What is the use of figurative language in both "The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst and "Araby" by James Joyce?which story uses the figurative language more effectively than the other?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very subjective choice as every reader brings a different set of experiences, background 'emotional baggage' to a story. The question of whether the figurative language is better employed in 'The Scarlet Ibis' by James Hurst or 'Araby' by James Joyce depends so much on how each short story speaks to the individual reader. For example - I would probably choose 'Araby' over 'The Scarlet Ibis' for two reasons. Firstly - it is figurative language I already 'own' (I share Joyce's background) and can identify with. ('I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes' - religiouis symbolism.) Secondly, I find it more subtle and less 'laboured.' The symbolism of 'The Scarlet Ibis' to my mind is excellent but a little over the top. The comparison of the baby Doodle and the shape of the dead bird and also the dead Doodle is too much! I got the point the first time, so although colorful and illuminatory - I find it unnecessary to repeat it.

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The Scarlet Ibis

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