What metaphors are found in Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations"?
In his short story "The Cold Equations," author Tom Godwin uses personification and similes much more often than he uses metaphors. Still, a few metaphors can be found. A metaphor is a type of figurative language in which an author creates additional meaning by comparing two unrelated things by saying something is something else. Through metaphors, authors give further meaning to abstract concepts by relating abstract concepts to concrete objects, allowing the reader to picture the abstract concept in his or her mind. Metaphors can be implied as well as explicitly stated.
Godwin uses two metaphors in Marilyn's final remarks to her brother in their goodbye conversation over the communicator. In these final remarks, Marilyn tells her brother she'll always be with him in some form or another, even in her death. The idea that Marilyn will always be with him gives both of them more courage to face their losses. Marilyn first uses a metaphor to describe herself as the breeze that surrounds a person, thereby comparing herself to a breeze, saying "maybe I'll be the touch of a breeze that whispers to you as it goes by."
Since Marilyn is saying she will be a breeze in the future, even though she can never literally be a breeze, even in her death, she is creating an implied comparison by calling herself a breeze in some future point in time.
She next creates an implied metaphor to say she'll always be near him in the form of a lark. She says, "maybe I'll be one of those gold-winged larks you told me about, singing my silly head off to you."
Even in her death, Marilyn cannot literally be breeze or a lark, we know she is creating metaphors by saying she will be those things in the future.
Earlier, a simpler, explicitly stated metaphor is used to describe Barton's and Marilyn's view of the planet Woden aboard the EDS as they approach it:
Woden was a ball.
Planets are never literally balls. Even the planet Earth is not perfectly spherical. It is, instead, what scientists today call "not even a perfect oblate spheroid" (Choi, C., "Strange but True: Earth Is Not Round," Scientific American).