What are examples of figurative language in chapter 25 of Great Expectations?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pip the narrator describes the way Bentley Drummle would row his boat close behind those of Pip and Startop in the following phrase:

He would always creep in-shore like some uncomfortable amphibious creature, even when the tide would have sent him fast upon his way; 

Pip describes the attitude of Mr. and Mrs. Camilla and that of Georgiana towards Matthew Pocket with the following sentence.

Towards Mr. Pocket, as a grown-up infant with no notion of his own interests, they showed the complacent forbearance I had heard them express. 

One of Dickens' stylistic traits is that he frequently uses similes and metaphors in his descriptions. This is not a bad idea because these literary devices are intended to help the reader visualize something he has never seen by relating it in his mind to something with which he is familiar. There are several examples in Pip's description of Wemmick's home, including the following.

Nor was there any drawback on my little turret bedroom, beyond there being such a very thin ceiling between me and the flagstaff, that when I lay down on my back in bed, it seemed as if I had to balance that pole on my forehead all night.

Humor is another Dickens characteristic. He can describe even the most unattractive sights, persons, and events with a touch of humor. He started his literary career as a writer of humorous sketches about Mr. Pickwick, and these writings were so popular that he never gave up his humor--or perhaps it was such a strong part of his nature that he could not do so. His style was admired, envied, and imitated by writers throughout the English-speaking world. Editors would tell contributors: "Write about anything you choose, but make it like Dickens." Some of O. Henry's stories are good examples of stylistic imitations of Dickens, notably "The Cop and the Anthem" and "The Furnished Room."

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Great Expectations

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