I need figurative language, like alliteration, onomatipoeia, metaphor and imagery, for There's a Bat in Bunk Five.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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There's a Bat in Bunk Five, shows Danzinger's decided tendency toward hyperbole, a class of figurative language using exaggeration to emphasize a point. Overlooking Danziger's poor syntax and punctuation choices, we can identify several examples of hyperbole in the first pages of the story. The first-person narrator, while packing for camp, explains her feelings and circumstances with exaggeration, with hyperbole, in expressions like these:

"I'm going to scream"
"She'll probably make me carve my name"
"eighty-millionth time"

Why are these exaggerated, or hyperbolic, expressions? In the first one, she isn't really going to "scream." This exaggerates her feeling of fatigue and annoyance at a tedious task. She won't scream. She'll be very, very irritated. The next one is exaggeration about how far her mother will carry the seemingly pointless task of labeling belongings.

The narrator, Marcy, "fourteen and eleven twelfths," humorously suggests that her mother will carry the labeling task so far as to require her to carve her name in some items. What Marcy really means is that she really does not see the point of the task and therefore can not see where her mother might or might not draw the line at what does or does not need labeling.

We are probably all familiar with the last hyperbole: "eighty-millionth time." Most of us have probably picked some outrageously large or unusual number to express what we think is an extraordinary or a ridiculous number of times something might occur. Marcy hasn't really said "No thanks" 80 million times. She has said it, though, enough to be irritated (I'm guessing three times ...).

Other figurative language used is idiom, cliche, alliteration, metaphor, and euphemism. Idioms are expressions that twist word meaning to express something other than their usual meaning. An idiom is "mother sticks her head in." What this means is Marcy's mother partially entered Marcy's bedroom to speak to her. A cliche, an expression that has been used so long and often it no longer has meaning, is "lead my own life." It is meant to mean someone makes independent choices and acts independently of others, a very misapplied expression when used for a girl of fourteen and eleven twelfths.

An alliteration, a beginning consonant repeated in nearby words, is "study literature, live my own life." It is also two cliches strung together so may be an accidental alliteration, not an intentional one. There are two metaphors in the early pages. A metaphor compares two things that are not alike--like a bee compared to a locomotive--in order to define a quality about the least known thing (e.g., a bee): (1) "if my life were a novel"; (2) "his feet are golden." The first compares a life to a novel to explain that Marcy's life has had no real adventures yet (i.e., no plot). The second compares a basketball player's feet to a precious metal in order to describe what a very, very good player he is.

You can look for more examples of figurative language by picking out the phrases that really mean something different from what they actually say, like this euphemism, "funny-looking cigarettes." Euphemisms give a nice way to say something that would be badly thought of; this substitutes for "marijuana cigarettes."

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