In The Chosen, what is a good passage involving figurative language?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

On page 6 of The Chosen by Chaim Potok, there are a number of examples of figurative language involved in the description of a baseball game in which Reuven Malter, the protagonist, is playing. Mr. Galanter, the coach, yells at the team, "Close in. A battleship could get between you and Malter." In this example, the coach is using hyperbole, or exaggeration (a type of figurative language), to describe the space between two players on the baseball team. The coach then says, "The enemy's on the ground. That throw was wide, Goldberg. Throw it like a sharpshooter." In these sentences, the coach is using a metaphor and a simile, comparing the baseball game to a war with enemy troops attacking and sharpshooters keeping them at bay. 

Lower on the same page, the narrator of the book, Reuven, says, "To the rabbis who taught in the Jewish parochial schools, baseball was an evil waste of time, the spawn of the potentially assimilationist English portion of the yeshiva day." In this metaphor, Reuven likens the rabbis' conception of baseball to a spawn, or an animal-like offspring. In other words, by using the word "spawn," Reuven underscores the rabbis' disdain for baseball. The boys' interest in baseball is something that the rabbis do not want and something that they can't control, as they would prefer that the boys concentrate on their study of Talmud. 

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