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Figurative Language in To Kill a Mockingbird Simile, Metaphor, and Personification are considered Figurative Language literary devices because they help paint pictures (figures) in your mind as you read. Imagery, which uses your senses to paint pictures, is also figurative language.
Personification • A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities. • The act of personifying.
Personifying words… • “Mr. Radley’s older son lived in Pensacola; he came home at Christmas, and he was one of the few people we ever saw enter or leave the place. From the day Mr. Radley took Arthur home, people say the house died” (Lee 14).
What are the personifying words? • “The house was the same, droopy and sick, but as we stared down the street we thought we saw an inside shutter move. Flick. A tiny, almost invisible movement and the house was still” (Lee 19).
Personifying words? • “There he was, returning to me. His white shirt bobbed over the back fence and slowly grew larger. He came up the back steps, latched the door behind him, and sat on his cot” (Lee 55).
? ? ? • "At the door, we saw fire spewing from Miss Maudie's diningroom windows. As if to confirm what we saw, the town siren wailed up the scale of a treble pitch and remained there, screaming. "
Metaphor • A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison. • In “a sea of troubles, ” the amount of troubles is compared to a sea. • "All the world's a stage" (Shakespeare) compares the world to a stage.
Metaphor • “Then I heard Atticus cough. I held my breath. Sometimes when we made a midnight pilgrimage to the bathroom we would find him reading” (Lee 57). • Compares their trip to the bathroom with a pilgrimage.
What is the metaphor? • “I had never thought about it, but summer was Dill by the fish pool smoking string, Dill’s eyes alive with complicated plans to make Boo Radley emerge; summer was the swiftness with which Dill would reach up and kiss me when Jem was not looking…(Lee 116).
What is the metaphor? • “I knew when there was trouble in our street. Soft taffeta-like sounds and muffled scurrying sounds filled me with helpless dread” (Lee 69).
Simile • A figure of speech in which two fundamentally unlike things are explicitly compared, usually in a phrase introduced by "like" or "as. "
Simile • “The Radley place fascinated Dill. In spite of our warnings it drew him as the moon draws water…” (Lee 8). • The moon draws water (an idiom!) means the moon attracts water (gravity). • Dill was intrigued by and attracted to the Radley place as though gravity was pulling him.
What’s the simile? • “Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum” (Lee 6). What’s being compared?
What’s the simile? What’s being compared? • “It must have been two o’clock. The moon was setting and the lattice-work shadows were fading into fuzzy nothingness. Jem’s white shirt-tail dipped and bobbed like a small ghost dancing away to escape the coming morning” (Lee 57).
What type of literary device is used here? • “[Auntie said] I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life. I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year” (Lee 81).
What did she use here? • "some tinfoil was sticking in a knot-hole just above my eye level, winking at me in the afternoon sun. "
What did she use here? • “…the fruits of their industry (those that were not eaten) made the plot of ground around the cabin look like the playhouse of an insane child…” (Lee 170).
What did she use here? • “The house was the same, droopy and sick, but as we stared down the street we thought we saw an inside shutter move. Flick. A tiny, almost invisible movement and the house was still” (Lee 15).
What did she use here? • “…the business part of the meeting was blood-curdling, the social hour was dreary…She said no more. When Miss Maudie was angry her brevity was icy. Something had made her deeply angry, and her gray eyes were as cold as her voice” (Lee 233).
Create your own! • You will take five word cards from the box. • Once you have these, you can arrange and rearrange them in any order you want to. • You will fill in the words that go between the cards. • Create at least one metaphor, one simile and one example of personification. You may use all, or some of the words. The more you use, the more interesting it will be. • Write them down.
Example Secret Tiger Frown Games Thunder The tiger secretly frowned as the games thundered on.