More Terms for Discussing Native American Literature

(Native American Voices - Lesson 4)


MLA Papers/Essays



National Exams

Research-Based Strategies

Englewood High School Courses

About Mrs. Sperry

Copyright Info.

figurative language (figures of speech) = the use of words in an unusual, not a literal (dictionary-type) way


     Explanation of Figurative Language: Figurative language is used by creative writers to create memorable connections to readers' senses. Unusual comparisons are often used.

    Some Common Types of Figurative Language

  • imagery

  • simile

  • metaphor

  • alliteration

  • personification

  • onomatopoeia

  • hyperbole

     Examples of Figurative Language:

  • The grandfather clasped hands with his grandson. (This is figurative language. Readers see an image of two people holding hands.)

  • The teacher acted like a mean, old goat. (This is the use of figurative language - a simile where the teacher is compared to a goat and the word like is used. Literally, in the dictionary, the definitions of teacher  and goat are very different, but here a comparison is made.)

  • The students were squirrels today. (This is the use of figurative language - a metaphor where students are compared to squirrels. Literally, in the dictionary, students are not squirrels, but they can share some behaviors.

  • Seven slimy snakes slid down the slide. (This is the use of figurative language - alliteration - the letter s is repeated to make the reader think of the hissing sound of snakes.)

  • The wind whispered. (This is figurative language. Alliteration is used by the repeated sound of the letter w and personification is used because people whisper.)

  • The bee's buzzing scared me. (This is figurative language - onomatopoeia - the word buzzing imitates a sound.)

  • The fish I caught was a mile long. (This is figurative language - hyperbole - exaggeration.)


voice = the style of a writer or a character that makes that writer or character unique (When analyzing literature, the reader tries to understand where the writer is coming from or where the character is coming from by looking at word choice, rhythms, symbols, and patterns)


sensory imagery = a writer's use of words which connect to a reader's sense of sight, touch, taste, smell, or hearing in order to develop a mood, idea, character , or theme