What are some important figurative language quotes in My Antonia?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us remember that figurative language is a literary technique that is based on comparison. The most common examples are similes, metaphors and personification. Considering this excellent novel, the most common examples of figurative language occur in the beautiful and stunning descriptions we are given of the countryside and landscape. Consider this example of the plains during fall in Chapter Seven at the beginning of the book:

All those fall afternoons were the same, but I never got used to them. As far as we could see, the miles of copper-red grass were drenched in sunlight that was stronger and fiercer than at any other time of the day. The blond cornfields were red gold, the haystacks turned rosy and threw long shadows. The whole prairie was like the bush that burned with fire and was not consumed. That hour always had the exultation of victory, of triumphant ending, like a hero's death--heroes who died young and gloriously. It was a sudden transfiguration, a lifting-up of day.

This is yet another breathtaking depiction of the beauty of the plains and of nature. Consider the implied metaphor that described the effect of the sunlight "drenching" the grass, and how the cornfields are described as "red gold." Similes are used to describe the sight as being like flames and also the death of a hero. Such descriptions establish the importance of setting and the curious beauty of the plains that is so important to the central characters.