Exercise: Figurative Language

“Exercise: Figurative Language” was contributed by Allison Wise.

Examine a famous speech or essay (political pieces and sermons work particularly well, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” would make a good choice). Make note of all the examples of figurative language, identifying which type of figurative language they are. Next take a few of these examples and try creating your own similes, metaphors, and personifications to convey the same ideas as the piece.  Is the author’s use of figurative language effective? Why do you think the author chose the particular similes, etc., that he/she did? Do you think the changes you made to the figurative language improved on the original?