The Night the Bed Fell

by James Thurber

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What are two similes used in the story "The Night the Bed Fell"?

Two examples of similes in James Thurber's story "The Night the Bed Fell" are the narrator's comparison of his overturned cot to a canopy and his comparison of the night's humorous events to a giant jigsaw puzzle.

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A simile is a literary device in which a comparison is made between two seemingly different things. This comparison is illustrated through the use of the words like or as. This is not to be confused with a metaphor, which also compares two different things but does so without the use of like or as.

In James Thurber's "The Night the Bed Fell," the narrator humorously recalls a series of strange events and misunderstandings that took place one night during his childhood. Thurber employs many literary devices in his writing, including the use of similes.

The narrator recalls sleeping on an army cot. He rolls over in his sleep and falls on the floor with the cot landing on top of him. He says the cot "rested above [him] like a canopy." This is an example of a simile. The narrator is comparing the overturned cot to a canopy because of the way the cot hangs over him, much like a canopy. In this example, the word like is used to illustrate the comparison.

Another example of a simile is the first line of the story's final paragraph: "The situation was finally put together like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle." As he concludes his story, the narrator compares the wacky events of the night to a large jigsaw puzzle. He accomplishes this with the use of the word like. Each member of the family has his/her own interpretation of the night's events. As the story comes to an end, all of these interpretations come together like the pieces of a completed puzzle.

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