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Figurative Language and Imagery
ENG 340 Creative Writing

Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else, you are using figurative language. Figurative language is the use of language to describe something by comparing it to something else. It serves many linguistic purposes. It allows people to express abstract thoughts. It creates tone and communicates emotional content. The ability to use figurative language in writing can make a poem or story more enjoyable for the reader. Figurative language is taking words beyond their literal meaning and can come in many different forms, all to create a vivid picture of the written word. There are many ways to incorporate figurative language into writing, some of which come as naturally as speaking. A Simile uses the words “like” or “as” to compare one object or idea with another to suggest they are alike, such as “busy as a bee”. In Hart Crane’s, “My Grandmother’s Love Letters” he uses the simile ““liable to melt as snow” to describe the fragility of the letters that have been hidden away in the rafters. This use of figurative language helps the reader to visualize paper that may not be able to withstand someone touching it, but could also be used to convey the fact that not only is the paper old and fragile, but so is his grandmother. In writing, a simile would say you are “like something” whereas a metaphor would say “you are something”. A metaphor states a fact or draws a verbal picture by the use of comparison without using the words “like” or “as”. In “The Road Not Taken”, Robert Frost uses a walk in the woods as a metaphor for making a decision in life, a situation that readers can easily identify with, therefore making it easier to imagine what they are reading. An implied metaphor is a metaphor that compares two things without being obvious. “There are no stars tonight, But those of memory” from Hart Crane’s, “My Grandmother’s Love Letters” is a good example of an implied...
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