To study something is to define it. Why do we undertake the act of defining? What does it mean when we define? For all intents and purposes, to define something is to clearly articulate everything that that something is and thereby, differentiate it from all things that it is not. As anyone who has ever asked the big questions in life, such as "What is the meaning of life? What is love?" etc, knows, definition is not always a matter of looking something up in the dictionary. That is, words have two kinds of meaning: the denotative meaning which comes from the dictionary, and the connotative meaning, or that meaning which is figurative and implied. We understand the connotative value in terms of context or everything in a situation which surrounds a thing. To define something truly, we must set limits or ends around it. We must understand it in terms of both kinds of meaning. The purpose of English Language Arts, as will all academic disciplines, is to define.
Four (major) Types of Figurative Language
Simile ~ Comparison of to things using "like" or "as"
Metaphor ~ Comparison between two things in terms of one another.
Personification ~ Attributing human characteristics to non-human things/creatures.
Apostrophe ~ An exclamatory speech to a person or thing whether it is present or not.
Steps to discussing figurative language (The Four Step Method)
Identify what type of figurative language is being used.
Quote the passage.
Identify what is being compared, personified, addressed, or spoken to.
Comment and discuss the effectiveness of imagery produced by the figurative language.
Four Types of Sentences
Declarative (I lost my watch.)
Exclaimative (I lost my watch!)
Imperative (I must find my watch.)
Interrogative (Did you find my watch?)
~Is generally anything and everything that can be read or viewed.
~Reading/viewing implies communication because they are both acts of decoding.