FIGURATIVE TECHNIQUES: MEANING, TYPES.
MEANING : Figurative technique is a way of using word/phrase different from what it is normally refers to for the purpose of creating a picture in your mind.
FIGURES OF SPEECH: The following are some of figures of speech in literature.
METAPHOR: It is a direct comparison between two different things with a common quality. E.g. Bolaji is a charcoal. Bolaji and charcoal share the same quality which is ‘black’
SIMILE: It is an indirect comparison between two different things that share a common quality. It involves the use of ‘as’ and ‘like’. E.g. Like a goat, Agwu refused to heed to advice. The quality compared here is that of ‘’stubbornness’’.
PERSONIFICATION: It is the transfer of the quality of animate object into inanimate object. E.g. Look up! The sun is smiling at us. In the real sense, the sun cannot smile like human beings.
APOSTROPHE: It is used when a speaker turns away from the audience to address or appeal to someone or an object which is not present at the scene of reference. E.g. Death, why did you do it?
ANTONOMASIA: This is when the name of a well known person, place or event is used to represent some qualities which they symbolize. E.g. Wole Soyinka is the Shakespeare of Africa.
EUPHEMISM: It is a figure of speech in which unpleasant things are said in a pleasant way. E.g. The king has kicked the bucket. It simply means that the king died.
HYPERBOLE: It is an exaggerated form of comparison for the purpose of emphasis. Another name for it is overstatement. E.g. The whole world attended her party.
ALLUSION: It is a reference to some well known places, events, persons etc but not a comparison in the exact sense e.g. Chief M.K.O. Abiola was our political messiah.
LITOTES AND MEIOSIS: They are understatement. They are opposites of hyperbole. A statement is made in negative form to produce meaning. E.g. Dele is an ant. [he is a shot man]. Meiosis on its own makes thing smaller e.g. This is a laughing matter.[ a serious issue]
CLIMAX: It is a gradual improvement from the lowest level to the highest level. E.g. I came , I saw and I conquered.
ANTI-CLIMAX: It is always refers to disappointment in progress made by people. The Mathematics man made all his papers and had failed mathematics.
RHETORICAL QUESTION: A vivid expression of a statement in form of question. It is a kind of question asked not mainly to get an answer but to make an emphasis.
PUN: It is a play upon words to such an extent that the words have two or more meanings. E.g. This is the hat of my heart.
SYMBOL: It is used when something is made to stand for some ideas or abstractions. E.g. River which can stand for ‘life’, moon which can mean-fertility etc.
EPITHET: It is a word or expression, usually adjectival used to attribute qualities e.g. I saw a beautiful bag.
PARODY: It is when a person or an action is intentionally imitated in order to produce a funny effect.
FIGURE OF SOUND: The following are some figures of sound in literature.
ALLITERATION: This is the repetition of consonance sounds at the beginning of lines of poetry. e.g. Ben bought a blue biro.
ASSONANCE: It is the occurrence of the same vowels sound e.g. Let not ambition mock their useful toil.
ONOMATOPOEIA: This is the use of words whose sounds suggest their meanings e.g. meow, boom [ cat, cow]
CONSONANCE: It occurs elsewhere other than the beginning of words e.g. Solomon stole rolled poles.
REPETITION: It is the occurrence of items in verbal expression to give special effect of emphasis e.g. –
-Beyond the river stands the shore,
-Beyond the river stands the shore.
FIGURE OF CONTRAST: These are some of the figures of contrast:
IRONY: It is an opposite of what is said. When someone say one thing but means another thing. E.g. Ngozi speaks Igbo fluently, but can’t say ‘’Good morning” in the Language.
OXYMORON: It is a figure of speech in which two things—words or phrases of opposite significance are set together for effect e.g. Abdulahi is a wise idiot.
PARADOX: It is when a statement seems to contradict itself but when it is examined, it has some basic truth e.g. Attack is a form of defence.
INNUENDO: It is an indirect and pleasant means of passing unpleasant remarks about people. E.g. – The president is very honest but he is lazy.
SARCASM: Another way of contrast meant to put pain on somebody. –‘Yes’, Abiodun, you are a honest somebody.[ when the person is not honest].
ANTITHESIS: It is used when words or ideas are brought into contrast by balancing one against another. E.g.
–More haste, less speed.
–United we stand, divided we fall.