Figurative language uses various figures of speech, like metaphors and similes, to make a piece of writing more effective. Figurative language also applies to imagery because it attempts to appeal to the senses of readers. Chapter 6 begins with Bud going to one of the shelters that is going to feed people. He has a little trouble getting in line, and he is fortunate that a family fakes being his family. This allows Bud to get into the building much sooner than he would have been able to do from the back of the line. We are told that everybody stands in line very quietly; however, once let into the building, the silence ends quite dramatically. Readers are given a great bit of figurative language that uses a simile.
When we finally got around the last comer and could see the door
and folks going in it seemed like a bubble busted and people started laughing and talking.
As for the tone, chapter 6 continues with Bud's standard storytelling tone. He's honest and straightforward with readers. His account of his hunger is quite frank, yet Bud is always somehow able to maintain a playful tone. Describing the people moving and talking like a bubble bursting is a fun way to describe a scene that is not about something fun.