Matched is a dystopian book about a society in the future. In a dystopia, people have attempted to solve the problems that plague today’s society, but it usually ends up in a world that is less than perfect and in some ways downright cruel. This is certainly the case here.
Figurative language is descriptive language that is used to express a character’s feelings about this difficult situation. It is not meant to be taken literally. Consider this example, where the main character, Cassia, attempts to describe her feelings about her closeness.
Growing apart doesn't change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I'm glad for that. (pg. 216)
In this case, the figurative language used is a metaphor. Friendship is compared to a tree. Two friends grow together, and their friendship is the roots. Their lives are intertwined. When they grow apart, in a way, they are also somehow connected. Cassia always believed that she would marry Xander, her one true match. However, she was also a good friend with Ky. Ky turned out to be a sort of a rebel, as an Aberration, (through no fault of his own), and actually ended up being sent away. Cassia becomes more and more confused about who she is in love with.
Sometimes figurative language can be symbolic, such as, "They are giving us pieces of a real life instead of the whole thing" (249). This underscores the key to the dystopic world in its metaphor. Although they are not literally getting “pieces” they are getting matched with partners, and forced to have limited lives. Even the hundred poems that are allowed demonstrate the limits to life.
Another type of figurative language common to books, and to Matched, is a simile.
"Our time together feels like a storm, like a wild wind and rain, like something too big to handle but too powerful to escape." (267)
Cassia and Ky’s relationship seems like a storm for many reasons. For one thing, this event occurs in Chapter 25. It is exciting and frightening. Being young and in love is always exciting and frightening, but it is even more so when one’s matched or maybe not-matched boyfriend is forbidden, and you are doubting everything you ever knew about the world. Ky tells her wild tales about Archivists, and saving the world’s books. It is a storm indeed, figuratively.
Figurative language gives an author a way to express emotional language in a way that helps a reader picture things more clearly. These are the favorite quotes, the words that stand out, and words that are the most meaningful. They give the story meaning and compassion.