Figurative Language

Disaster Girl

Figurative language is an “intentional departure from the normal order, construction, or meaning of words. Figurative language embodies one or more figures of speech,” such as:

Metaphor: “An analogy identifying one object with another and ascribing to the first object one or more of the qualities of the second. I. A. Richards’s distinction between the tenor and the vehicle of a metaphor may be useful. The tenor is the idea being expressed or the subject of the comparison; the vehicle is the image by which this idea is conveyed or the subject communicated.”

Alliteration: “The repetition of initial identical consonant sounds or any vowel sounds in successive or closely associated syllables, especially stressed syllables.”

Personification: “A figure that endows animals, ideas, abstractions, and inanimate objects with human form; the representing of imaginary creatures or things as having human personalities, intelligence, and emotions.”

A Handbook to Literature, 11th edition, by William Harmon

The Literary Web


Conflict Characterization Plot Point of View Setting Tone Theme Figurative Language Main Assertion Sub Assertions Explanation Examples