A Wizard of Earthsea Metaphors and Similes

A Wizard of Earthsea Metaphors and Similes

Magic and Fog

Among the first things Ged learns how to do is how to cause fog. The fog he produces is so thick that he actually uses it once to protect the village from hostile raiders. In a subtle way, the narrator compares the fog Ged produces with the magic he possess and through this similarity he wants to point out that magic, just like fog, can be confusing and it can make people question the reality of the world they are living in.

Metaphor for insecurities

After Ged leaves his first mentor, he goes to an island where he hopes to find a school for wizards. The moment Ged sets foot on the island, he is overwhelmed by shadows that gather around him and circle him over and over again. The shadows are used here as a metaphor to suggest Ged’s insecurities. The reason why the shadows appear only when Ged arrives on the island is because the moment Ged arrived on the island is the moment when he becomes unsure of his capabilities as a wizard and of his talents.

Metaphor for greed

Ged is given the task to protect various villages from dragons that live near those villages. Dragons appear as mythical creatures in many fantasy novels and apart from being fantastical beings, they also have a metaphorical value. Dragons are usually used to represent greed and are often associated with the idea of evil in general. Thus, when Ged is sent to fight against the dragons, he is sent to fight against everything evil.

Metaphor for power

One of the most important tools a wizard has is his staff. Ged admits that in the wizarding world, other wizards can tell if a person is a wizard or not if they have a staff they carry around. The staff is used as a metaphor for power and this idea is also promoted by the fact that Ged does not consider a person as being a wizard unless he has a staff as well.

Broken ring

One time, when Ged helped a village get rid of a dragon, he was repaid by them with a broken ring. The ring is usually used as a metaphor for commitment but the fact that the ring is broken wants to suggest the idea that Ged had no family and no one close with whom he can relate to on a personal level.

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