ELS - Ninth Grade - Simile and Metaphor

August 1, 2017 | Author: Danny Guevara | Category: Metaphor, Poetry
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Simile and Metaphor Figures of speech are broadly defined as a way of saying one thing in terms of another. Poets frequently use them, because, as Emily Dickinson said, the poet's job is to "Tell all the truth but tell it slant" in order to capture the reader's interest and imagination. The two most common figures of speech are simile and metaphor. Both compare things that are ordinarily considered unlike each other. A simile makes an explicit comparison between two things by using words such as like, as, than, appears, or seems: "a sip of Mrs. Cook's coffee is like a punch in the stomach." The force of the simile is created by the differences between the two things compared. There would be no simile if the comparison were stated this way: "Mrs. Cook's coffee is as strong as the cafeteria's coffee." This is a literal comparison because Mrs. Cook's coffee is compared with something like it, another kind of coffee. Look at the use of simile in this poem by Margaret Atwood: you fit into me

a fish hook an open eye


Thus, when we say, ‘She is like an angel’ we use a simile, but when we say ‘She is an angel’, we use a metaphor.

Examples are:

 

Life is a dream. (Metaphor)

The camel is the ship of the desert. (Metaphor)

Life is like a dream. (Simile)

Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale.

O my Love’s like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June; O my Love’s like a melodie That’s sweetly played in tune. Here are some similes common in everyday speech.  as proud as a peacock  as cool as a cucumber  as hard as nails  as good as gold  as old as the hills  as clear as crystal

you fit into me like a hook into an eye

A metaphor is an implied simile. It doesn’t state that one thing is like another or acts as another. Instead it says that the two things are one and the same. A simile, on the other hand, says that one thing is like another.

Simile In a simile we make a comparison between two objects of different kinds. These two objects will have at least one point in common. The righteous shall flourish as the palm tree. (Here a comparison is made between the righteous and the palm tree.)

A metaphor, like a simile, makes a comparison between two unlike things, but it does so implicitly, without words such as like or as: "Mrs. Cook's coffee is a punch in the stomach." Metaphor asserts the identity of dissimilar things. Shakespeare's Macbeth tells us that life is a "brief candle," life is a "walking shadow," life is a "tale / Told by an idiot." Metaphors are frequently more demanding than similes because they are not signaled by particular words. They are both subtle and powerful. In the following poem by Langston Hughes, first similes and then a metaphor evoke concrete images of African-American experience to embody the abstraction "a dream deferred." Harlem (A Dream Deferred)

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? or fester like a sore — And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over — like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode? EXERCISE 1: Similes. The following is a list of adjectives set up to turned into similes. Complete them quickly, without worrying about whether your comparisons are original or not. as orange as _________________________________________________ as barren as _________________________________________________ as hungry as _________________________________________________ as fragile as _________________________________________________ as arrogant as _________________________________________________

as rough as _________________________________________________ as tentative as _________________________________________________ as pliant as _________________________________________________ as eloquent as _________________________________________________ as reliable as _________________________________________________ as restless as _________________________________________________ as confining as _________________________________________________ as pale as _________________________________________________

Once you have a substantial list, try mixing and matching the adjectives and nouns. Do you get any interesting results? For example: if you started with "as orange as an Arizona desert" and "as hungry as a mountain lion," mix them to get "as hungry as an Arizona desert." Some of them will seem bizarre — that's fine — experiment! Write five of these mixed similes in the space below to share with the rest of the class. 1. _____________________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________________ 4. _____________________________________________________________________ 5. _____________________________________________________________________ EXERCISE 2:


Now go back up to that first list, with all of the nouns that you supplied on the right side. Try mixing and matching these nouns in the form of metaphors to produce interesting, suggestive results. For example, if you used "as orange as an Arizona desert" and "as barren as empty playground," combine the nouns, so that you have "an Arizona desert is an empty playground." Carl Sandburg said, "Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits." Write your "forced metaphors" in the space below. 1. _____________________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________________ 4. _____________________________________________________________________ 5. _____________________________________________________________________ Pick one of these forced connections that seem to work and try to extend it, describing your first object further in terms of the second. For example: "An Arizona desert is an empty playground. Your eager playmate, the Gila monster, waits for you, squatting up on that rock. He wants to play 'king of the mountain.' Or better yet, a new game: 'Let's get baked' or 'Swallow that bug.' Ride on that cactus swing — ouch! Aw—the sand storm's ruined our game. Time to go in. Hope that air conditioned house isn't a mirage." And so on. _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

Suggestion: Try writing a poem using the object above as a metaphor.

Part 2: Make a list of objects that are important to you for emotional or symbolic reasons. They may be associated with your childhood, a person you cherish, an activity that lifts you out of yourself, or perhaps a single event or moment that you will never forget. They might range from an automobile to the bookbag you take everywhere with you. 1. ________________________________ 6. ________________________________ 2. ________________________________ 7. ________________________________ 3. ________________________________ 8. ________________________________ 4. ________________________________ 9. ________________________________ 5. ________________________________ 10. ________________________________ Journal Assignment (Call it: Metaphor Exercise): Choose one of the objects on the above list and dwell on it, turn it upside down and get inside it, in your imagination and with your senses too, if the object is available for actual study. Compose a series of ten to fifteen metaphors equating your object to something else:: "My running shoes are boats to heaven and hell, skiffs without rudders; they are straightjackets for my paranoid-schizophrenic feet; they are barnyards of microscopic compost; they are stiffened, elaborate socks; they are designer calluses, synthetic peat pots," and so on. Loosen the hold of practicality and logic, follow your intuition, bring in the objects you associate with the one you have chosen. If this one object runs dry of connections, try another. Alternative: You might try this exercise with a subject you have already begun to write about in your notebook, as a way of opening it up in fertile directions. EXERCISE 3: In the following descriptions the similes are inappropriate and do not make sense. Replace the underlined words with appropriate words to create vivid, original images. Write them above the words they are replacing. 1. The old man’s legs move as slowly and as awkwardly as car tires. 2. His face fell in folds like rain drops. 3. His eyes were grey like daisies. 4. His body looked old and used like a brick house, but his smile was as young as a typewriter. 5. He called his dog with a whistle as sharp as a cup of coffee. 6. The dog’s response was as eager as a Christmas day. 7. His tail wagged like a bicycle wheel. 8. The old man petted him as tenderly as he would a spice rack. 9. The old man’s eyes began to shine like an apple. 10. The love between the two was as warm as a window pane. EXERCISE 4: Simile. Read the following poem, then answer the questions.

1. What two things are compared in the first simile? How are they alike? _________________________________________________________________ 2. What two things are compared in the second simile? How are they alike? _________________________________________________________________ 3. What two things are compared in the third simile? How are they alike? _________________________________________________________________ 4. What two things are compared in the fourth simile? How are they alike? _________________________________________________________________

EXERCISE 5: A metaphor moves one step further than a simile. A metaphor, unlike a simile does not use “like” or “as” to make a comparison. Instead, a metaphor takes the form of a direct statement. Here are some examples of metaphors: He is a snake. All the world’s a stage. Love is a bridge. Winter has a white coat. Write some original metaphors to complete each of these

EXERCISE 6: What’s the metaphor

EXERCISE 7: Read the following poem and answer the questions

1. What is the first metaphor in this poem? What two things are being compared? _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 2. What is the meaning of the metaphor? _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 3. What is the second metaphor in this poem? What two things are being compared? _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 4. What is the meaning of the metaphor? _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________

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