Essential Question: What is figurative language and how does it relate to The Catcher in the Rye?
Do Now: In a group of three, each read “Books of The Times”, by Nash K. Burger. Together, in your group, answer the following questions with the idea that you will share your insights with the whole group (12 minutes):
- What was the initial reaction to the novel?
- How does the reaction described differ or connect with your own initial experience with the novel?
- How does this novel, and what the articles says, differ from other books you have read, or not?
- Identify one or two points related in the article and share your take on it.
- What insights do you gain about the novel from the biographical information about the author, if any?
Post answers to these questions on boardhost.com
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Those who wish to do a little research on the novel and its cultural impact may do so for extra credit with the whole group.
The Catcher in the Rye
In Class: Figurative Language
Writers use figurative language to make their writing more interesting and effective. By using a simile, metaphor, idiom, allusions, hyperbole, personification, the writer is able to paint a picture in the mind of the reader. Chapters 3 and 4 of the novel contains several examples of figurative language.
I. Idiom-an expression that means something totally different than what it says
Page 14---The rat she brought to school was only the tip of the iceberg.
Draw a picture to illustrate the idiom.
What does the underlined idiom mean?
II. Simile-compares two things using the words like or as
III. Metaphors-also compares two things but without the use of like or as
Metaphor- Compares two things by calling one thing another
- “I certainly began to feel like a prize horse’s ass, though, sitting there all by myself.” (pg. 86)
- “He bored me to death. Living with him was like living in a museum. It was drafty, full of vast open spaces and slippery floors.”
- “The cab I had was a real old one that smelled like someone’d just tossed his cookies in it.” (pg.81)
- “it was like this secret longing I felt to replace the void he left with something or someone else.” (pg. 26)
- “Mr. Antolini lit another cigarette. He smoked like a fiend.” (pg. 186)
- “He put my goddamn paper down then looked at me like he’s just beaten hell out of me in ping-pong or something.” (pg. 12)
- “That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a goddamn toilet seat.” (pg. 55)
- . “She was about as kindhearted as a goddam wolf. You take somebody that cries their goddam eyes out over phony stuff in the movies, and nine times out of ten they’re mean bastards at heart. I’m not kidding.” (pg.140)
What things are being compared with these metaphors and/or similes?
Why are these similes effective?
IV. Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech.
Explain the following exaggeration and their relationship to Holden Caulfield:
a. “It’s really ironical because i’m six foot two and a half and i have gray hair. I really do. The one side of my head---the right side--- is full of millions of gray hairs. I’ve had them ever since I was a kid. And yet I still act sometimes like I was only about twelve.” ( pg.9)
b. “It’s really ironical, because I’m six foot two and a half and i have gray hair.”
c. “It’s no fun to be yellow. Maybe I’m not all yellow. I don’t know. I think maybe I’m just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn’t give much of a damn if they lose their gloves.”
d. “It was playing “Oh, Marie!” it played that same song about fifty years ago when Iwas a little kid.” (pg. 210)
e. “She [Phoebe] has bout five thousand notebooks. You never saw a kid with so many notebooks.” (pg 160)
V. Personification- Nonhumans are given human traits or attributes
The sun lay down behind the mountains.
What is being personified in this sentence? ________________________________
VI. Oxymoron- putting two contradictory words together.
Examples: hot ice, wise fool
Read the following passage.
What could I say? That Parr was a worthy subject precisely because he did nothing, because he was so monumentally good at doing nothing? I had only vague insight, not the words. I just shrugged.
Underline the words in the passage that form an oxymoron.
Write a sentence about one of the characters from the novel using an oxymoron.
Complete the following chart to examine other examples of figurative language in these chapters.
Page # Passage Type of figurative language What it means
VII. Allusion- a literary device that provides a brief reference to a person, event, place, or phrase. The writer assumes the reader will recognize the reference. Allusions in writing help the reader to visualize what’s happening by providing a mental picture. They are commonly made to the Bible, nursery rhymes, myths, famous fictional or historical characters or events, and Shakespeare. they can be used in both prose and poetry.
Here are some examples:
- The insurance adjuster was a reliable as George Washington.
The allusion in sentence A is to George Washington. The reader is expected to recognize the reference to George Washington and his honesty.
- She was a Scrooge and never spent money on gifts for her friends or family.
This allusion is to Scrooge, a character in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. He was a stingy man who did not like to spend any money.
Read the following passage:
...While Sun Valley’s team was not as good as ours, they did have one thing we did not: a superstar. A kid named Ron Kovac. He stood six-foot-eight and averaged thirty points per game. our players looked like Davids flailing against Goliath.
What is the allusion to in this passage?______________________________________
The allusion is made to __________________________.
- the Bible
- a nursery rhyme
- a myth
This allusion also contains _____________________.
- a simile b. a metaphor
- personification d. an idiom
The allusions in the example sentences (both A and B) contain figurative language.
What type of figurative language is used in sentence A? _____________________
What type of figurative language is used in sentence B? _____________________
Write a sentence of your own that contains an allusion. _____________________