Discussion Topic

Figurative language in "Raymond's Run."

Summary:

In "Raymond's Run," figurative language enhances the narrative. Similes like "I can run faster than that wind whipping around the block" emphasize Squeaky's speed. Metaphors, such as describing Raymond as "a little periscope in the back of my head," illustrate her awareness and protective nature. These devices enrich the story by vividly portraying characters and their experiences.

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What are examples of a metaphor and a hyperbole in "Raymond's Run?"

"A Hyperbole is an obvious and deliberate exaggeration or an extravagant statement. It is a figure of speech not intended to be taken literally since it is exaggeration for the sake of mphasis. Hyperbole is a common poetic and dramatic device."   One good example of a hyperbole is at the beginning of the story when Squeaky is introducing her self to the reader.  She states,  And if things get too rough, I run. And as anybody can tell you, I'm the fastest thing on two feet."  This statement is not to be taken literally, but does give the reader a good idea of the narrator's personality.

A metaphor is a comparison of one thing to another without the use of like or as. " It is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to a person, idea, or object to which it is not literally applicable. It is an unstated comparison which imaginatively identifies one thing with another."  A good example of a metaphor is when Squeaky and Raymond are walking down the street after the confrontation with Gretchen.  Squeaky states, "So me and Raymond smile at each other and he says, “Gidyap” to his team and I continue with my breathing exercises, strolling down Broadway toward the ice man on 145th with not a care in the world cause I am Miss Quicksilver herself."   Squeaky compares her self to Quicksilver however she does not use the terms like or as within the comparison. 

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What are the metaphors in the story "Raymond's Run"?

A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that are unrelated or different while still sharing a common characteristic. It is possible to make the comparison without using the words "like" or "as." If either of those words is used, then it is a special type of metaphor called a simile. "Raymond's Run" uses similes and "normal" metaphors.

In the fourth paragraph, Squeaky is telling readers about her brother, Raymond. He is mentally challenged, and he has an active spirit and imagination. We are told that he pretends that the "curb is a tightrope," which is a metaphor. Later in the story, Squeaky tells her readers that the city is a metaphorical "concrete jungle."

During Squeaky's race, she looks over at Raymond, and readers get a sentence that contains two similes that are describing Raymond. He is first compared to a gorilla and then to a dancer.

Then I hear Raymond yanking at the fence to call me and I wave to shush him, but he keeps rattling the fence like a gorilla in a cage like in them gorilla movies, but then like a dancer or something he starts climbing up nice and easy but very fast.

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What are some allusions in "Raymond's Run"?

In literature, an allusion is a reference to another work of literature, a well-known person or object, or an event. Its purpose is to create a comparison in the reader's mind. In Toni Cade Bambara's short story entitled "Raymond's Run," there are several allusions.

In the quote below, Squeaky mentions that older kids call her Mercury because she's so fast. Mercury was a Roman god. His Greek equivalent is Hermes, the wing-footed messenger, so this is an allusion to Greek and Roman mythology to compare Squeaky's speed to the fleet-footed god.

"The big kids call me Mercury cause I’m the swiftest thing in the neighborhood. Everybody knows that—except two people who know better, my father and me. He can beat me to Amsterdam Avenue with me having a two-fire-hydrant headstart and him running with his hands in his pockets and whistling."

Another allusion is in Squeaky's description of Cynthia Procter. She is talking about Cynthia's false modesty. Cynthia is the type of girl who acts like she can't do many things but then surprises people with her intelligence or skill. The allusion in this section is to famous composer Frederic Chopin's waltzes.

"And what do you know—Chopin’s waltzes just spring out of her fingertips and she’s the most surprised thing in the world. A regular prodigy."

The next allusion comes when Squeaky is narrating the arrival of Gretchen and her friends. She says this:

"So they are steady coming up Broadway and I see right away that it’s going to be one of those Dodge City scenes cause the street ain’t that big and they’re close to the buildings just as we are."

Dodge City is the site of the Dodge City War of 1883 and was also home to many famous gunfighters.

After the race, Squeaky talks about being able to hear "Old Beanstalk" as they discuss the results of the race. She is referring to Mr. Pearson, who is wearing stilts to make his way through the crowd. The allusion is to the fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk." She also mentions that they used to call Mr. Pearson "Jack and the Beanstalk" just to make him mad. There is another reference to a fairy tale, "Hansel and Gretel," when Squeaky recalls being cast as a strawberry in that school play.

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What are some allusions in "Raymond's Run"?

Toni Cade Bambara makes several allusions in the short story “Raymond’s Run.” These references bring interest and imagery to the story.

The author alludes to Mercury, the Roman god of swiftness and speed, when writing about Squeaky’s running abilities.  “The big kids call me Mercury cause I’m the swiftest thing in the neighborhood.”

Another allusion is to Dodge City when Gretchen and her posse are walking toward Squeaky and Raymond on Broadway. Dodge City refers to the name of a town associated with visions of a wild, reckless outpost town in the Wild West.

So they are steady coming up Broadway and I see right away that it’s going to be one of those Dodge City scenes cause the street ain’t that big and they’re close to the buildings just as we are.

Jack in the Beanstalk is also used as an allusion in the story in Squeaky’s description of Mr. Pearson, the race organizer. This allusion provides the reader with visual imagery and an idea of the persona of Mr. Pearson.

Then here comes Mr. Pearson with his clipboard and his cards and pencils and whistles and safety pins and fifty million other things he’s always dropping all over the place with his clumsy self. He sticks out in a crowd because he’s on stilts. We used to call him Jack and the Beanstalk to get him mad.

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What is a simile in the story "Raymond's Run"?

In the short story Raymond's Run by Toni Cade Bambara, the simile I find the most important is when Hazel or Squeaky as she is sometimes called notices Raymond running the race with her.  In the description, Hazel says the Raymond is "rattling the fence like the gorilla in the cage".  If you remember that simile is the comparison of two unlike objects using like or as, Raymond is being compared to the gorilla because he is rattling the fence as a gorilla would if it were in a cage and the comparison uses the word like which indicates simile.

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What is a simile in the story "Raymond's Run"?

A simile is a figure of speech that compares two different things using the words "as" or "like." Examples would include "As strong as an ox" and "like a bull in a china shop." Similes are used to make descriptions more emphatic or more vivid and therefore more likely to stay in the mind.

In "Raymond's Run," there's a particularly striking simile when Squeaky's brother Raymond tries to climb over the fence after Squeaky wins her race:

Then I hear Raymond yanking at the fence to call me and I wave to shush him, but he keeps rattling the fence like a gorilla in a cage like in them gorilla movies.

This is a particularly appropriate simile as it emphasizes just how much Raymond, who has severe learning difficulties, is separated from the rest of the world. His rattling the fence in the above excerpt also highlights his evident frustration at being unable to communicate his feelings properly.

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