What is an example of "figure of speech" in The Old Man And The Sea?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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A good example of figures of speech is Hemingway's use of simple metaphors to describe events and objects. For example, when describing Santiago's face, Hemingway writes:

...none of these scars were fresh. They were as old as erosions in a fishless desert.

"Old as erosions..." is a metaphor describing how Santiago's scars have weathered with time and with age. Like the ancient bedrock erosion of a desert from the long-ago oceans that covered it, the scars on Santiago's hands show his long history with the ocean and his determination in continuing to fish.

Another good example comes in Manolin's dialogue, remembering the first time he went to sea with Santiago and the powerful fish that almost sank their skiff:

"...the noise of you clubbing him like chopping a tree down..."

Here, the act of clubbing the fish to keep it from capsizing them is compared to "chopping a tree," since both the large fish and a tree require great exertion in their clubbing/chopping. Metaphors like these are figures of speech throughout the text.

(Quotes: Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, Google Books)


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