In The Birthmark, what are the figures of speech which are used to describe the laboratory?

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The narrator uses a metaphor to describe the intellectual, intangible reaches of Aylmer's studies in this laboratory. A metaphor is a comparison of two unalike things where one thing is said to be another. The narrator says,

Seated calmly in this laboratory, the pale philosopher had investigated the secrets of...

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The narrator uses a metaphor to describe the intellectual, intangible reaches of Aylmer's studies in this laboratory. A metaphor is a comparison of two unalike things where one thing is said to be another. The narrator says,

Seated calmly in this laboratory, the pale philosopher had investigated the secrets of the highest cloud region and of the profoundest mines [...].

The heights and the depths of Aylmer's study in this place are compared to "highest cloud region[s]" and "profoundest mines," respectively. Nature is also personified as a woman who purposely "assimilates all her precious influences from earth and air" in order to assist humankind, which is her finest creation. Personification is the attribution of human qualities to something that is not human. Nature is also personified as a "creative Mother" who keeps her own secrets despite her apparent candor.

There is, also, a great deal of visual and even olfactory imagery in the narrator's description of Aylmer's rooms:

[...] Georgiana [...] found herself breathing an atmosphere of penetrating fragrance, the gentle potency of which had recalled her from her deathlike faintness. The scene around her looked like enchantment. Aylmer had converted those smoky, dingy, sombre rooms [...] into a series of beautiful apartments not unfit to be the secluded abode of a lovely woman. The walls were hung with gorgeous curtains, which imparted the combination of grandeur and grace that no other species of adornment can achieve; and as they fell from the ceiling to the floor, their rich and ponderous folds, concealing all angles and straight lines, appeared to shut in the scene from infinite space. For aught Georgiana knew, it might be a pavilion among the clouds. And Aylmer, excluding the sunshine [...] had supplied its place with perfumed lamps, emitting flames of various hue, but all uniting in a soft, impurpled radiance.

The smell of the rooms is described a few times, via olfactory images, as fragrant and perfumed, and we might imagine an aromatherapeutic kind of experience for Georgiana. The smells seem to both make her more alert and to relax her simultaneously. Further, the visual imagery of what the rooms used to look like before Aylmer transformed them—"smoky, dingy, [and] sombre"— juxtaposes with how it now appears with the "gorgeous" and "rich" curtains that soften the angles of the room and seem to isolate the space. Georgiana's senses are so gratified by the sights and smells of the rooms that she feels as though the place could be enchanted (when, in fact, the opposite is true!). The mental image of a "pavilion among the clouds" is certainly beautiful, as is the description of the perfumed and colorful lamps' "impurpled" light. We can readily imagine this place, with its sights and smells, in our imaginations as a result of all this imagery.

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Nathaniel Hawthorne uses many different figures of speech in his short story The Birthmark. When Georgiana enters the laboratory, Hawthorne has used multiple examples of figurative language to heighten the language of the description. In introducing the laboratory, Hawthorne uses imagery, a simile, and alliteration. (Definitions of the figures of speech are taken from eNotes Guide to Literary Terms.)

Imagery: "the forming of mental images, figures, or likenesses of things."

Imagery can be found in the descriptions of Aylmer's studies conducted in his laboratory. When the narrator is speaking about Aylmer's studies of clouds, mines, volcanoes, and fountains, readers are whisked away on a mental journey across the world. The fact that an engaged reader can see these places through the construction of mental pictures is imagery.

Simile: "a figure of speech in which two things, essentially different but thought to be alike in one or more respects, are compared using “like,” “as,” “as if,” or “such” for the purpose of explanation, allusion, or ornament."

She permits us, indeed, to mar, but seldom to mend, and, like a jealous patentee, on no account to make.

Here, she refers to the "creative Mother." Therefore, when she (the Mother) is compared to a jealous patentee (someone who holds a patent for something), a simile occurs.

Alliteration: "the repetition of an initial sound in two or more words of a phrase, line, or sentence."

While alliteration is typically found in poetry, the use of it in other texts is just as easily recognized. Therefore, the repetition of the"f," "v," and "h" sounds.

Forthwith there issued from an inner apartment a man of low stature, but bulky frame, with shaggy hair hanging about his visage, which was grimed with the vapors of the furnace.

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