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Figurative language occurs anytime an author uses a "figure of speech" to make words more "effective, persuasive and impactful" (Literary Devices, "Figurative Language"). The phrase "figure of speech" refers to any expression that goes beyond the literal meaning of words. To go beyond the literal meanings of words, we draw comparisons with the words to other known concepts in order to create a deeper understanding in the reader's mind by stimulating the reader's senses. There are many different examples of figurative language, and some include alliteration, allusion, hyperbole, metaphors, personification, and similes. We also see a few examples of figurative language in the very first pages of Neal Shusterman's novel Everlost.
The book opens by describing a white Toyota and a black Mercedes crashing "on a hairpin turn." The phrase hairpin turn, or hairpin bend, has developed into an idiom to describe a very tight turn in a road, a turn so tight that it is u-shaped just like a hairpin.
A second example of figurative language can also be found in this very first paragraph, particularly in the phrases "a black Mercedes, for a moment blending into a blur of gray." Alliteration occurs when an author uses words in close proximity that begin with the same consonant sound. In the phrases above, the words "black," "blending," and "blur" all start with the consonant B, so these phrase contain an example of alliteration.
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