What are some quotes from to To Kill a Mockingbird that contain metaphors?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Scout as an adult narrates in retrospect, peering through the tunnel of memory mixed with age, she embellishes her account with some rather colorful metaphors. Introducing her family history with humor, she explains that her ancestor

  • Simon Finch would never have paddled up the Alabama River if General Andrew Jackson had not "run the Creeks up the creek."  This is a colloquial metaphor for Jackson's having taken away the land from the Creek Indians.
  • In describing the history of the area, Scout narrates that the Haverfords had dispatched Maycomb's leading blacksmith in a misunderstanding over his keeping a mare. (Here shooting is called "dispatching")
  • In describing the Radley Place across the street, Scout employs several unstated comparisons, such as her stating that it was "inhabited by an unknown entity" [Boo Radley] or a malevolent phantom
  • Her other neighbors are also likened to various beings, such as "Mrs. Dubose was plain hell"
  • The town gossip Stephanie Crawford is "a neighborhood scold."
  • Mr. Radley, Boo's father, Jem describes as having "bought cotton," meaning in a politer way that he does nothing.
  • On the first day of school, Jem "cut me from the covey of first-graders," comparing in an unstated metaphor that the first graders resembles a covey of quail.
  • After having been scolded for already knowing how to read, Scout apologizes and "retired meditating upon my crime "
  • Having been made to stand in the corner, Scout calls her time there "my sojourn."
  • Of course, the most pronounced and significant metaphor is "mockingbirds" which are what innocent people are compared to.
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To Kill a Mockingbird

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