Of mice and men

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  • Publicado : 13 de noviembre de 2011
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Of Mice and Men and Literary Terms

Published authors, like Harper Lee and John Steinbeck, were very, very skilled at writing and this allowed them to sell millions of books and become rich and have their homes featured on MTV Cribs. One thing that both of these writers have in common is that they are great at using all the tools a writer has to work with. They are excellent at painting apicture through words using tools known as imagery and figurative language. It is necessary for us to understand and be able to recognize when an author uses these tools and how it affects us as readers. The following are definitions and examples of imagery and figurative language. You will need to know these terms and will search for them throughout our reading of the novel Of Mice and Men.Imagery – the sensory details of the text; language that appeals to at least one of our five senses

• Visual Imagery – all details in a text that appeal to your sense of sight
o Example: “They were white hands, sickly white hands that had never seen the sun, so white they stood out garishly against the dull cream wall in the dim light of Jem’s room” (270)
• Auditory Imagery –all details in a text that appeal to your sense of hearing
o Example: “High above us in the darkness a solitary mocker poured out his repertoire in the blissful unawareness of whose tree he sat in, plunging from the shrill kee, kee of the sunflower bird to the irascible qua-ack of a bluejay, to the sad lament of Poor Will, Poor Will, Poor Will” (255)
• Tactile Imagery – all detailsin a text that appeal to your sense of touch
o Example: “I ran in the direction of Jem’s scream and sank into a flabby male stomach…He slowly squeezed the breath out of me” (262)
• Olfactory Imagery – all details in a text that appeal to your sense of smell
o Example: “The pungent skin mingling with the dusty odor of the dry earth made us want to take a shower”
•Gustatory Imagery – all details in a text that appeal to your sense of taste
o Example: “Our parched throats longed for something cool--strawberry ice cream or a tall frosted glass of lemonade.”

Figurative Language – any language that goes beyond the literal meaning of words in order to give the reader some different way of looking at, or relating to, an idea/subject. Appealing tothe imagination, figurative language provides new ways of looking at the world. There are many types of figurative language; here are some of the most important:

• Simile – a comparison between two unlike things using either the word LIKE or the word AS
o Example: “He was up like lightening.” (262)
o Example: “His stomach was soft but his arms were like steel.” (262)o Example: “It was mighty dark out there, black as ink.” (272)
• Metaphor – a comparison between two unlike things that doesn’t use LIKE or AS; it is usually a direct comparison where A is B; a word or phrase that is used in the place of another in order to suggest that they are alike in some way
o Example: “Our battles were epic and one sided.” (6)
o Example:“Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him.” (8-9)
o Example: “Every scratch of feet on gravel was Boo Radley seeking revenge, every passing Negro laughing in the night was Boo Radley loose and after us” (55)
• Personification – language that gives life-like qualities to non-living things; giving human characteristics toinanimate/non-living objects
o Example: “Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it” (5).
o Example: “Street lights winked down the street all the way to town.” (278)
• Hyperbole – extreme exaggeration or overstatement meant to emphasize the truth of a statement
o Example: “After ten forevers Dr. Reynolds returned” (264)....
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