The Chocolate War Questions and Answers
by Robert Cormier

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Is personification and metaphor used in 'The Chocolate War'?

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Both personification and metaphor are used in The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. Personification and similes are types of metaphor. A metaphor directly compares an object to another object or action. Unlike similes, direct metaphors do not use "like" or "as."

With personification the object is being compared to a human, or the object is being given the traits and qualities of humans.

Below are some examples of metaphor (and simile) specifically from The Chocolate War:

“The coach looked like an old gangster: broken nose, a scar on his cheek like a stitched shoestring” (6). This is a simile that compares the coach’s appearance to that of an old gangster.

“Obie closed the notebook as if he were lowering a coffin lid” (14). In this simile Obie’s notebook is being compared to a coffin lid, because both Obie’s notebook and a coffin lid symbolize things that have been finalized.


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ambereby94 | Student

Before searching for examples of personification and metaphor in the text, let's clearly define them, so we know what we are looking for. Personification and metaphor are types of figurative language, which means they have a figurative or imaginary meaning rather than a literal, factual one. Authors use figurative language to emphasize a feeling, emotion, or other specific idea from the text.

Personification: When the author gives human qualities to something nonhuman.

Metaphor: A comparison between two different things without using like or as.

An example from the text of a metaphor is: "As Jerry took another deep breath, a pain appeared, distant, small--a radar signal of distress. Bleep, I'm here. Pain" (5).

Here the author compares Jerry's pain with a boat's signal to explain how intense his pain felt.

Due to the use of descriptive language by the author of the text, you'll likely find more examples of these specific types of figurative language.