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What is Figurative Language? WHAT IS SYMBOLISM? Recognizing Literal Language “The store was literally bursting with shoppers!” In this case, the person is not using the word literally in its true meaning. Literal means "exact" or "not exaggerated." By pretending that the statement is not exaggerated, the person stresses the fullness of the store. Literal language is language that means exactly what is said. Most of the time, we use literal language. Recognizing Figurative Language The opposite of literal language is figurative language. Figurative language is language that means more than what it says on the surface. It usually gives us a feeling about its subject. Example of Figurative Language One poet writes about the "song of the truck.“ She does not mean that a truck can actually sing. Rather, she is speaking figuratively. She is referring to road noises as music. By using the word song, and suggesting music, she brings joyful feelings to mind. Types of Figurative Language you might find in the Bible Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else, you are using figurative language. Metaphor states a fact or draws a verbal picture by the use of comparison. a simile would say you are like something; a metaphor is more positive - it says you are something. Example: You are what you eat. Personification A figure of speech in which human characteristics are given to an animal or an object. Example: My teddy bear gave me a hug. Symbolic Language Sometimes a writer uses something physical, like an object or color, to stand for an idea. The thing that stands for something else is called a symbol. For example, in street signs, the color red is a symbol of danger. Explain the Symbolism: Read this line from a poem. Identify the meaning you think fits best. “I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear.” A) I am aware of all the activities that make America special. B) I am listening to a very large chorus. C) It sounds as if everybody is singing today. Explain the Symbolism: Read this line from a poem. Identify the meaning you think fits best. “We can...leave behind us Footprints on the sand of time.” A) We can make impressions as we walk on sand. B) The beach is a good place to understand time. C) Our lives can affect others in years to come.
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