Today’s lesson is on another common form of figurative language, the hyperbole, and a literary device that is its polar opposite, understatement. The use of either one can add humor, impact, and variety to a literary work. Authors who master the use of both develop powerful tools to add interest to their work.
I don't intend to turn this into an autism or ADHD blog, I promise. However, considering how much of my life tracks back to this pairing, I can't exactly talk about my experience with writing without bringing them up from time to time.
Both "disorders" have the strengths and frustrations, and there is a fair bit of overlap between the two. Yet, when both are experienced by the same person, this combination creates some unique presentations that can complicate the diagnosis of both.
This is one contributing factor to the majority of us autistic ADHDers being found "late" on average. One in particular is behind the largest of my current frustrations and why I missed a couple of weeks last month.
One of the more frustrating parts of "flying under the radar" long enough to reach adulthood before your difficulties become apparent enough for others to see them is the arsenal of maladaptive or faulty coping skills built throughout your youth. Quite often, you can sense they are not particularly helpful, or outright damaging in some cases, but after spending your life depending upon them, they are almost instinctive.
For those of us for whom everyday life can become overwhelming quickly on a bad day, we can fall into these poor coping skills before we even notice stress mounting. And let me tell you, that is an extremely frustrating place to be.
Stories, mythology and fairy tales in particular, have been a consistent special interest of mine as long as I can remember. At first, I listened or watched, as many children do before learning to read. When I had the ability, I would watch a movie or show again and again until I could quote every line by every character.
My understanding of the world, emotions, and how people interacted and thought was informed through this. I understood family members and friends by relating them to characters, using the way those characters reacted to predict how the people around me would respond. I used those characters and interactions I'd watched ad nauseam to cobble together the scripts and the mask I used to navigate the world.
Once I mastered reading, chapter books and novels became constant companions. In them I found a way to escape the sensory nightmare that was the school bus outside of staring out the window and disassociating throughout the trip. I found hundreds of new characters to fuel my imagination and build understanding, and novels went further into their mindset and thought patterns than movies and shows ever could, bettering my understanding of emotion and social interaction.
Unfortunately, this newfound joy and source of information came at a price.
We will take a look at personification today as we continue our study of figurative language. What exactly is personification?
Personification is defined as the application of human characteristics upon something nonhuman. This can be showing an inanimate object, concept, event, or animal through the use of human qualities or characteristics.
Because of its prevalence in cartoons, fables, and other children’s media, personification and its subsets are often some of the easiest forms of figurative language for many to understand. After all, how many of us grew up watching Disney films where a clock and a candlestick held conversations and argued with a teapot or the main characters were talking animals?
As I continue merging Contented Comfort's website with this one, it just seems fitting this month's Blast from the Past post revisits a post originally published on Contented Comfort's blog back in November 2016.
In addition to working as a freelance writer, A. B. England is a novelist, all around geek, avid crafter, and a homeschooling mother of two.
She is an autistic creator with a love of mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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