The Witches

The Witches Metaphors and Similes

"My blood turned to ice" (57) (Metaphor)

With this metaphor, Dahl describes how the boy felt when he realizes that the women in the room with him were all witches. His fear was immediate and very physical, causing his whole body to feel extremely cold.

"You are a heap of idle good-for-nothing vurms!" (66) (Metaphor)

Though her accent turns the word "worms" into "vurms," The Grand High Witch is great at insults. She often uses very vivid and figurative language in her speech, especially when being mean to her fellow witches or speaking about children.

"He jumped as though someone had stuck a hatpin deep into his bottom" (97) (Simile)

Dahl uses a good deal of figurative language to describe what it looks and feels like to be transformed into a mouse, since it is already such a fantastical thing to imagine.

"Her shrieking voice echoed through the Ballroom like a trumpet" (103) (Simile)

Just when the reader thinks the boy has gotten through the witches' meeting without being discovered, one of the witches smells him and yells out for everyone to stop moving. Using the simile "like a trumpet" calls attention to just how loud and jarring the unwelcome sound was.

"Miles below me, the children playing on the beach were the size of beetles" (130) (Simile)

Once the boy has become a mouse, everything seems larger to him. On top of this, he allows himself to be lowered down the outside of the hotel building by his grandmother. To show just how far and how scary this distance is to him, Dahl uses hyperbole when he writes "miles below me" and then a metaphor that describes how tiny the children looked from far away.