Collectively, what do these quotes mean in To Kill a Mockingbird? (Note emphasis in all-caps.)
"Molasses buckets appeared from nowhere, and the CEILING DANCED WITH METALLIC LIGHT"
"Miss Caroline was no more than twenty-one. She had bright auburn hair, pink cheeks, and wore crimson fingernail polish. She also wore high-heeled pumps and a red-and-white striped dress. SHE LOOKED and smelled LIKE A PEPPERMINT DROP"
"WALTER LOOKED AS IF HE HAD BEEN RAISED ON FISH FOOD his eyes, as blue as Dill Harris’s, were red-rimmed and watery. There was no color in his face except at the tip of his nose, which was moistly pink...."
"You can’t do that, Scout ... Sometimes it’s better TO BEND THE LAW A LITTLE in special cases. In your case, THE LAW REMAINS RIGID. So to school you must go."
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If you look at the all-caps portion of each quote, you will notice that a figure of speech is being emphasized in each. Basically speaking, a figure of speech is a descriptive phrase that is not meant to be read and taken literally, but instead, it compares two unlike things to make a point. Figures of speech can be similes, which use the word "like" or "as" or they can be metaphors, which do not use these words. The above quotes have a mixture of similes and metaphors. I will provide a basic explanation of the first two and encourage you to figure out the others:
- metaphor: ceilings do not "dance" but as a result of the buckets underneath, the light reflected on the ceiling as if it was dancing.
- simile: Miss Caroline is not a piece of candy, however, according to Scout, she "looked and smelled like a peppermint drop." This description is a humorous way of saying she is dressed in a coordinating outfit (possibly of red and white) and smells far too clean and sweet to fit in with the classroom full of country bumpkins.
Using the examples above, see if you can identify the figure of speech in your final two quotes, and what they mean.
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