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There are seven types of imagery:
Organic (internal feelings such as hunger, thirst, fear, weariness)
Alliteration is a form of figurative language that depends on sound. By definition, it is the repetition of the beginning consonant sounds in a series of words or phrases. Most students’ first experience with alliteration comes with tongue-twisters, e.g.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
However, while all tongue-twisters are a form of alliteration, not all alliteration comes in the form of tongue-twisters. Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) employed the form in several of his poems.
From “Annabel Lee,” published 1849:
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we–
Of many far wiser than we–
From “The Raven,” published 1845:
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before
For a more up to date experience with alliteration, rap and hip-hop have many examples, such as “Alphabet Aerobics” by Blackalicious.
A simile is another form of figurative language. Here, the writer compares two unrelated items, generally using like or as to make the comparison:
That cat is as old as the hills.
The horse’s mane was as soft as silk.
My dog has a temper like a volcano.
Some similes are made with other words, i.e. than or as if:
They ran as if for their lives.
The dean seemed larger than life.
Similes appear in all forms of literature, especially poetry and prose:
How like a winter hath my absence been (William Shakespeare, from Sonnet 97, ca. 1600)
He is jubilant as a flag unfurled (Dorothy Parker, from “Love Song,” 1926)
Yellow butterflies flickered along the shade like flecks of sun (William Faulkner, from The Sound and the Fury, 1929)
Here are some examples from popular music:
It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog – Beatles
My heart is like an open highway – Jon Bon Jovi
How does it feel / To be without a home / Like a complete unknown / Like a rolling stone? – Bob Dylan
These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall – Led Zeppelin
Good luck with your studies.
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