What are the metaphors used in the poem "Night of the Scorpion"? Please identify all of them.detailed description.

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jmj616 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A metaphor is a comparison that does not use the word "like" or "as."

"Night of the Scorpion," by Nissim Ezekiel, does not use a great number of metaphors.  Most of the poem consists of straightforward description of what the people did and what they said in attempting to cure the narrator's mother of a scorpion bite.

One metaphor that is used is: "I watched the holy man perform his rites / to tame the poison with an incantation."  The rituals of the holy man are compared to to the taming of a wild animal.

Another one is used when the father tries to cure the bite by putting a lit match on the bite.  The narrator says, "I watched the flame feeding on my mother."  A flame, of course, does not actually "feed" or eat; rather, the poet is comparing the fire to a living being that consumes food.

There is an important simile in the poem; i.e., a comparison that does use the word "like" or "as."

The peasants came like swarms of flies and buzzed the name of God a hundred times to paralyse the Evil One.

By comparing the peasants to "swarms of flies," the narrator seems to belittle their "medical" methods for curing the bite.  The narrator seems to side more with his father who is "sceptic [and] rational."