Hello Taylor H.
I am Darian and I am here to help answer these English questions.
First, I have taken the liberty of sourcing where the quotes come from and I have found that they're from Walden by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is important for me to find where they are from as that can provide some insight into analyzing the quotes.
Now for the first question:
The quotation is an example of a metaphor and hyperbole. Explain why. "How many a poor immortal soul have I met well-nigh crushed and smothered under its load, creeping down the road of life, pushing before it a barn seventy-five feet by forty, its Augean stables never cleansed, and one hundred acres of land, tillage, mowing, pasture, and woodlot!"
I like to read it carefully aloud to get a feel for the tone and language. Next, let's define metaphor and hyperbole. Metaphor can be defined as a figure of speech wherein one thing/idea is used to denote that of another, establishing a likeness between the two. In other words, to replace the meaning of one thing with another to show a relationship between them. Hyperbole is also a figure of speech. Hyperbolic speech seeks to use intentionally exaggerated language for emphasis of an idea or comic relief.
Now that we understand the two, let's begin to find keywords and/or "pop" words (words we may not understand or words we do not use in today's society).
- "...immortal..." - meaning to live on forever or to never die. "Forever" and "Never" are absolutes. Absolutes hint at an exaggeration.
- "...crushed and smothered under its load..." - "crushed and smothered" are powerful verbs that convey a heavy feeling to readers
- "...a barn seventy-five feet by forty..." - the quantitative information received from this quote paints a picture of a massive barn.
- "...Augean stables never cleansed..." - (Augean defined below) and "never" presents another absolute.
- "...one hundred acres of land..." - Another example of quantitative data that illustrates a large amount of land to look after.
"Pop" Word(s) include:
- "...well-nigh..." - Old English word for "almost"
- "...Augean..." - Related to Augeas. It means to put forth a strenuous amount of effort to complete or solve a seemingly impossible task or problem.
After learning the words and focusing on what is meant by them, now we can begin to piece it all together to see how the quote above uses metaphor and hyperbole.
- This load that this "poor immortal soul" has to bear as it goes through life is likened to the load of tending to a huge barn and expansive amount of land. Therein lies the metaphor. Hyperbole is evidenced in using absolutes and huge quantities to show the hurdles of both life and barn upkeep.
That's how we work through the first question, now on to the next one:
We are going to follow the same steps as before of reading out loud carefully, defining the figurative language, finding keyword/ "pop" words, and synthesizing/putting it all together.
The quotation is an example of a comparison. Explain why. "There is some of the same fitness in a man's building his own house that there is in a bird's building its own nest."
After reading it carefully, now we are going to define comparison. Comparison is the consideration between similarities or dissimilarities between 2 things/people.
Now for the keywords and "pop" words.
- Same - as we are looking at comparison, this word points to the two things being similar.
- House/Nest - A house and a nest are both homes.
"Pop" Word(s) include:
- Fitness - can either mean the suitability to complete one's role or a certain task or in the biological sense, one's ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.
Now that we have a better understanding of words we can find the comparison within the text.
- A man who is capable of building his home is as prepared for life as a bird building its nest. Both the bird and the man possess similar qualities as established by using the word "same".
We are going to continue onward to the third question:
The quotation is an example of personification. Explain why. "I saw it throwing off its nightly clothing of mist, and here and there, by degrees, its soft ripples or its smooth reflecting surface was revealed."
Personification is figurative language that applies attributes of people to inanimate/nonhuman things.
- "...its nightly clothing of mist..." - "Its" conveys possession, clothing is a human attribute.
- "its soft ripples or its smooth reflecting surface" - "Its" again is showing possession, ripples and a reflecting surface show it is not human.
Now let's syntheize the information.
- The presence of the possessive "its" gives what appears to be a body of water, which I will assume is a pond based on the subject of the book being examined, ownership of its form much like a human. By giving the pond clothing of mist, it personifies a typically inanimate thing.
For the final question, I would like to see if you try it, using the examples above and the key steps to solving them.
I will reiterate the steps:
- Read aloud carefully
- Define the figure of speech you are looking for (i.e metaphor, hyperbole, comparison, personification, etc.)
- Find keywords and "pop" words
- Rule of thumb; when looking for these words, pick those you need extra help understanding/need to look up and/or refer back to the definition of the figures of speech because that will give you a clue for what to look for.
- Synthesize information using the words/definitions you have found.
You got this!
If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out and message me. I wish you good luck in your learning endeavors.
Have a great day!