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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thinking about language



Although this text speaks of factual events and situations of
misery it transforms these situations with an almost poetical
prose into a literary experience. How does it do so? Here are
some literary devices:
• Hyperbole is a way of speaking or writing that makes
something sound better or more exciting than it really is.
For example: Garbage to them is gold.
• A Metaphor, as you may know, compares two things or ideas
that are not very similar. A metaphor describes a thing in
terms of a single quality or feature of some other thing; we
can say that a metaphor “transfers” a quality of one thing to
another. For example: The road was a ribbon of light.
• Simile is a word or phrase that compares one thing with
another using the words “like” or “as”. For example: As white
as snow.
Carefully read the following phrases and sentences taken from the
text. Can you identify the literary device in each example?
1. Saheb-e-Alam which means the lord of the universe is directly
in contrast to what Saheb is in reality.
2. Drowned in an air of desolation.
3. Seemapuri, a place on the periphery of Delhi yet miles away
from it, metaphorically.
4. For the children it is wrapped in wonder; for the elders it is a
means of survival.
5. As her hands move mechanically like the tongs of a machine,
I wonder if she knows the sanctity of the bangles she helps
make.
6. She still has bangles on her wrist, but not light in her eyes.
7. Few airplanes fly over Firozabad.
8. Web of poverty.
9. Scrounging for gold.
10. And survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. Through the
years, it has acquired the proportions of a fine art.
11. The steel canister seems heavier than the plastic bag he would
carry so lightly over his shoulders.

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