The Use of Figurative Language for Love Depiction in Maya Angelou’s Selected Poems

Fransiska Dewi Hastuti

Abstract


Figurative language contributes to indirect artistic communication beautifully in enhancing the various imagination to certain expressions and feelings. One most common theme related to feelings is love, which is often depicted in a variety of ways. Maya Angelou composed her poems Touched by An Angel and When You Come to express the feeling of love in different dimensions. This study is to reveal and compare the use of figurative language in love depiction as implied in Angelou’s selected love poems. The data is collected using the library research method and the analysis is done descriptively. The result reveals that both of Angelou’s poems have three stages of love with different approach. The figurative language based on Kennedy’s division includes the comparative and contradictive ones. Touched by An Angel contains both comparative and contradictive figurative language, whereas When You Come has only comparative one. Personification is the only figure of speech found in both poems. Simile and metaphor are in the latter poem. The contradictive figures of speech, namely hyperbole, irony, and paradox, are found in the first poem. This indicates that Angelou emphasizes on comparative figurative language consistently and contradictive figurative language occasionally for love depiction in her poems.

 

Keywords: comparative study, figurative language, love depiction, Maya Angelou

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Lembaga Penelitian dan Pengabdian pada Masyarakat (LPPM) Universitas Widya Dharma Pontianak