What are the two similes Bradbury uses to describe Peter's and Wendy's physical traits? What is ironic about these choices of similes?
Here are the two similes that Ray Bradbury uses to describe Peter and Wendy:
- They have "cheeks like peppermint candy."
- They also have "eyes like bright blue agate marbles."
What is ironic about these similes is that they are in sharp contrast to the reality of the children's natures. These descriptions connote innocent cherub-like children with wide eyes and rosy cheeks--the children out of fairy tales, as their names also suggest. But, in the story the natures of Peter and Wendy are much more ominous than they are innocent. For, when George tells the children that he and Lydia are considering...
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Bradbury describes Peter and Wendy as having "cheeks like peppermint candy, eyes like bright blue agate marbles."
Peter and Wendy merely looked like sweet, adorable little children. Behind the similes of peppermint candy cheeks and bright blue eyes lurked a horror story -- steeped in irony -- playing itself out in virtual reality. "Looks can be deceiving," and "Don't judge a book by its cover," are some adages that help examine the irony of the similes.
As parents tend to do, these parents believed what they could see: beautiful little children. They were deceived by the innocent appearances; and, even though the father entertained suspicious thoughts, he brushed them aside.
The angelic-looking children, obsessed by death and killing, eventually manage to lure their parents into the African veldt in the nursery one last time. Simile and irony come together in the children as they act out their final, happy but unnatural vengeance.
Although you didn't ask, I see irony in the children's names because they were total opposites of Peter and Wendy in "Peter Pan."