Identify the figure of speech employed in the sentence: Mr. Bose, a pilot, is afraid of heights.
a) Alliteration b) Oxymoron c) Irony d) Personification
Hint: Alliteration refers to the repetition of one sound, oxymoron refers to contradictory terms used together, the irony is used when there's a marked contrast between what is said and what is meant, and personification is when a human quality is given to an inanimate object.
Complete answer: Let’s deconstruct the sentence and understand exactly what it means: Mr. Bose is a pilot. He is also afraid of heights. This is peculiar in the sense that pilots are always high up in the air. So, we have found the peculiarity.
Now, we know the meaning of the given sentence. Let’s look at each option now:
a) Alliteration - Alliteration is the conspicuous repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words, even those spelled differently. For example, ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’. This figure of speech is usually used in poetry. However, there is no repetition of consonant sounds in the given question. So, this is an incorrect option. b) Oxymoron - Oxymoron is a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. For example, ‘deafening silence’ or ‘clearly confused’. It is usually used as a literary device for provoking thought. However, the given question does not contain contradictory terms. So, this is an incorrect option. c) Irony - Irony is the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect. In the given sentence, the pilot is afraid of heights. This is an example of irony. So, this is the correct option. d) Personification - Personification is the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something non-human, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form. However, in the given question, there is no inanimate object that has been assigned a human quality. So, this is an incorrect option.
Note: Find the peculiarity in the sentence by understanding the meaning of the sentence. This will help you to find the correct figure of speech. Go through the given options and pick the appropriate answer.