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What's your definition of "imagery"?

Discussion in 'English' started by cuppacoffee, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. cuppacoffee

    cuppacoffee New commenter

    I'm a bit stuck as in one question of a CIE Primary English exam students have to decide what a phrase is an example of (the underlined part below).

    They can choose from: alliteration, imagery, metaphor, simile or personification. The answer in the mark scheme is "imagery", but I would have ticked "metaphor".

    "All my life I had thought he would have a predatory look of an
    ancient crow under the shadow of his sou’wester."

    Help!
     
  2. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Ridiculous - metaphor, simile and personification are all examples of imagery. There is no such thing as 'imagery' on its own - it's a blanket term. I'd have identified it as metaphor, too.
     
  3. cuppacoffee

    cuppacoffee New commenter

    Phew! Thank-you very much, grouch!
     
  4. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    If I had had to answer this question, I would have put "imagery".

    Agree, though, that it looks like a very odd question as imagery can include all those other things, as grouch says. (It can also be used to include epithets or any descriptive language - not necessarily figurative expressions.)

    If "imagery" had not been given as an option, then I would have put "metaphor".
     
  5. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Perhaps the thinking is that having the look of something isn't a metaphor but it is providing an image and so "imagery" is correct.
     
  6. cuppacoffee

    cuppacoffee New commenter

    Thanks for replying, markuss.

    Perhaps because the modal "would" has been used, it doesn't count as a metaphor because the writer isn't saying that one thing is another, but rather suggesting it (I've been puzzled by this for over a year).

    But then wouldn't it be a simile (comparing one thing to another)?

    But then,maybe not as the writer didn't use "like" or "as".

    How are kids in Yr 6 meant to work this out if we adults are debating it?!
     
  7. cuppacoffee

    cuppacoffee New commenter

    Or, like you say, as neither simile nor metaphor are obvious then by default it is "just" imagery
     
  8. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Agree with all that, cuppa - especially the appropriateness (or not) for Y6.
     

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