Crossed Metaphors and Similes

Xander's Papers as Ashes (Simile)

Ky compares the inevitable disintegration of Xander's fragile pieces of paper concealed in Cassia's blue tablets to ash when he says, “They’ll turn to flakes as delicate as snow. As spent and silent as ash” (224). This simile demonstrates his desire for the papers to die, and with them, any reminder of Xander that could potentially steal Cassia's affection away. The source of this desire is not malice, but intense jealousy and his own insecurities about his dark, twisted past and the person it's turned him into.

Cassia and a Butterfly (Metaphor)

In the narrow tunnel leading into the Cavern, Cassia becomes trapped and thinks of herself as "a butterfly, a mourning cloak, sealed inside a cocoon with blind eyes and sticky wings” (242). This metaphor can be interpreted both as a comparison to a creature stuck within a compact space, and as foreshadowing to the character development that Cassia has yet to experience, like the transformation of a butterfly still to come.

The Intrusive Society (Metaphor)

In the Cavern, Cassia compares the Society to "snakes in a crack, water dripping against a rock until even the stone has no choice but to hollow and change shape” (244). This illustrates its unwanted and consequential invasion into places in which it's not desired or doesn't belong.

Indie's Story (Simile)

In Chapter 34, Cassia notes that something about Indie's story about her mother attempting to escape the Society in a self-made boat "seems strange, like an echo coming off a canyon wall and leaving part of the original words behind” (256). This simile perfectly foreshadows the dishonest, incomplete nature of Indie's retelling of her story, as it's eventually revealed that she lied about the true pilot of the boat: herself.

Carved Out by Sorrow (Simile)

Ky draws on the imagery of the Carving in Chapter 43 to describe the trauma and loss that each of his sleeping companions has experienced. He compares their damages to a river carving them out "like canyon walls" (323), a fitting simile given how much they've endured and lost both before and within the canyons.

People Are Like Rivers and Stone (Simile)

On the final page of Crossed, Cassia notes how much she has discovered within herself and within her friends, comparing the depth of their complexities and intricacies to rivers and stone carvings. This simile uses the imagery of the canyon setting in which the majority of the book took place to tie together the character developments depicted thus far.