I Am Legend Questions and Answers
by Richard Matheson

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What literary devices are used in Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend?

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Among the many literary devices that Richard Matheson employs, especially abundant are metaphors (direct comparison of unlike things) and similes (comparison using like or as).

Trying to hold back the emotional overload that he feels will disable him, Neville thinks in water and flood metaphors.

Everything seemed to flood over him then. It was as though he’d been the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, refusing to let the sea of reason in.

As he wonders about the reason why holding up a cross will repel a vampire, and if this holds true for non-Christians, he discourages himself from overthinking the phenomenon, metaphorically comparing this slippery thinking to the physical kind.

Was there a logical answer, something he could accept without slipping on banana skins of mysticism?

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