What types of figurative language are used in "The Pedestrian"?

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The Pedestrian by Ray Bradury contains a number of examples of figurative language such as simile, imagery, and personification.

Early in the short story as the main character, Leonard Mead, walks the streets of his town early in evening in the year A.D. 2053, Bradbury, metaphorically compares the homes along a street with a graveyard.

And on his way he would see the cottages and homes with their dark windows and it was not unequal to walking through a graveyard where only the faintest glimmers of firefly light appeared in flickers behind the window.

The author is saying as Mead walked the desolate street, he could see the people moving in the houses with the lights in the background. He also uses figurative language when he speaks of the people as “sudden gray phantoms” that he saw in the windows of homes which he describes as being tombstone like buildings; a simile.

As Leonard Mead, continues his walk in the cool, crisp air the author uses another simile.

 There was a good crystal frost in the air it cut the nose and made the lungs blaze like a Christmas tree inside; you could feel the cold light going off and on.

The author uses the simile instead of simply saying the air was cold and it hurt when Mead breathed while he walked. With each breathe he could feel the air cutting into his lungs.

Bradbury uses more simple similes such as “his shadow moving like the shadow of a hawk in the mid-country.” This gives you the picture of Mead, a solitary figure, moving smoothly, down the desolate street. The author uses a simile with the word “unlike” instead of like. “He stood entranced, not unlike a night moth, stunned by the illumination, and then drawn toward it.” The author chose to make a negative comparison.

Imagery is used throughout the short story. The author describes a “metallic voice,” “the smell of riveted steel,” and the car giving “a faint whirring click.” You can hear the squeaky voice, smell the steal, and hear the car as it started with a quiet sound.

Personification is used when the author has Mead talking to the houses. “What is it now? he asked the houses.”

This short story has many more examples of figurative language with the author’s use of similes throughout.