Figurative language examples abound in Chapter Ten of Lord of the Flies.
Personification: Giving human qualities to non-human objects or things.
1. "Where a thread of white smoke climbed up the sky" uses personification, making the smoke seem as though it were scaling the sky, like a climber (159)
Simile: a comparison between two non-similar things using like or as
1. "Roger clambered up the ladder-like cliff" is a simile (159). Golding compares the cliff to a ladder.
2. "A fist withdrew and came back like a piston, so that the whole shelter exploded into light" (167). The motion of the fist is compared to a machine part, a piston, which has a strong pumping motion; the connotation suggests that Ralph was hit very hard.
3. "He began to pound the mouth below him, using his clenched fist as a hammer" (167). The simile compares Ralph's fist to a hammer, suggesting that he hit the other boy very hard.
Metaphor: a comparison between two non-similar things without using like or as
1. "One eye was a slit in his puffy cheek" compares Ralph's eye to a slit; the imagery suggests that Ralph's eye is extremely swollen.
2. "They saw a triangle of startling pink dart out, pass along his lips, and vanish again" (160). Golding uses the imagery of the "triangle of startling pink" as a metaphor for Jack's tongue; the metaphor makes Jack's action seem very animalistic.
An example of antithesis, which is the use of contradicting ideas in a single statement, occurred when Ralph tried to explain what happened during the dance. The words loathing and feverish excitement are contradictory terms.
There was loathing, and at the same time a kind of feverish excitement, in his voice.
An example of personification occurred when the author stated that Ralph was ambushed by sleep. The word ambushed was used to give sleep, which is an inanimate object, the qualities of a living thing.
Ralph continued to snigger though his chest hurt. His twitching exhausted him till he lay, breathless and woebegone, waiting for the next spasm. During one of these pauses he was ambushed by sleep.
An example of hyperbole, which is the use of exaggeration in a statement, occurs when the author described the darkness in Ralph’s camp by adding that it was blanket-thick.
The darkness, save for the useless oblong of stars, was blanket-thick.