I am doing an English assignment where I have to identify the language techniques used in a feature article.

I am confused as to what technique is used in "She is pure guts and steel."

I first thought it is an idiom or a phrase but I'm not sure if that's correct

  • It's a little unclear to me what you're asking for. Are you asked to identify rhetorical or literary devices? I would call guts and steel an example of metonymy. – choster Mar 8 '16 at 7:01
  • I am asking what literary device would 'pure guts and steel' be. Other techniques I have identified in the texts are personal pronouns, exaggeration, intensifying words etc. – Caitlynisdunwithyou Mar 8 '16 at 7:06

It's a sentence, not a phrase, but I don't think that is the answer your teacher is looking for.

"Guts" -- which literally means "intestines" but is used to mean courage -- is an idiom, as you suspected, or more exactly a figure of speech.

"Pure guts" is hyperbole, an exaggeration for rhetorical effect.

"Steel" is a metaphor ("the use of a word or phrase to refer to something that it is not, invoking a direct similarity between the word or phrase used and the thing described").

Perhaps the technique referred to is one of these.

  • OK so i am going to say something like 'and a mixture of exaggeration and metaphors such as ‘pure guts and steel’ I'll see if that works for my teacher! Thank you @Malvolio for clarifying that – Caitlynisdunwithyou Mar 8 '16 at 8:52

The whole sentence is a metaphor, she is not literally comprised of these things, but figuratively has the properties of these them.

It's often confused with smilie, where a comparison is made between something and something else; e.g. "Enraged, he roared like a lion and pounced like one, too."

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