Figurative Language Versus Literal Language

Topics: Metaphor, Simile, Analogy Pages: 3 (868 words) Published: May 17, 2013
"Figurative Language versus Literal Language"
Danielle Rhymes
Critical Thinking
April 28, 2013

When we think of literal language, we know exactly what it means. The definition of literal language is simple: what you say is exactly how it is. There is no hidden meaning behind it. If I taste something that I don’t like, I would simply say “it nasty”. That’s literal language. On the other hand, there is figurative language which is the opposite of literal language. Figurative is saying one thing, but it had a different meaning. Again if I were to eat something nasty, using figurative language I would say “this soup taste like dirty socks”. This paper is going to discuss the different types of literal and figurative languages.

An idiom is a word or phrase which means something different from what it says - it is usually a metaphor. It is a common phrase that people may use in certain situations but not all the time. For example: if a woman is fed up with her boyfriend’s behavior, she may tell him to shape up or ship out, which is like saying improve your behavior or leave if you don't. Another situation that this can be used for is in a manager/employee relationship. Analogy

A literary analogy is a comparison in which the subject is compared point by point to something far different, usually with the idea of clarifying the subject by comparing it to something familiar. An example of an analogy is to say that someone is moving slow like a turtle. You actually want to say that they are moving at a slow pace, but comparing them to a turtle makes that point for you.

The purpose of the metaphor is to use the qualities of the one element to illustrate the qualities in the other. A metaphor can be used in a positive or negative way. To use a metaphor in a positive light would be to say “she is like a butterfly”. That would be saying that the woman is very beautiful and free spirited. On...
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