When authors utilize figurative language (or a figure of speech), they are able to portray a clearer image with their words, making their creative writing more impactful. Figures of speech include metaphors, similes, and analogies. These devices can be used to make abstract concepts more concrete or simple ideas complex. For example, when describing someone who is stubborn and hard to get along with, you could say that they have a goldfish in a bowl and are constantly fed fresh fish food. The owner of this person eats these foods because they like the taste but also because they want the goldfish to survive and grow healthy. The phrase "fed up to the teeth" was created using an analogy. It means completely filled up or exhausted.
Figurative language is important in creative writing because it allows authors to express themselves creatively. Without these tools, authors would be limited to using only plain English. Using figures of speech makes their writing more interesting to read because readers can connect with the content better if they understand what you're trying to convey.
Figurative language is an efficient means of presenting a concept that is difficult to grasp due to its abstract character or complexity. Prose and poetry writers utilize figurative language to provoke emotions, assist readers in forming mental images, and attract readers into the work. Figurative language includes such terms as metaphor, simile, and paradox.
Metaphor is the borrowing of words or phrases from another language or source to describe something new or different. Metaphors are often used by writers to explain concepts that are hard to express in simple terms. Examples include "love is blind" to indicate that love is not controlled by reason, and "a bird in the hand" to suggest that it is better to settle for what you have than to risk losing what you want.
Similes are similar to metaphors but focus on their surface details rather than their underlying ideas. Similes often consist of two closely related words or phrases connected by like (like birds and butterflies) or as (as innocent as eggs). They can be used to compare things that are extremely different from each other, for example, "the sun is hot, like an iron."
Paradoxes are statements that appear to be contradictory yet both are true. Paradoxes can be used in writing to provoke thought, show how opinions are divided, highlight differences of view, etc.
Figurative language may convert commonplace descriptions into vivid happenings, increase the emotional impact of passages, and elevate writing to the level of poetry. It can also assist the reader comprehend the underlying symbolism of a scene or recognize a literary topic more thoroughly. Figurative language is often used to make comparisons between two things or people, such as when you say someone has "turned into" a person they used to be or that something is "as ugly as" its appearance. These are known as similes.
Comparisons can be expressed in terms of physical appearance (such as "her face was like that of / as ugly as an old apple pie"), behavior ("he acted just like his father did"), or attitude ("their relationship was as warm as ice cream on a hot day"). Comparisons help the reader understand what kind of experience is being described by using words such as same, also, too, but not quite; whereas exact replicas would be identical ("like her face - no, she WAS her face!").
Similes and other types of figurative language can give insight about how someone is feeling or what is happening in the story, without using actual words for emotion (which might be considered vulgar).
Without the author needing to directly set out the concept for the reader, figurative language draws the reader deeper into the work's theme. It allows the reader to enter the text with their ideas and emotions as opposed to merely comprehending a tale or poem. Using metaphors and other forms of figurative language, artists can convey complex ideas and feelings in a simple way that people can understand.
The reader can experience the world through the eyes of the poet/artist by reading between the lines with understanding gained from the metaphor or image used by the writer/painter. This adds depth and dimension to the reading experience because it invites the reader to connect their own thoughts and feelings to those of the artist.
Figurative language is used by artists throughout history to express ideas and feelings that could not be put into more conventional terms. Metaphors are comparisons using different words for similar things (e.g., "apple" and "core values"; "rose" and "redness" after exposure to sunlight). Similes are statements that use "like" or "as" to compare two things (e.g., "the car was like its owner--a rough-handed man"). Descriptives are words used to give an idea of what something looks like (e.g., "a bluebird sang sweetly" or "trees spread their green arms to catch the sun").
Figurative language gives depth to our prose and poetry, allowing us to express ourselves with greater flare and color. Figurative language is often vibrant, so it "pops" and comes to life in people's minds. We can communicate more with fewer words when we use figurative language...especially colorful figurative language.
The importance of figurative language in writing a poem should be obvious: without it, our poems would be dull and uninteresting. But what does this mean exactly? And how can we use it to enhance our own work? The first thing to understand about figurative language is that it is easy to confuse such terms as "metaphor", "simile", and "synecdoche". Metaphors are figures of speech in which one word or phrase is used to describe another that has no exact relationship with it. For example, if I said that my friend was a "catfish" because he lied about his age to join a rock band, I would be using a metaphor. Catfish are fish; friends aren't! Similes are forms of comparison based on resemblance rather than identity, and they usually involve verbs in the present tense. If I said that my friend was a "rock-star wannabe" because he had played in several bands but hadn't gotten anywhere, I would be using a simile. Rock stars are famous people; friends aren't!