Family Metaphors and Similes

Family Metaphors and Similes

She will give me the devil after the guests leave (metaphor)

Ming-feng is a bondmaid who has been working for the Kao family since childhood. “The noisy command” and “the scolding” are a part of her daily routine. Hiding her tiredness under “her mask”, she does her chores with “a pleasant smile on her face”. Her “dull existence” full of “orders, exhausting toil, tears, curses and blows” doesn’t frighten Ming-feng as much as her future which she imagines as absolute darkness. If Ming-feng does her work not as good as she is expected, Madam Chou is always ready to scold her terribly.

He had closed the tomb of the past and sealed the door tight (metaphor)

Chueh-hui is not fond of his family at all, to say more, he often feels resentment over a life they lead and despises old traditions. He doesn’t approve of his Big Brother’s “policy of non-resistance”, he refuses to be a “victim” and says that he can “conquer happiness”. Chueh-hui believes that he shouldn’t follow his ancestors’ examples. He is determined to change his life and to destroy the old patriarchal family system.

Chueh-hui’s blood froze in his veins (metaphor)

When Chueh-hui finds out that soldiers dare to arrack students, he is both angry and terrified. Being an active member of students’ movement, he knows that they are “too much of a headache” to the authorities. “Demanding checks on stores to see whether they were selling enemy goods, holding parades and demonstrations” with his fellow students, Chueh-hui doesn’t only resist the authorities, but also his family. Any threat to his rights evokes such emotions as anger and anguish in Chueh-hui.

Their words were like sparks (simile)

Before Chueh-hsin acquires a title of Big Brother, he is a bright and extremely promising student, who hopes for better future and enjoys “his beautiful dreams”. The New Youth magazine is a source of his constant inspiration. Its “fresh approach and ardent phrases” fascinate him. Every word is like a sparkle, which lights a huge bonfire of disagreement with the old methods in a young soul.

You masters and mistresses are all as changeable as the winds (simile)

Ming-feng has been working for the Kao for seven long years. She has no days off, she eats poorly and her dress is old. Still this life doesn’t scare her as much as a life of a concubine of an old man. Ming-feng is getting older and she knows that one day her masters may sell her. When Chueh-hui tells her that he wouldn’t allow to send her away, Ming-feng knows that his words are futile promises. Wishes of her masters and mistresses are “as changeable as the winds”. In any case, the poor girl is happy to hear them.

I am as busy as an ant (simile)

Chueh-hui, Chueh-min and his friends start publishing their own magazine, which is called Dawn. It contains “news of the new cultural movement”, introduces “new ideas” and attacks “all that was unreasonable of the old”. It goes without saying that the magazine takes all free time of Chueh-hui. He even doesn’t have time to speak to Ming-feng. When the bondmaid comes to him in order to tell him that this is going to be a concubine of one old man, Chueh-hui refuses to hear her out, saying that he is rather busy.

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