Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Some Metaphors & Similes from The Corrections

Having castigated the bad use of metaphors and similes, here are a few excellent examples. Given all the excitement following the publication of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, I, being preverse, have been reading his earlier work, The Corrections, and these are all taken from there:

   'and sanitation trucks with brushes like the mustaches of city cops scoured the streets three times a week.' (p 117)

   'in a voice like hair in a shampoo commercial.' (p 375)

   'Even before he sold Eigen Melody for $19.5 million, Brian had moved through the world like a golden retriever.' (p 448)

   'The quiet in the house after lunch was of such density that it nearly stopped the clocks.' (p 547)

Like all relevant use of the tropes, each of these examples adds to the narrative in the way the best illustrations illuminate, not by deviating from the text but by enlivening it.