What is a simile in chapter 21 of Walk Two Moons?

A simile in chapter 21 of Walk Two Moons occurs when Sal compares the capital y in the e e cummings poem to a newborn horse.

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To find a simile in chapter 21 of Sharon Creech’s novel Walk Two Moons, one will have to understand what a simile is so that they’ll know what to be on the lookout for. A simile is a literary device that compares two unlike things. The comparison will contain some kind of comparison word—typically like or as. An author will often use a simile in order to give a description extra drama or contrast. As a simile brings together two different entities, they tend to be illuminating and thought-provoking.

In chapter 21, Mr. Birkway, Sal’s teacher, introduces a poem by the experimental, modernist poet e e cummings. In his poetry, cummings intentionally undercut normal rules regarding grammar and punctuation. His deviant syntax influenced how he stylized his name, which he chose not to capitalize.

Sal’s friend, Phoebe Winterbottom, is not impressed by cummings’s nonconformist connection to grammar. Mr. Brikway reads a cummings’s poem called “the little horse is newlY.” Phoebe quips that cummings probably never studied English, which is why his poem’s title looks like a typo.

Sal has a different opinion of the poem. She likes how only the y is capitalized. To her, that “Y looked like the newly born horse standing up on his thin legs.” Here, two unlike things are compared. A letter of the alphabet is compared to an animal. Specifically, a capital y is likened to a newborn horse. The comparison could make one think differently about the relationship between letters of the alphabet and animals. It should also make one think of a simile.

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