Figurative language adds a human touch to words. It makes prose and poetry interesting and creates a spark for readers. Figurative language refers to the use of words in a way that deviates from the conventional order and meaning to convey complicated meaning. Poetry writers use figurative language as a perfect tool to engage their audience using a more creative tone that provokes thinking.
Figurative language can spice up writing. Rather than saying, “His hair was brown.” You can add so many senses by saying, “His hair was soft like fur, it resembled chestnut brown that danced in the light breeze”. It creates your content writing more user engaging, interesting, and dramatic than the literal language that uses words to refer to statements of fact.
Types of figurative language?
There are multiple types of figurative languages that are used in modern writing.
- Metaphor: A metaphor states when one thing is compared to another thing. It is a comparison of two things, but metaphors do not use the words “like” or “as”. Unlike simile, metaphor comparison is more indirect. It may give clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas.
Example: Baby, you are my sunshine.
Her beautiful voice was music to his ears.
- Simile: Like Metaphor, simile also compares two, unlike things. They are commonly used in daily communication. Similes are different from metaphors by highlighting a word or phrase that compares something to something else, using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’.
Example: She is as innocent as an angel.
The new librarian is as tall as a giraffe.
- Personification: Personification gives human traits and qualities, such as emotions, desires, sensations, gestures, and speech, In this figurative language, inanimate things are given life and personality. It means treating an abstract thing as though it has human qualities. It is a common form of metaphor. The use of the personal pronoun ‘He’ or ‘She’ for the Sun or the Moon, or a river or Sea will be an instance of personification.
Example: The leaves waved in the wind.
- Hyperbole: Hyperbole is a Greek word meaning “excess”, which creates a highlighted effect exaggeration, that is created to emphasize a point or bring out a sense of humor. In this figure, things are represented as greater or less, better or worse than they are. Hyperbole adds color and depth to a character. It is a statement made in exaggerated terms. It is used in daily conversation.
Example: I’ve told you a thousand times to clean your room!
I have reminded you a million times to wash the dishes
- Idioms: A phrase, expression, or a group of words that has a metaphorical (not literal) meaning. In short, they are words or phrases that aren’t meant to be taken literally.
which has been accepted in common usage. An idiom that has a symbolic sense is quite different from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made.
- Irony: It is a literary technique in which what is written or stated is in different or the opposite way of what is expected. In this the words are used to convey a meaning that is opposite of its literal meaning.
Example: A pilot is afraid of heights. This situation is ironic because airplane pilots spend most of their time working in the air.
- Symbolism: The word ‘symbol’ derives from the Greek verb “symbolling”, meaning “to put together” and related nouns, “symbol” meaning “mark”, “token”, or “sign”. The term in literary usage refers most specifically to a manner of representation in which what is shown means, by virtue of association, something more something else. Generally, symbolism may be defined as “the representation of reality on one level of reference by a corresponding reality on another”.
Example: She was living her life in chains.
A red rose in your writing symbolizes love.
Oxymoron: An oxymoron is a description that uses two opposite views to create an effective description. The format is often an adjective before a noun.
Example: And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.
A joke is an extremely serious issue.
What’s the main advantage of employing these kinds of literary devices? Aside from creating a more complete picture in your reader’s mind, they are an excellent vehicle for conveying emotional elements through your writing. If you want to hook your reader into the piece, rather than merely informing them, integrating these elements is your likely best bet for achieving it.
The figurative language provides an endless depth to our writing. There are many ways to punch the points and invite readers to join the literary adventure. It can draw interesting comparisons between two things.