What are some literary devices from the Amir chapter?

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I am a fan of Paul Fleischman's novel Seedfolks! In this short novel, Amir is the twelfth character readers meet. He is from India and draws comparisons between living in India and living in America. One literary device in this chapter is used by Amir to compare the living conditions in each country. He says about life in America:

Here you have a million crabs living in a million crevices.

This is a metaphor comparing people and their living arrangements to crabs that find little crevices to hide in. He means that people retreat into their homes or apartments and don't get to know their neighbors.

Another literary device Amir uses—a metaphor—compares the Persian rugs his family has to the community garden. He talks about the vines and pictures woven into the rugs and says:

Those rugs were indeed portable gardens.

They are not literal gardens, of course, but they help him imagine that he is in one. He also uses a simile when speaking about the rugs in comparison to the garden:

The garden's green was as soothing to the eye as the deep blue of that rug.

He speaks of the stereotypes he has heard about Polish people and then meets a Polish woman in the garden. They both plant carrots and begin conversations about their plants. When he asks her why she doesn't thin the carrots by pulling out the dying or sick plants, she tells him it reminds her of being in the concentration camps. He says,

When I heard her words, I realized how useless was all I had heard about Poles, how much richness it hid, like a worthless shell around an almond.

This simile compares the empty stereotypes (the shell) about Poles to the rich experience (the almond) of actually knowing one.

Happy reading!

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