Student Question

Identify similes and metaphors in Johnny Tremaine.

Expert Answers

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Similes are comparisons that use the word "like" or "as."

a) The author describes the scene of hundreds of British redcoats crowding the narrow Tremont Street--"like a river of blood."

b) Johnny surprises Mr. Tweedie, the journeyman silversmith whom he dislikes: "The timid creature jumped like a shot rabbit..."

c) "country cheeses--big as a baby's head."

Metaphors are comparisons that do not use the words "like" or "as."

a) "The narrow course of Tremont Street was filled to the brim and overflowing with the waiting scarlet-coated men."

The author is comparing the crowded street to a cup that is overflowing with liquid.

b) "The kitten was no longer gnawing inside him, trying to get out.  In fact it was no longer a kitten [but] a Newfoundland dog."

The author is describing the feeling in Johnny's stomach after a big meal.

c) "'That squeak-pig [Mr. Tweakie] is trying to horn in on breakfast."

Johnny is comparing Mr. Tweakie to a squeaking pig.

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