The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

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Metaphors In The Scarlet Ibis

What are three good metaphors in the short story "The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst?

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James Hurst's "The Scarlet Ibis" contains many different metaphors. We encounter this form of figurative language in the very first sentence, when Hurst writes:

It was in the clove of seasons, summer was dead but autumn had not yet been born, that the ibis lit in the bleeding tree.

Here, the narrator is metaphorically treating the seasons not just as markers of time which pass through the natural world, but as things which are born and which die, almost in a human capacity. The "clove"--which in its literal use is a dried red flower bud--is a metaphor for being a late bloomer (as we will soon learn Doodle is) and an examination of the divide between two time periods.

When the narrator speaks of his relationship with Doodle, he comments:

There is within me (and with sadness I have watched it in others) a knot of cruelty borne by the stream love...

The narrator is comparing love to a stream (a body of water which flows through a landscape), suggesting that love is an organic part of being...

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