Oscar Wilde Questions and Answers

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How is figurative language used in "The Selfish Giant" by Oscar Wilde?

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Figurative language moves away from literal language to add extra meaning, color, or dimension to a text.

Wilde uses a good deal of figurative language in this children's story.

Wilde is best known as a humorist, and he can't resist tossing a funny line into his story. Here, he creates humor through the use of oxymoron. An oxymoron occurs when two opposing words or ideas are put together. In the following sentence, Wilde puts together the idea of talking for a long period of time, seven years, with the opposing idea that the giant has little to say:

"After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited . . ."

Wilde also uses juxtaposition in his description of the beautiful, inviting garden with its "delicate" pink and pearl flowers. He juxtaposes that against the road, the only other place the children have to play. In contrast to the garden, the road is dusty and filled with "hard stones."

Wilde frequently uses metaphor , a form of comparison...

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