A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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Where are examples of figurative language in "A Separate Peace"?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Every version of the book will have different page numbers, so if I give you one it most likely will not be accurate.  However, I can tell you as close as I can where the passages are.

For great examples of figurative language, look to Leper's description of the events at the tree.  Leper is brought from his house to be on Brinker's "court" that he assembles, to figure out what happened at the tree.  These descriptions come in at the very end of chapter eleven.  Leper describes the scene at the tree using several figurative language techniques.  One is a simile; he says that the sun looked "like golden machine-gun fire" as it shone past Finny and Gene on the branch, and that their profiles were "as black as death".  A simile is using like or as to compare two things, and this description helps you to see the dark profiles with the bright sunbeams striking out around their bodies.

Then, he describes Gene's motion that knocks Finny out of the tree with another simile, saying that they "moved like an engine."  He clarifies that it is two-part engine, a piston moving.  With this, it is easy for use to visualize Gene bending his knees down, and the resulting wave that knocks Finny off. Using similes to describe what happened on the tree gives it a poetic edge that helps the reader to visualize in their mind the entire scene, as seen through Leper's eyes.  So, there is one part in the book that uses figurative language, specifically similes.

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insomnia4201 | Student

Ms. Campbell, I am doing a report were I have to tell how knowles uses imagrey, diction, and figurative language to show he believes fear, envy, and ingorance causes war. And I could be wrong but I think the qoutes in your answere show imagery not figurative language. Please tell what figurative language is and how this is it if I am wrong

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