In a Grove

In a Grove Metaphors and Similes

A drop of dew, a flash of lightning (Metaphor)

At the end of his testimony, the traveling priest compares the life of a human being to a drop of dew and a flash of lightning—metaphors for the fleetingness of existence. While the drop of dew is delicate and commonplace, a flash of lightning is violent and spectacular. When considered in concert, the metaphors speak to the miraculous nature of existence while simultaneously recognizing life’s insignificance and ubiquity.

Witnessed my shame (Metaphor)

During her confession, Masago uses metaphoric and euphemistic language to say that her husband witnessed her being raped by Tajōmaru. She is so ashamed of the violation that she insists Takehiro must die, as she cannot bear the thought of him living with what he had seen.

The darkness between lives (Metaphor)

At the end of his testimony, Takehiro describes himself as sinking “once and for all into the darkness between lives.” This darkness is a metaphor for death and the spirit realm from which he narrates his testimony. It is significant that he describes the darkness as “between lives,” as it suggests he is in a liminal space before being reborn, as determined by the Buddhist cycle of death and rebirth.