The Egypt Game Questions and Answers
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

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What are some similes from The Egypt Game?

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Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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A simile uses the words "like" and "as" to compare two often unconnected items. There are quite a few examples of similes in the novel:

He was tall and bent and his thin beard straggled up his cheeks like dry moss on gray rocks. His eyes were dark and expressionless, and set so deep under heavy brows that from a distance they looked like dark empty holes.

Here, the author uses similes to describe the children's initial feelings of apprehension about the professor. He is a figure of mystery to them, and they hardly know what to make of him. Essentially, the professor's reclusive habits fascinate the children, and they engage in speculations about his true character.

They didn’t say a word, but with widening eyes and small taut smiles they sent a charge of excitement dancing between them like a crackle of electricity.

Here, the children discover what they later call "Egypt." This location is actually the storage yard behind the professor's store. When the children enter the yard, they see a broken birdbath, a statue of Diana the Huntress, a stack of wooden porch pillars, and a bust of Nefertiti. April, Melanie, and Marshall are thrilled at their discovery. The author tells us that a "charge of excitement" passes between April and Melanie, and it is like "a crackle of electricity." Throughout the novel, similes like the ones above reinforce the importance of fantasy play in the children's lives. For someone like April, it is one way to navigate feelings of abandonment and loneliness after her mother goes on tour.

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Zilpha Keatley Snyder, the author of The Egypt Game, has some beautiful similes in her book. Similes are the comparison of two unlike things using the words "like" or "as." A few similes from the book are as follows:

  • "It was almost as if the old man's deadly silence was a black hole that had to be filled up quickly with lots of words" (pg 21).
  • "There she was, waiting for them in the shed, Nefertiti, the beautiful queen of ancient Egypt, like a magical omen" (pg. 38)
  • "As they watched, a final twist of fragrant smoke curled upward like a dancing snake and seemed to wind itself around the head of Thoth" (pg 150).

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user589402 | Student

what's a simile, sad, foreshadowing, and joyful passage for the Egypt game.