You will come across the term ‘metaphor’ in your English class. It happens to be one of the widely used figures of speech in the English language. Well known poets and authors often use this to compare and symbolize certain things in their creations. You will find metaphors’ examples in many literary works. Many students mistake it and try to find the meaning of a sentence in the literal sense. The following section will help you understand and learn the correct meaning of this term.
Definition of Metaphor
“Your voice is smooth as a silk." You might have come across such sentences in literary works or, at times, in everyday conversations. But, do you think that someone’s voice can literally be like silk? Well, that is not possible. To define metaphor, you need to dig deep into different literary works and be open-minded with the different terms. It is a figure of speech that helps to compare any object or action by using an other word. The term ponders over something beyond rational thinking. Your voice cannot be silk, but it is like silk. In this case, someone's voice is compared with silk. As you will know that silk is smooth and soft, so the comparison makes sense. To understand what is a metaphor, you need to read many articles and pieces of literature. Using this figure of speech makes a sentence look nice and grabs the attention of the readers. To understand the term even better, you need to learn the various types of metaphors.
Different types of Metaphors with Examples
Metaphor has a significant impact on any sentence or write-ups. The term is not restricted to one type or only one way of using it. Hence, you need to learn the different types of this figure of speech and know the correct ways of using it. Also, it will help you identify the type when you come across the figure of speech in any sentences. The following are the four different types of metaphors:
The figure of speech is generally considered to be a part of a sentence or a phrase. But, at times, it can get extended to more than just a word or a phrase. You will come across sentences which is full of metaphors. For example,
“The student put his best foot forward to grab the best opportunity and beat the others in the battlefield.”
You will not find a student fighting it out in a battlefield. But, if you look at your academic career, you will not proceed if you don't give your best. There is a lot of competition. You need to put in your best efforts to be ahead of the others.
It is not always that a writer uses the figure of speech directly to imply something. There are metaphors’ examples where it is not used directly. There are many examples where you will find the use of this type. You must understand the correct definition of implied metaphor to use it properly.
By now, you have understood how using this figure of speech impacts a write-up. What if you can use more than one in a particular sentence? For example,
“It is raining cats and dogs.”
The above sentence implies that it is raining heavily. You cannot expect to see cats and dogs falling from the sky. That would be hilarious. But putting the sentence in this way grabs the attention of the readers. Also, you need to be very cautious while using mixed metaphors. Use it only when you are confident about it.
You will come across examples of metaphors where it is made quite obvious. Dead metaphors generally are unable to build the same level of attraction. It is not a very widely used type of metaphor. You can try using any other kind and avoid using this one. It does not create the same level of impact as the different varieties.
An assignment needs a lot of elements. Creativity is one such element that makes your project attractive and impressive. Using metaphors can help you do so. But, you must learn the correct ways of using them. The following section will help you with it.
Ways of Using a Metaphor Meaningfully
It is essential to learn the correct ways of using the figure of speech in your write-ups. Many students are unaware of the right ways, and they end using metaphors without any meaning. Do not get confused with analogy or similes when you are using this figure of speech. Metaphor vs. analogy is an essential lesson you need to learn before jumping to a conclusion. The following are four ways of using a metaphor effectively.
1.Select a character or an object, or a setting
There are many aspects that you need to include in a write-up to make it rich. You must identify one character, object, or setting to use the metaphor correctly. Initially, it might be tough to use it. But, once you start using it, it will be easier for you to understand the term. Selecting the perfect character, setting or object will make it easy to use the figure of speech meaningfully.
2.Focus on a specific aspect
You need to understand the part which needs explanation. Many times students are unable to comprehend the question and end up missing out on most essential sections. But, once you understand the question, it will be easy for you to identify the part which needs more explanation. You need readers to be glued to that section to be convinced with your explanation. Using some funny metaphors here can grab the readers' attention and make them go through the whole section minutely.
3.Create a link
Many things need to be included in a particular assignment. Also, there are many sections in the project. You need to create a link between each section. You can pull out an object or situation from some other section and link it in another section through a metaphor. The readers need to understand the write-up and relate to what they are reading.
4.Expand the metaphor
There are instances where students stop after using the figure of speech only once or twice. But, it is necessary to justify the figure of speech in your write-up. The readers must understand why you used that particular metaphor to describe the character, object, or situation. Hence, expanding the figure of speech is essential.
The four ways will help you use the figure of speech effectively. You will be able to grab the instructor’s attention if you use it correctly. Many write-ups seem attractive because of the correct usage of metaphors. Using them will also help you score well in your class.
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