What is a good example of a literary device used in Ray Bradbury's "The April Witch?"

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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"The April Witch" is a fanciful short story about a magical creature, Cecy Elliott, who wants to experience love. Her parents have warned her that to marry a mortal will cost her all of her magical powers. So Cecy inhabits the body of a young woman and forces her to see a young man so Cecy can see what love is like.

Literary devices (descriptions not to be taken literally) abound in the descriptions the author, Ray Bradbury, provides. For example, in describing Cecy, similes are used:

Invisible as new spring winds, fresh as the breath of clover rising from twilight fields, she flew.

A simile is a literary device that compares two dissimilar things as if they were the same thing, using "like" or "as." In the example above, Cecy is compared to "spring winds" and "the breath of clover" as she flies invisibly.

Later, a metaphor is used to describe Cecy. A metaphor is a literary device that compares two dissimilar things as if they were the same thing, without using "like" or "as." 

Cecy fell—a green leaf—into the well.

In this description, Cecy is not like the leaf, but described as a leaf. Not to be taken literally, Cecy is not green, does not grow on a tree or flutter lightly in the wind as a leaf does. However, like the movement of a leaf leaving a tree to fall to the ground, Cecy falls into the well.

Literary devices create mental images in the reader's mind to make the story come to life—providing descriptions of everyday things (like leaves) that the reader is aware of, to characters with whom the reader is not familiar.

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