All Summer in a Day

by Ray Bradbury

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What are examples of simile, metaphor, and personification in "All Summer in a Day"?

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An example of a simile in "All Summer in a Day" is the children being pressed up against each other "like so many roses." An example of a metaphor is where Margot is described as "an old photograph dusted from an album." Personification can be found when the cupboard door is said to "tremble" from Margot's beating.

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First things first: to answer this question, we need to establish what similes, metaphors and personification are. A simile is a comparison using the words like or as. A metaphor is a word or phrase that makes a comparison by describing something in a way that isn't literally true. Personification is giving something nonhuman human characteristics.

A great example of a simile can be found right at the beginning of the story, when the children are pressed up against each other looking for the sun "like so many roses." The children are being likened to roses growing close to one another.

Another simile can be found later, when the children are outside experiencing the sunshine. The sun on their cheeks is described as feeling "like a warm iron." Obviously their faces are not literally being ironed, but the intense warmth is reminiscent of an iron.

A classic metaphor can be found in a description of Margot while the children wait for the miraculous appearance of the sun.

"She was an old photograph dusted from an album, whitened away."

Margot is obviously not a photograph—she is a person. This metaphor serves to add impetus to the idea that Margot is alone, separated from her classmates by her memories of the sun.

Personification can be found just after Margot's classmates lock her in the cupboard. Margot is pounding on the door, which is said to "tremble from her beating." It might be argued that a door cannot literally tremble, since trembling is generally seen as a human action. The image created by this personification gives us an idea of how desperately Margot is trying to get out of the cupboard.

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There are numerous figures of speech in this short story, including similes, metaphors, and instances of personification.

A simile is a comparison of unlike things for effect using "like" or "as." A metaphor is a direct comparison of unlike things for effect without either of those words. Personification means attributing human attributes to concepts or ideas or to inanimate objects.

One simile in the story appears on the first page:

The children pressed to each other like so many roses.

Farther down, another simile says that the children:

turned on themselves like a feverish wheel.

Two metaphors, of a "tatting drum" and "clear bead necklaces" compare the rain to objects and/or the sound they make:

But then they always awoke to the tatting drum, the endless shaking down of clear bead necklaces upon the roof.

Another metaphor uses "crystal" similarly:

the sweet crystal fall of showers.

Further down, a metaphor concerns Margaret:

She was an old photograph dusted from an album.

The same sentence uses personification, giving her voice humanlike qualities:

her voice would be a ghost.

Another metaphor one also emphasizes her pallor:

They hated her pale snow face.

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Bradbury is known for his lyrical, poetic writing style. To create his lyrical effects, he uses many similes and metaphors. A simile is a comparison using the words like or as. One simile is the following; as Margot ruminates that the other school children (who have no conscious memory of the sun) carry a subconscious memory of it as:

a warmness, like a blushing in the face, in the body, in the arms and legs and trembling hands.

To the children, the sun is dimly and half-consciously remembered as a blush.

Margot also uses several metaphors (or comparisons that do not use the words like or as) when she thinks that the other children subconsciously remember the sun as like a:

gold or a yellow crayon or a coin large enough to buy the world with.

In the story, the rain is compared to a "tatting drum" as well:

the endless shaking down of clear bead necklaces upon the roof, the walk, the gardens, the forests.

The sun is personified or given human characteristics when it is said to have "showed its face." The sun doesn't have a face like a human and can't voluntarily choose to show itself.

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Ray Bradbury's short story "All Summer in a Day" has many different types of figures of speech. Similes compare two unlike things using the words "like" or "as." Metaphors compare two unlike things using words like "is" or "was." Finally, personification occurs when an animal or inanimate object is given human traits or qualities. These figures of speech not only help to communicate what the author wants to portray in the story, but also help readers connect with something they may already understand, which then creates more meaning for them in the story. For example, the following is a passage that demonstrates the use of simile and metaphor:

All day yesterday they had read in class about the sun. About how like a lemon it was, and how hot. 

And they had written small stories or essays or poems about it:

I think the sun is a flower,

That blooms for just one hour.

The first figure of speech is a simile because it compares the sun to a lemon using the word "like." Then, a metaphor is used when the sun is compared to a flower using the word "is." 

The next passage has examples of two similes:

But Margot remembered.

"It’s like a penny," she said once, eyes closed.

"No it’s not!" the children cried.

"It’s like a fire," she said, "in the stove.”

Both figures of speech in this passage are similes because the sun is compared to a penny and then to fire using the word "like." The next example demonstrates how personification is used in the story:

They stood looking at the door and saw it tremble from her beating and throwing herself against it.

Inanimate objects do not have the ability to tremble like people do; therefore, this is an example of personification. The door "trembles" because it receives the impact of Margot's protest and anxiety about being trapped. It also seems as though Bradbury uses personification when Margot is locked in the closet to describe how her emotions powerfully transfer through the door as she pounds on it. 

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What is an example of hyperbole in "All Summer in a Day"?

First things first: what is hyperbole? This word refers to exaggerated statements or claims that are not meant to be taken literally. Rather, they are a useful device in the creation of a story or the description of a character.

In this particular story, the incessant rain is the best example of hyperbole. Venus is described as a place in which it rains all year long, except for one hour every seven years in which the sun comes out. A basic understanding of biology tells us that it it highly improbably that any life-sustaining ecosystem could survive these conditions.

In addition, the way that our protagonist, Margot, is described is tainted by hyperbole. She is described in a metaphor as "an old photograph dusted from an album," which makes it sound as though she is about to crumble away into nothingness. While this cannot be true in a practical sense, it is an apt description of a girl pining for the sun, and for her old life on earth.

Later, her face is described as being "pale snow". Again, while this literary device is used to create an image of extreme paleness, no human face can ever be as white as snow. Hyperbole has been used to describe the effect that a world of constant rain has on a child's complexion.

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What is an example of hyperbole in "All Summer in a Day"?

A further example of hyperbole in "All Summer in a Day" comes in the following description of Margot:

She was a frail girl who looked as if she had been lost in the rain for years, and the rain had washed out the blue from her eyes and the red from her mouth and the yellow from her hair.

This is an example of hyperbole because the author is exaggerating for effect. Margot's eyes, mouth, and hair have not had their color washed out by the rain; it just appears that they have.

Bradbury uses hyperbole on this particular occasion to highlight just how difficult Margot is finding it to adapt to life on the planet Venus, where it rains practically all the time. The hyperbole is so vivid, so wonderfully drawn, that it's possible to envisage Margot as being quite pale and colorless as a result of all the rain she's had to endure since she moved from Earth to Venus.

As someone with first-hand experience of what sunshine is like, Margot feels the constant rainfall more acutely than everyone else. That is why it's entirely appropriate for Bradbury to use hyperbole in showing us just how much this poor unfortunate young girl suffers on this rain-drenched planet. It's as if all the color in her life, the life that she experienced back on Earth, has been washed away. In that respect, her outward appearance is a reflection of what's going on in her soul.

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What is an example of hyperbole in "All Summer in a Day"?

The title of Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" is hyperbole. The rain stops and the sun comes out, so the brief interlude described in the story is the closest thing the children on Venus will experience to summer. However, it has nothing of the variety of summer days in colder climates or the long, languid consistency of summer days, weeks, and months in the tropics. It also, paradoxically, excludes the experience of summer rain showers and the monsoon.

The rain is also described hyperbolically. Bradbury says that the storms were "so heavy they were tidal waves come over the islands," a situation which sounds impossible to survive if it were literally true. The author then adds,

A thousand forests had been crushed under the rain and grown up a thousand times to be crushed again.

This may or may not be literally true, but the pioneers on Venus have certainly not been there long enough to know. Unless a paleobotanist has studied the situation, which is not indicated, the remark is likely to be hyperbole. The next observation, however, is certainly hyperbole:

And this was the way life was forever on the planet Venus.

The hyperbole in these descriptions of torrential rain crushing forests and the length of time for which everything has been the same emphasizes the perspective of the children, for whom it really does seem to have been raining forever, since they have never experienced anything else.

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What is an example of hyperbole in "All Summer in a Day"?

Hyperbole is used for descriptions of the rain stopping and the jungle growing.

Hyperbole is extreme exaggeration. Authors use it to describe situations that are intense, as a way to help the reader fully gauge the extremity of them. Bradbury uses hyperbole and other literary devices throughout this story to help the reader fully appreciate the situation on Venus, where it never stops raining.

This story is about a group of children who do not remember seeing the sun. They live on Venus, where it rains almost constantly. The sun came out once when they were two years old, but they do not remember it. Now the sun is supposed to come out again, and the children are very excited.

One child, Margot, has been to Earth more recently than the others. She remembers the sun, and suffers more from the constant rain on Venus than most. To help us appreciate the situation, Bradbury uses hyperbole to describe the way everyone feels when the constant rain stops.

The silence was so immense and unbelievable that you felt your ears had been stuffed or you had lost your hearing altogether.

In other words, the lack of rain is deafening, because the people of Venus are so used to hearing rain that the lack of rain comes as a shock to their ears.

The description of the jungle is also an example of hyperbole. 

They stopped running and stood in the great jungle that covered Venus, that grew and never stopped growing, tumultuously, even as you watched it.

You can’t literally see the jungle growing, but it rains so much and the jungle grows so fast that it seems this way. This adds to the helplessness that the children, especially Margot, are feeling. It seems as if the rain will never end and it will just swallow them up.

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What are some examples of metaphors in "All Summer in a Day"?

Bradbury uses metaphors to reinforce themes in his story. As the story opens, the children are likened to both roses and weeds, foreshadowing that they are not all sweetness and innocence. Likewise, he conveys the glory and beauty the sun and sunshine hold for children who experience it only once every seven years by using vivid, childlike metaphors. His challenge is to communicate the intense wonder of this experience. He thus has the children think of the sun as a yellow crayon or a "coin large enough to buy the world with." They think of it as a lemon. When it actually comes out, the silence, after the years of beating rain, sounds like a movie without a sound track, and the sky looks to them like a blue tile. The heat of the sun feels good, like a warm iron. They do not connect the sun with negative images, because to them it is everything wonderful. 

On the other hand, Margot is likened to a lost child and a faded, whitened photograph, which shows the negative effects the rain has had on her as the one child who consciously remembers what sunlight is. This reinforces the idea that she is suffering and also different from the others. 

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What are some examples of metaphors in "All Summer in a Day"?

Bradbury's science fiction tale of a futuristic society where children are sent to live on Mars is full of figurative language, including metaphors. On Mars, the children live in a dark, water-logged world of constant rain except for two hours each seven years when the sun shines. Some of the metaphors used to describe the resulting conditions are:

"...sun is a flower that blooms for just an hour" to describe the brief, brilliant and joyful showing of the sun.

The rain is described as:

"...the endless shaking down of clear bead necklaces on the roof..."

The child, after years only experiencing dark, rainy days is described as:

"She was an old photograph, dusted from an album..."

To describe one character's voice:

"If she spoke at all her voice would be a ghost..."

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