Presentation on theme: "Tropes and Rhetorical Figures"— Presentation transcript:
1 Tropes and Rhetorical Figures Figurative LanguageTropes and Rhetorical Figures
2 The difference between the language of science and the language of literature The special language of science uses words and expressions that communicate one thing at a time without the danger of confusion or of multiple interpretations. Polytetrafluoroethylene probably means the same thing every sentence in which it appears. It is hard to imagine a circumstance where it could be used ironically and it is unlikely to find its way into a simile or metaphor.The language of literature and common life, however, is filled with words and expressions used figuratively, words that mean in a particular context something more than any dictionary definition would lead us to expect. The figures of speech that create these extra meanings are traditionally divided into TROPES (figures that change the meaning of a word) and RHETORICAL FIGURES (those that change the tone or emphasis of a statement without changing the meaning of individual words).
3 The Principal Tropes: metaphor, symbol, simile, personification trope (n). a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expressionMETAPHOR—A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things without the use of such specific words of comparison as like, as, than, or resembles.
4 There are several kinds of metaphor Directly Stated MetaphorImplied MetaphorExtended MetaphorDead MetaphorMixed Metaphor“Fame is a bee”“I like to see it lap the Miles”Does not state explicitly the two terms of comparison. The example is an implied metaphor in which the verb lap implies a comparison between “it” (which is a train) and some animal that “laps” up water.Fame is a bee / It has a song— / It has a sting— / Ah, too, it has a wingA metaphor that is extended or developed over a number of lines or with several examples“The head of the house”Used so often the comparison is no longer vivid.A metaphor that fails to make a logical comparison because its mixed terms are visually or imaginatively incompatible. If you say “The President is a lame duck who is running out of gas,” you’ve lost control of your metaphor and have produced a statement that is ridiculous (ducks do not run out of gas).
5 We can distinguish between two types of symbols: Public Personal SYMBOL—A person, place, thing, or event that has meaning in itself and that also stands for something more than itself.We can distinguish between two types of symbols:PublicPersonal
6 __Public_____ symbols The dove, for example, is a public symbol of peace—that is, it is widely accepted the world over as such a symbol.Uncle Sam is a public symbol that stands for the United States.A picture of a skull and crossbones is a public symbol of of__death or warning or pirates____Two snakes coiled around a staff is a widely accepted symbol of__medicine____Waving a white flag is a public symbol of__surrender____
7 __Personal____ symbols Most symbols used in literature are personal symbols; even though a symbol may be widely used, a writer will usually adapt it in some imaginative, personal way so that it can suggest not just one, but a myriad of meanings.One of the most commonly used symbols in literature, for example, is the journey, which can stand for a search for truth, for redemption from evil, or for discovery of the self and freedom. The journey of Huck Finn and Jim down the Mississippi River has been interpreted to symbolize all of these concepts, and more.The marigolds in “Marigolds” symbolize __beauty and possibly guilt____
8 The simile compares __postponed dreams____to __A Raisin in the Sun____ SIMILE a figure of speech that makes an explicit comparison between two unlike things, using a word such as like, as, than, or resembles.What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?The simile compares __postponed dreams____to __A Raisin in the Sun____
9 The cruel wind tore off the roof of the house. PERSONIFICATION a figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes.The cruel wind tore off the roof of the house.What is the object or animal being personified?__wind____What is the human trait given to the object?__cruelty____What effect does this give to the object? Meaning, how does this example of personification help readers to visualize/interpret the thing being described?__nastiness and harsh wind___
10 The Principle Rhetorical Figures: irony, hyperbole, and oxymoron RHETORICAL FIGURES (figurative language that changes the tone or emphasis of a statement without changing the meaning of individual words).rhetoric: (n) language with a persuasive or impressive effect
11 hyperbole (hi-purr-buh-lee) [never say “hyper-bowl!!!”] a figure of speech that uses an incredible exaggeration, or overstatement, for effect.In Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain uses hyperbole for comic effect. An example is Twain’s response when Mr. Bixby tells him he must learn the shape of the Mississippi River throughout its course:Have I got to learn the shape of the river according to all these five hundred thousand different ways? If I tried to carry all that cargo in my head it would make me stoop-shouldered.
12 oxymorona figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase.“Sweet sorrow,”“deafening silence,” and“living death” are common oxymorons(jokesters include “jumbo shrimp”)
14 Overview Terms Literary Analysis: Literary Devices: the study or examination of a literary work or author.Literary Devices:figures of speech or tools a writer uses to add layers of meaning to the text
15 similesimile—a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things, using a word such as like, as, than, or resembles
16 metaphormetaphor—a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things without the use of specific words of comparison
17 personificationpersonification—a figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes
18 foreshadowingforeshadowing—a literary device in which an author drops subtle hints about plot developments to come later in the story
19 allusionallusion—an implied or indirect reference especially in literature and film; references are often made to Greek gods or goddesses, Shakespeare, the bible, specific historical events or figures, and widely known aspects of popular culture
20 motifmotif—a recurrent thematic element in a literary or artistic work
21 “I feel again the chaotic emotions of adolescence, illusive as smoke, yet as real as the potted geranium before me now.”The simile compares the chaotic emotions of adolescence to smoke and the realness of a potted geranium.The comparison suggests that the first object in the comparison is both hard to grasp and solid as an everyday objectand it develops…
22 “Joy and rage and wild animal gladness and shame become tangled together in the multicolored skein of a 14-going-on-15…”The metaphor comparesThe emotions of teen years: joy, rage, wild happiness, and shame toA piece of multicolored yarnThe comparison suggests that the first object/person in the comparison isThe emotions are so woven together that no matter how much one might try to separate them she can’tand it develops…
23 “Poverty was the cage in which we all were trapped…” The metaphor comparesPoverty toA cageThe comparison suggests that the first object/person in the comparison isPoverty is something that we can not escapeand it develops…
24 “…those days are ill-defined in my memory, running together and combining like a fresh water-color painting left out in the rain.”The simile comparesThe ill-defined days toa water-color painting left out in the rainThe comparison suggests that the first object/person in the comparison isthe days blended together so much that she could not tell one from anotherand it develops…
25 “…the oriole nest in the elm was untenanted and rocked back and forth like an empty cradle.” The simile comparesThe empty bird’s nest toEmpty cradleThe comparison suggests that the first object/person in the comparison isSad and lonelyand it develops…
26 “…and now if an oriole sings in the elm, its song seems to die up in the leaves, a silvery dust.” The metaphor/personification comparesThe death of the oriole’s song toA silvery dustThe comparison suggests that the first object/person in the comparison isThe song’s death is beautiful and etherealand it develops…
27 The personification compares “In May and June there was no rain and the crops withered, curled up, then died under the thirsty sun.”The personification comparesDying crops due to the heat of the toParched sunThe comparison suggests that the first object/person in the comparison isThe sun was intenseand it develops…
28 “We were down in Old Woman Swamp and it was spring and the sick-sweet smell of bay flowers hung everywhere like a mournful song. ‘I’m going to teach you to walk, Doodle,’ I said.”The simile comparesThe sick-sweet smell of bay flowers toA mournful songThe comparison suggests that the first object/person in the comparison isThe scent of the flowers was heavy and sadand it develops…