How can I create a metaphor or simile from my interpretation of Arrow's character in The Cellist of Sarajevo?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Because poetry and music stir up emotional responses in the reader / listener, a comparison that uses the senses in unusual ways might be effective. The poem you are analyzing is about music but also about protecting the musician.

You might try using aural sensation. Reading the poem aloud is...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Because poetry and music stir up emotional responses in the reader / listener, a comparison that uses the senses in unusual ways might be effective. The poem you are analyzing is about music but also about protecting the musician.

You might try using aural sensation. Reading the poem aloud is a good way to learn how the poet is using language. If it suggests rapid, fluid motion, a comparison of floating down a river might work.

In this case, I suggest listening to cello music. Cello often sounds serious or sad. What colors or visual images might arise? Black or night can mean sad. A bright star in a night sky is often used for hope. Conversely, a cloudy sky suggests disappointment.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

An effective way to construct powerful metaphors and/or similes about a literary character is to do a brief character analysis before worrying about the creative part.

Using a graphic organizer or just taking notes on a simple list, scan through the story to find defining words/thoughts, feelings, and actions related to Arrow’s character.

A starter list could look something like this:

Arrow

Words/thoughts

  • “does not want to pull her trigger...because she can see that he doesn't want to pull his”

Feelings

  • Senses the cellist is important but is unsure why
  • Learns that world still can be good

Actions

  • Protects cellist with her sniper rifle

Once you are satisfied with your list, remember that a metaphor is a literary technique that connects two separate ideas with a comparison in order to make a surprising new or insightful meaning. A simile serves the same purpose, but always uses the words “like” or “as” to connect the ideas.

Scan through your list and brainstorm images that come to mind as you think about Arrow. For example, my note “learns that world still can be good” reminds me of a time that I saw a bright yellow dandelion growing in the middle of a pile of ash from a burned down house in my neighborhood. So I might write, “Arrow’s world seems to be covered in dark ashes, but her hope still lives, like a single bright flower struggling to the surface among the rubble.”

My advice would be to write four or five metaphors or similes and then choose the one that speaks the most to you and your assignment. Good luck!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team