What is the simile here? "Until he saw the man at the fair, it did not enter his head that there was anything out of the ordinary about the fact that he existed. Even then it did not enter his...

What is the simile here?

"Until he saw the man at the fair, it did not enter his head that there was anything out of the ordinary about the fact that he existed. Even then it did not enter his head, but a peculiar unease settled in him. It was as if a blind boy had been turned so gently in a different direction that he did not know his destination had been changed". Flannery O'Connor Parker's back

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teachwordz's profile pic

teachwordz | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Being that a simile is usually a direct comparison between two things using 'like' or 'as', we can go to "It was as if a blind boy..." The precedent to the pronoun 'It' is the "peculiar unease settled in him." Therefore, the two things being compared is the 'unease' and the turning of the blind boy ever so slightly.

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Similes are comparisons of one thing to another, as are metaphors. In each case, there will be one attribute that the two things have in common, while little else will be in common.  Most of us are taught to distinguish a simile from a metaphor by looking for "as" or "like"' And in much writing, the comparison is being made in the same sentence, for example, as these are:

Her smile was like sunshine.

His eyes glittered as brightly as diamonds.

But there are other ways to present a simile, and one part of the simile can be in one sentence, with the second part of the simile in a completely different sentence.

In this passage, the "unease" in the mind of this person is the first part of the comparison, in "his head," which the passage uses twice.  The second part of the comparison is the "blind boy."  "As if" is our signal that this is a simile.  To paraphrase the simile, I could say this:

The unease in his mind was like a blind boy that someone had turned so gently that the blind boy did not even realize he had been set off in another direction. 

This is talking about the kind of moment in which your brain is percolating a new and different idea, but it is happening so gradually that you have only the faintest hint of a change. It is a largely subconscious process, enough to cause some mental discomfort perhaps, but not enough for you to understand what is happening.  An example of this might be a scary movie in which your subconscious mind registers a shadow at the window, but this is not enough yet to make you understand you are anticipating a scary moment in the movie, just enough possibly to make you shift a bit in your seat. 

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drparnell's profile pic

drparnell | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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A simile us a comparison between two objects that use the phrase "like" or "as."  In this reading selection, you see in line 6 the sentence, "It was as if a blind boy had been turned so gently in a different direction that he didn't know his destination had been changed."

Was there really a blind boy mentioned in the passage?  No.  The character's unease is compared the blind boy being turned in a different direction.

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