An In-depth Analysis of the Manifestation of Emotions and Ideas through Similes in Short Stories by Somerset Maugham

Zhala Jafarli, Ali Rahimi


Language is not always explicit, direct, and literal. Different modes of discourse and different genres entail entirely different style, structures, and lexicons. Literary genre is filled with different figures of speech including symbol, metonymy, synecdoche, personification, allusion, eponyms, and most predominantly metaphors and similes. The various kinds of literary devices are inextricably tied up with several kinds of meaning such as denotative vs. connotative, literal vs. figurative, core vs. non-core, conceptual vs. idiomatic, etc. Similes have diverse linguistic discoursal and pragmatic functions such as simplification, changing abstract concepts into concrete ones, presenting new perspective on the familiar objects, and comparing and likening two completely disparate and distinct objects or phenomena. This may create feeling of surprise, amazement, revelation, and other psychological states in the readers. Metaphors are intimately related to the semantic and pragmatic meanings of utterances. They are very effective devices at the hands of the writers to create a whole range of denotative and connotative meanings. It can have a negative and positive emotional impact on the readers. Still another function of similes is the effect made on the audience and the psychological emotional effect it might exercise on the readers. In this study, an in-depth analysis of the similes employed by Somerset Maugham in his short stories is carried out to see the objects and phenomena he has employed to create the similes and exercise the desired emotional feeling, cognitive orientation, and interpretation on the side of the readers.

Keywords: figurative language, figures of speech, simile, metaphor, meaning

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