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What figurative language (personification, simile, metaphor) is used in the poem "We...

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kw16603 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 6, 2011 at 4:31 AM via web

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What figurative language (personification, simile, metaphor) is used in the poem "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 6, 2011 at 4:58 AM (Answer #1)

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A series of implied metaphors in this poem are used to emphasise the way in which the group of youngsters, who are portrayed as the speakers in the poem, the "We" who address the reader, as being "cool." These implied metaphors are in turn strengthened by alliteration, which is the repetition of the initial consonant sound. Examples include "We / Sing sin," which suggests that the young men are engaging in some kind of sinful act with their "singing," and "We / Jazz June" likewise creates an image of their intensive dancing and hedonistic enjoyment of life which distracts them from the final sentence of the poem, which points to the way in which there is a cost to such enjoyment of life which cannot be ultimately ignored. Thus, although there are no direct examples of figurative language in the poem, arguably, you can see some of the descriptive details as being implied metaphors in their presentation of the young men. You can't "Sing sin," but it does present them as being characters fully indulging in their vices.

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