The Jungle

What is the purpose in inviting the reader to view these activities metaphorically?

Sinclair shifts to the authorial voice saying, "Our friends were not poetical, and the sight suggested to them no metaphors of human destiny; they thought only of the wonderful efficiency of it all." The narrator then describes in painstaking detail the process of the killing of the pigs and the beef.

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Metaphors are designed to help readers see things from a different perspective; the comparison to something unusual and different (which is the definition of a metaphor) helps the reader gain new insights into whatever the subject is.