Ralph Waldo Emerson

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In his essay "Education," explain the effect of at least five examples of figurative language that Emerson uses to advance his argument. Emerson's essay "Education" was put together from his...

In his essay "Education," explain the effect of at least five examples of figurative language that Emerson uses to advance his argument.

Emerson's essay "Education" was put together from his writings published in The American Scholar and from his commencement addresses.

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Figurative language is language that goes beyond the literal meanings of words to create an enhanced effect.

One example of figurative language Emerson uses in this essay is the following:

the poor man...is allowed to put his hand into the pocket of the rich

The poor are not literally allowed to put their hands into the pockets of the rich. This is an image—a visual description—that acts as a metaphor. The way the New England states allow free education to the poor is likened to the poor being able to draw money from a rich man's pocket.

A second example is as follows:

the ripest results of art and science

Results of art and science don't literally ripen, but the word conjures an image of very ripe fruit, telling us that the best knowledge conveyed is new and fresh. Using the word "ripest" also allows for the alliterative "ripest results," two words which, because they begin with the same letter, are likely to stick in our minds.

Third is the following:

the opium of custom, whereof all drink and...

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