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Identify the figurative language in the following selections, and then label each as metaphor, simile, personification, apostrophe, metonymy, and so on. Work in pairs or groups to discuss their effects on the meaning of the passage and the ways in which they evoke a response from the reader.\
- These boys, now, were living as we’d been living then, they were growing up with a rush and their heads bumped abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities. (“Sonny’s Blues”)\
- We dug in. We ate everything there was to eat on the table. We ate like there was no tomorrow. We didn’t talk. We ate. We scarfed. We grazed that table. We were into serious eating. (“Cathedral”)\
- Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on. (“Ode on a Grecian Urn”)\
- Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes / Blown by black players upon a picnic day. (“The Harlem Dancer”)\
- England hath need of thee: she is a fen / Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, / Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower. (“London, ”)\
- It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough constantly to irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide — plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions. (“The Yellow Wallpaper”)
The first sentence of the story’s second paragraph begins, “It was not to be believed.” What does the use of the passive voice suggest about the narrator’s response to the news he has just gotten?
In the first paragraph in the Sonny's Blues, with the passive form of the sentence It was not to be believed Baldwin described the narrator's reaction to the news that Sonny had been arrested for heroin. Let's see what the passive trait says about the narrator and his response.
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