What are some similes and metaphors in the novel Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi?

In Crispin: The Cross of Lead, Avi uses similes and metaphors throughout the story to add color and deeper meaning to his descriptions. In one instance, the author employs a simile, comparing the narrator's heart to "a city under siege."

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Metaphors directly state a comparison between two things, and similes state a comparison between two things using the words "like" or "as."

The author uses metaphors and similes throughout the story to give his writing life and depth. He uses them sparingly, however, in order to maintain their effect on...

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Metaphors directly state a comparison between two things, and similes state a comparison between two things using the words "like" or "as."

The author uses metaphors and similes throughout the story to give his writing life and depth. He uses them sparingly, however, in order to maintain their effect on the reader. Notice that most of the similes and metaphors he uses fit the medieval world and spiritual-like atmosphere of the book.

On page 13, the narrator uses both metaphor and a simile to talk about his life in Stromford village where he lives, comparing time there to "the great millstone" and that it "ground us to dust like kerneled wheat."

On page 16, the narrator uses a simile to compare Lord Furnival's manor house to a castle.

With stone walls two levels high and small windows, the manor was to me like a castle, high, mighty, and impenetrable.

On page 36, the narrator uses a simile to tell us how he feels about the priest's revelations about his mother.

The things the priest had said made my heart feel like a city under siege.

On page 40, the narrator uses a simile to compare the herbs hanging in the darkness from the rafters to carcasses.

Smoke thickened the air, making the herbs that hung from the rafters look like dangling carcasses.

On page 54, the narrator uses a simile to explain how he feels while lying under the cold, misty gray sky soon after he's escaped from Stromford.

Thick and clammy air embraced me like the fingers of some loathsome toad.

On page 90, the narrator uses a metaphor to express how his newfound friend's face, a giant's face, looks in the firelight.

Bear's red beard seemed to glitter in the firelight, so that his face—despite the dark—was equal to any sun.

On page 237, the narrator uses a simile to express how much food he can see at the feast set out at Lord Furnival's manor in Stromford.

Bones, breads, bottles, and bowls lay scattered everywhere, as if voracious giants had to dine.

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The author uses similes and metaphors throughout the text. Figures of speech that employ comparisons between unlike things, as both of these do, may help make the visual aspect of a narrative more dynamic by conjuring up images. They may also relate some element of the speaker’s everyday existence to larger issues or abstract concepts. A simile uses “like” or “as” in making the comparison, while a metaphor is a direct comparison.

After the bailiff burns down his hut, Crispin climbs up a hill at the edge of town to get a better view and decide where to go. Looking down, he uses two similes, one comparing the landscape to a tapestry and the other comparing the sky to garments.

Before me—like some rolled-out tapestry—was my entire world beneath a sky as blue as Our Lady's blessed robes.

In describing the dull routine of their lives, Crispin uses the metaphor of the millstone for time. A similar figure, referring to the mills of God or the gods, derives from an ancient Greek saying that refers to divine retribution.

Thus our lives never changed, but went round the rolling years beneath the starry vault of distant Haven. Time was the great millstone, which ground us to dust like kernelled wheat.

After a narrow escape from his pursuers, as he is accused of theft, Crispin sleeps outside and wakes up in the morning to a thick fog. He uses both a simile and metaphors to compare it to wool, a toad, and rotten hay. Another metaphor calls the sun a jewel.

I woke to a wool-like world of misty grey. Thick and clammy air embraced me like the fingers of some loathsome toad Sounds were stifled Solid shapes were soft as rotten hay. No sun jewelled the sky.

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Similes and metaphors are literary devices that use comparisons to help with descriptions in writing. Similes are phrases that use the words "like" or "as" to compare two things, while metaphors are more direct and do not use "like" or "as."

There are plenty of similes used in Crispin: The Cross of Lead, such as the following example, quoted from Chapter 8:

The things the priest had said made my heart feel like a city under siege.

This line comes after Father Quinel tells Crispin that he has been declared a "wolf's head," meaning that anyone may kill him without consequence. Crispin's heart is like a city under siege, because he is overwhelmed and in great danger.

In Chapter 8, Father Quinel also tells Crispin that his name is Crispin—before this point, the boy had only been referred to as Asta's son. This leads to this line of narration in Chapter 9:

It was rather like a new garment that replaces an old, desired but not yet comfortable.

Crispin uses this simile to describe how he feels about his new name; he definitely likes it, but he's not quite used to it yet.

Now let's move on to metaphors. The following metaphor comes from Chapter 2:

Night was a mask for outlaws, hungry wolves, the Devil and his minions.

Here, without using like or as, Crispin compares the night to a mask, because the darkness keeps things hidden.

Those are just a few examples, there are plenty more to find!

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