In Chapter 2 of "Lord of the Flies", what are two similes to describe the flames?

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dymatsuoka's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

A simile is a figure of speech where two unlike things are compared using "like" or "as".  There are some notable similes used in Chapter 2 to describe the flames.

In one especially descriptive simile, the author compares the flames to a squirrel.  He says,

"Small flames stirred at the trunk of a tree and crawled away through leaves and patch touched a tree trunk and scrambled up like a bright squirrel...the squirrel leapt on the wings of the wind and clung to another standing tree, eating downwards".

A few lines later in the same paragraph, the flames are compared to another animal, the jaguar -

"The flames, as though they were a kind of wild life, crept as a jaguar creeps on its belly toward a line of birch-like saplings that fledged an outcrop of the pink rock" (Chapter 2).


amarang9's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

For yards round the fire the heat was like a blow, and the breeze was a river of sparks. 

The heat from the initial flames is "like a blow" which is to say it is like a wind current. This is a gentle, warming comparison.

The flames, as noted in the previous answer, are also compared in similes to animals. With these symbols, the fire/heat is compared to things in nature. But not the transition of comparisons: from the wind to a squirrel to a jaguar. The sequence suggests a progression beginning with something harmless (even welcomed - a warm breeze) and ends with something predatory. At the end of the chapter, the complete progression of these symbols parallels the boys' progression as well: from civilized to savage, from innocent to warlike. 

A tree exploded in the fire like a bomb. 

This simile does compare the tree (not the flames) to a bomb. But it is the fire that initially brought heat and warmth - now described as something destructive - a bomb, killing something natural and innocent (tree). The sequence of comparisons parallels the boys' descent from innocence to violence: breeze, squirrel, jaguar, bomb. 


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