A. Six Samples of Figurative Language
Figurative language is the use of figures of speech to say something in a way that is not obvious. Samples of figurative language include the use of metaphors, similes, metonymy, paradox, irony, symbols, humor, exaggeration among other tropes in fresh new ways that appeal to the readers’ imagination. The use of figurative language in any piece of writing is very important for it serves a number of purposes. However, style is constantly affected by, among other things, language itself, culture and the tradition of a people’s rhetoric. For its effectiveness therefore, style should vary across cultures depending on the circumstance as demanded by situation which is often dictated by audience, purpose and other reasons.
The following are some samples of figurative language normally used in communication.
As a trope, metaphor remains among the most pervasive tropes that employ figurative language. It is a comparison between two things and normally clarifies arguments and thereby making them more lively. For instance, on page 428 where Benjamin makes comparisons about himself and the life he lived in the US south border and says “ a son of the borderit has been my prisonmy only piece of sky” among other are samples of metaphor that make his writing more lively and interesting to read through. Metaphors powerfully persuasive and readers need to think about them. For example, an advertising firm may decide to describe their product as a “weedwhacker” on the web to maybe further the function and nature of that particular product and persuade many to subscribe to it.
Simile is device that compares two things using terms such as resemble, like, as among others. It is another pervasively persuasive means of advancing arguments. The sample reading on page 429 gives the example of Eminem in his song “Like Toy Soldiers” where he draws comparison between humans and toy soldiers. He says that both get torn apart and fall down.
Generally, a simile is a figure of speech where two unlike things are put on comparison. Shakespeare wrote “so are you to my thought as food to life?” A simile can sometimes seem very obvious just like a metaphor but always has something to offer beneath its surface meaning if one is willing to dig deeper (Stainton, 57).
Personification is a description of inanimate objects in manners that accord them human qualities and attributes. Like kin the sentence “ The kite tugged and pulled at the string, longing for the freedom of the skies”, the kite is given human actions and some motive for them. Personification enables the author to tell the reader indirectly to identify with the character in order to view it more deeply than any simple description would demand (Chalmers, 40). Personification as an example of figurative language can add power and depth and a beat of lyrical type of beauty to any writing where it is employed. A balanced use of this trope appeals to the imagination of readers and eventually helps to improve the quality of any writing.
Analogies are comparisons between two scenarios point after another often trying to show similarities between them. It may be extended to many sentences or paragraphs or even whole essays (Davidson, 84). It can also be employed to reveal contrasts that make a given point at hand be understood clearly. Analogies expose the fault lines in certain arguments and may sway any audience to a particular line of thought.
Humor is a crucial element in figurative language where an author evokes laughter by illustrating the ridiculousness of a situation. Normally humor works by lampooning a given situation to expose it (Mwihaki, 129). For instance, when critizing act of favoritism where jobs are offered to relatives even when it is obvious such relations cannot deliver can be criticized. For instance, such an official can be made to speak in a very poor language to depict his/her foolishness as regards the position. Imagine a police spokesperson saying “ he is a green grass on a green snake” while addressing the press!
Metonymy is the use of a word in place of another closely associated one to imply the same meaning (Kripke, 106).
Figurative language enables one to describe his scenes very interestingly normally creating memorable images in the minds of the readers that can stay long even after the reading exercise is finished (Davidson, 78).
B. Visual Arguments
Taking the picture of the lady in this advert, an analysis of any arguments ought to begin with the expected creator whop I believe is the owners of the tattooing business who are doing some advert. The distributors are the owners of the site where it was posted. About these people, we can deduce that they trade in tattooing business and have probably served many a willing customers. The attitude of the creator is jovial as he seeks to persuade those who wish to have tattoos done for them. The posture of the lady alone is made to appeal to many with a sense of beauty and influence them to undertaking the tattooing process.
This visual text has opted for the print as its medium of advertising itself. Because it is published on a book page, it is targeted at readers of the said publication. It employs only the use of images. There are no words to explain anything except the reader’s own imagination. The idea is that not just words alone are effective in communication or making any arguments.
In me, I get the impression that this is suited and targeted at fans of making tattoos on their bodies. For someone like me who does not appreciate or admire tattoos, I don’t think I really find it interesting even if it was by general standards. For that reason, it appeals to me as a work of art though not something I would admire. However, I have to accept that it is a creation of great artistry and that should attract much appreciation from fans of tattoos. The argument being conveyed here is that one can improves her looks with a bit of tattooing. By the attractiveness of the visual picture itself, fans of this type of beauty are definitely going to find it attractive. That is exactly what it was designed to convey. That feminine beauty can actually be improved by tattooing.
The first thing that draws one’s attention is the tattoos on the hands and the ones around the navel. That is because they are strategically placed there to attract ones attention from the onset. It is aimed at getting that positive first impression from fans and the expected clientele.
Chalmers, D. Tropes in Figurative Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1999. Print
Davidson, D. Figurative Language and Persuasion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2003. Print
Kripke, S. Figurative Language in Arguments. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 1980. Print
Mwihaki, S. Meaning and Use of Figurative Language. Oxford: Blackwell 2004. Print
Stainton, R. Philosophical Perspectives on Language. Peterborough, Ont., Broadview Press. 1996. Print