What are some types of figurative language in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling?

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One type of figurative language that Rudyard Kipling uses throughout The Jungle Book is anthropomorphization. This means endowing animals with human characteristics. At one point or another throughout the story, all of the animals act in ways that seem human. Their social organization, such as in the Pack Council, is shown as paralleling that of humans. From the beginning, Kipling has the animals speak as humans do, when he presents a conversation between the “chief,” Father Wolf, and Tabaqui the jackal.

Descriptive figurative language abounds in the book. Kipling frequently uses both similes...

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Figurative Language

Figurative language makes reading more enjoyable and easier to comprehend. Figurative language compares elements of the story to very familiar elements a reader can relate to. Referring to fire as “red flower” helps a reader understand the animals in the Jungle Book, particularly the panther, fear fire. The fire looks pretty like a flower; however, red is a sign of warning or danger.

Some additional types of figurative language include onomatopoeia, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and imagery.

Onomatopoeia describes sounds in writing. For example, Kipling describes “humming purr” one of the sounds Shere Khan, the tiger makes.

Simile and Metaphor are often confused. Similes use the words “like” or “as.” So, every time you see the words “like” or “as,” ask yourself what two things are being compared. Metaphors refer directly to the comparison. For example, “Bagheera was a professor…,” he’s a panther, so he’s not actually a professor. However, he was similar to a professor in that he was teaching Mowgli the ways of the Jungle.

Imagery is an element that uses very descriptive scenes to paint a picture for the reader. Many times, the details are mixed with other elements of figurative language. For example, Raksha’s eyes are “like” “two green moons.” Comparing the wolf’s eyes to the moon is a simile. Describing the color helps the reader paint a full picture of the wolf’s bright green eyes.

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