My Side of the Mountain

by Jean George

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What type of figurative language helps develop the meaning of My Side of the Mountain by Jean George?

Two type of figurative language that help develop the meaning of My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George are similes and metaphors. They highlight the extremely harsh conditions that Sam must endure in winter in the Catskill Mountains.

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My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George is replete with figurative language. Much of it is used to describe the privations of life in the Catskill Mountains, where young Sam Gribley must learn to deal with harsh weather conditions, especially during wintertime.

One particularly good example of figurative language comes in the shape of the metaphor that Sam uses to describe his doorway, which he likens to "a pure white portico, adorned with snowmen." This is, as Sam says, an entrance truly to behold, and it gives us a striking image of what life is like in the wilderness at this time of year.

That Sam should use the metaphor of snowmen to describe his doorway further indicates that he actually enjoys spending winter in the Catskills. Snowmen are associated with fun, and Sam is very candid in admitting that it's "very, very nice" for him and his baby falcon, Frightful, to be out together alone in the wilderness.

Even so, the onset of winter was initially quite fearsome, and Sam expresses the awesome, sublime spectacle of winter's arrival through a powerful simile:

The clouds of winter, black and fearsome. They looked as wild as the winds that were bringing them.

Everything is wild. Mother Nature in all her terrible splendor is ready to unleash extreme weather upon the mountainous landscape. But as we saw earlier, Sam actually enjoys spending winter in the Catskills, so the appearance of the "black and fearsome" clouds heralds the arrival of a season that Sam and Frightful will find rather to their liking.

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