Overstatements: This is the Best Blog Ever

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Overstatements can be some of the best things to work with in a story or to even identify. "The words are obviously and inappropriately excessive, and readers or listeners therefore understand that the true meaning is considerably less than what is said" (Roberts 168). Although this is usually shown in stories (or even in the example that Roberts gives on 168) to be funny, it can also work to the author's benefit to exaggerate a situation to hide the pain of a situation or to downplay the true meaning in a way that causes the reader to question the true motivate behind what the character is doing. For example, if a character is extremely lonely, but does not want to show that she is lonely, she might say something like, "Everyone else has someone. I'm going to be the last girl in the world, and no one would still date me." Here the character is expressing an extreme exaggeration to illustrate how sad and lonely she really is without coming right out and saying it. In some cases this may seem funny, but mostly it just shows sadness. The same applies to pretty much any emotion such as anger or jealousy.

3 Comments

Jessica Orlowski said:

I believe that extreme irony is used if a person wants to escape a certain situation. Look at Miss Brill- her entire life is exaggerated, and she's obviously trying to escape something.

Melissa Schwenk said:

Is Miss Brill really trying to escape something though or did she simply fall into a pattern and somehow got stuck in it? Her life is exaggerated, but it mostly just shows how sad of a person she is with some relatively funny moments.

Kayla Lesko said:

This sorta ties in with the chapter... There's a shirt that says, "Hyperbole is the best thing ever!" Anyhoo...

I was always a little confused as to what hyperbole meant and when I point out that other people say it (mind you, I don't do this to random people), they give me this puzzled look. Oh well, at least they learned something new.

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