Style Guide 3- Rhetorical Figure: Hyperbole

Hyperbole is a type of metaphor that uses exaggeration to draw readers into the stories. In the storium stories, hyperbole is effectively applied to created drama, horror, and comedy. In this essay, I will be illustrating the use of hyperbole in creating image and ideas, as well as evoking emotions. Thus, the authors’ rhetorical figure choice of applying hyperbole in their stories is compelling, and extraordinarily made these stories excellently written.
Setting and characters descriptions are essentials to help audience in visualizing the scenes in the story. The use hyperbole in the storium stories created an image to the readers when reading descriptive scenes. For example in The Violin(Scene 3), “She stabbed him with her stare.” When the reader thinks of the word, ‘stabbed’ an image of a knife or other sharp object appears in mind. As straight and shine as the knife is, the reader can instantly visualize the stare.  The comparison between staring and stabbing gives an image of what the author is trying to communicate. Another example is found in The Tape ( Scene  2, Becca), “As James is dragging me down the hallway to get away from the room, we try to make it to our bedrooms, but it seems like this long, dark hallway goes on forever.” The phrase, “The hallway goes on forever”, is a place description for the readers to imagine how James and Becca view the hallway, which also communicates their feelings. The exaggerations phrases such as, “…dark hallway goes on forever.” and in the Harmonia (Scene 1, the narrator), “The crops seemed to go on for eternity.” The other word mostly used to offer the audience an image of what is happening in the story is “thousands” It was used in the Harmonia (Scene 1, Roccafella) “Day by day. City by city. Spike by spike holding down the thousands of the railroad lines stretching across Indiana.”

While hyperbole creates imagery and ideas. It is also used to communicate characters’ emotions, and evoke audience emotions. For example, in The violin (Scene 1),“It’s your first day of school Jink, I understand and you’ve told me a million and one times.” As common as “told me a million time” is used in many stories, the addition of “and one” indicates characters’ frustration, both the person who said something a thousands and one times and to also the person who responds. Another example of where emotions were communicated via the use of hyperbole is found in The Tape (Scene 2, Becca), “My heart was beating a thousand times a minute, and I’m pretty sure James could hear it because he wrapped his arms around my shoulders and rocked back and forth like mom used to do when we were little.”A normal person’s heart can not beat a thousand times a minute, that is impossible. However, it describes the feeling, the frightening mood is excellently communicated. To add to that, hyperbole was also used to illustrate the excitement among characters by comparing a character to nonhuman things.  In Unexpected Love (Scene 3, Marissa) “Marissa grabs Dexter’s hands, and dragged him like a ragdoll to the dance floor.”  Both characters; Dexter who is being dragged as a ragdoll, and Marissa who is dragging Dexter, the ragdoll, are both excited and want to enjoy the moment to the fullest. Adding to the role of hyperbole in communicating emotions, these two sentences illustrate an almost burst of emotions found in The Tape (Scene 3, Stacy),“There is a heavy weight, almost like a fog, surrounding my body.” And in The Violin (Scene 3, narrator.), “The gravity of the world fell on her and was crushing Arthur too.” The phrases, “heavyweight” and “the gravity of the world” both are exaggerating the feelings of the characters.

In addition to creating image and evoking emotions through hyperbole; the authors of these stories also used hyperbole to communicate the stories’ purpose and ideas. The purpose of Unexpected Love story is indicated in Unexpected Love (Scene 3, Marissa), “It’s at the moment, like pieces of a puzzle, arranged and guided by the stars, that their destinies join, in the vacant, air conditioned diner…the ceiling fans being the only source of sound in that moment, whirring seemingly infinitely.” The purpose of the story is unfolded in this sentence, specifically, “ like pieces of a puzzle, arranged by the stars”, this indicates a ‘happily ever after’ end. Also, “that destinies join.” illustrates the purpose of the entire story, Dexter and Marissa are destined to be together.

Another example of communicating an idea or purpose is, “Like dogs whose bones have been snatched right from their mouths, the disgruntled trio advances towards Dexter and Marissa, attempting to break up the two. Dexter made a bold move, stealing their “trophy”, and for that, he must pay.”Unexpected Love scene 3, the Jocks)  The comparison of the Jocks to dogs, and Marissa to a trophy, contributes to the idea of Marissa being the most beautiful and popular girl at the school. And since the Jocks think that they are ‘all about that’ in every place they go; assuming that they will be liked and accepted by everyone. However, with Marissa, the ‘trophy’, distances herself from the Jocks, the ‘dogs’.

In conclusion, the use of hyperbole, simultaneously, communicated image, emotions, and ideas. And also added to the horror, drama, and comedy of the stories. To create extra effects the authors used hyperbole. For example, without all the exaggerations in ‘The Violin’, the story would not have been scary. The use of hyperbole effectively gave these stories a meaning. In drama genres, hyperbole does not only describe characters’ emotions, but also makes the audiences to feel emotionally connected to the characters.

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