Allegiant Metaphors and Similes

"The death serum smells like smoke and spice, and my lungs reject it with the first breath I take. I cough and splutter, and I am swallowed by darkness. I crumple to my knees. My body feels like someone has replaced my blood with molasses, and my bones with lead. An invisible thread tugs me toward sleep, but I want to be awake. It is important that I want to be awake. I imagine that wanting, that desire, burning in my chest like a flame" (467) (Simile)

The author uses a variety of similes to help the reader understand the effects the death serum has on Tris. She feels heavy, she can barely breathe, and only her will to survive keeps her alive. Usage of similes more vividly describes the distress that Tris finds her body going through in the Weapons Lab.

"She rushes toward me and seizes my hands, which are sticky with blood. Her dark eyes are wide with fear as she says, 'Are you hurt?' She's worried about me. The thought is a little pinprick of heat inside me -- she must love me, to worry about me. She must still be capable of love" (39) (Metaphor)

This occurs just after the demonstration with the Choosing Ceremony bowls, in which Edward was killed. Tris's first thoughts are to check on Tobias, to make sure he wasn't hurt during the demonstration. After witnessing such destruction and chaos at the hands of Evelyn and the factionless, Tobias holds on to Tris's love and worry for him. It gives him hope that things will get better -- warming his body as a flame would.

"His eyes, his deftness with the weapon, his scarred and dusty appearance -- they are all supposed to intimidate me. But his eyes are like that deer's eyes, large and wary and curious" (244) (Simile)

Tobias sees that the guard has the front of a tough guy prepared to fight anything he encounters in the fringe. However, beneath this front is a simple man who is scared and curious, just like a deer. The simile brings out the man's true character, and it is representative of the rest of the fringe's inhabitants.

"It is like fire blossoming from a bud. Shards of glass and metal spray from the center of the bloom, and Uriah's body is among them, a limp projectile. A deep rumble moves through me like a shudder. My mouth is open; I am screaming his name, but I can't hear myself over the ringing in my ears" (283) (Simile and Metaphor)

Both simile and metaphor are used to depict the image of the explosion that sends Uriah into a deathly comatose state. This is a critical plot event, as it affects many of Tobias's decisions in the rest of the novel, and these literary devices help the reader to envision the flood of images that Tris must watch as she sees her friend get hit by the explosion. Equating his falling body to a limp projectile in the explosion, though, really speaks to the gravity of the situation.

"Matthew returns right at the hour mark, and he sits at the computer for a long time after that, his eyes flicking back and forth as he reads the screen. A few times he makes a revelatory noise, a 'hmm!' or an 'ah!' The longer he waits to tell us something, anything, the more tense my muscles become, until my shoulders feel like they are made of stone instead of flesh" (174) (Simile)

Tris and Tobias wait for what seems to them like an eternity for Matthew to tell them the results of their genetic tests. They know that they are both anomalies, so they have no idea what Matthew is about to tell them. Tris can't stand the wait, her shoulders tensing up as if made of stone. Of course, no amount of waiting could prepare Tobias for the news that he is about to receive, that he is genetically damaged and not actually Divergent.