Identify the figure of speech in the following sentence: The bird was a star shooting across the sky.
a) Synecdoche b) Personification c) Simile d) Metaphor
Hint: Synecdoche is used when a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, personification is when a human quality is given to an inanimate object, the simile is used to make an indirect comparison, and metaphor is used to make a direct comparison.
Complete answer: Let’s deconstruct the sentence and understand exactly what it means:
The given sentence compares a bird to a shooting star. However, it does so directly without using any helping words such as ‘like’.
Now, we know the meaning of the sentence. Let’s look at the available options:
a) synecdoche - Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in England lost by six wickets (meaning ‘ the English cricket team’). This figure of speech is used in everyday life without much heed being paid to it. However, it is not the required answer, as there is no direct comparison. So, this is an incorrect option. b) personification - Personification is the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something-human, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form. However, there is no inanimate object that has been assigned a human quality. So, this is an incorrect option. c) simile - A simile is a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g. as brave as a lion ). This makes an indirect comparison between two things, exactly like the question. So, this is an incorrect option. d) metaphor - A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. It is a direct comparison. For example, Life is a journey. Here, life is directly compared to a journey. It does not use additional words to make the comparison. There is a direct comparison to the question. So, the correct answer is “Option d”.
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.