Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Figurative Language Definitions

Today we will be working to unpack some passages from The Namesake. In order to be effective at analyzing and explaining what you see in a work of literature, there are a few basic literary terms that you will need to know and master.

Here are a few of those terms:

Figurative language - speech or writing that departs from literal meaning in order to achieve a special effect or meaning.

Metaphor – a direct comparison where one kind of thing is applied to a distinctly different kind of thing or something used to represent something else; emblem; symbol.

Denotation – primary signification or reference (the dictionary definition).

Connotation – the secondary or associated significations and feelings which a word commonly suggests or implies (the baggage that the word carries).(dictionary.com)


Denotation of eagle: any of several large, soaring birds of prey belonging to the hawk family, noted for their size, strength, and powers of flight and vision: formerly widespread in North America, eagles are mostly confined to Alaska and a few isolated populations.

Connotations of eagle: freedom, liberty, America, the U.S. military, strength, independence

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