Let the Circle be Unbroken

Let the Circle be Unbroken Metaphors and Similes

Gambling (Metaphor)

Papa uses the metaphor of a sickness (pg. 13) to describe how gambling is harmful to a person because it takes hold, builds, and ultimately destroys a person. This proves to be true for Cassie to some extent, and certainly for Jake Willis.

"...it must have hit [T.J.] that he had been found guilty, for her let out a mournful yelp like a wild animal, hunted, captured, and now about to die" (73) (Simile)

This simile at the close of T.J.'s trial vividly represents the injustice of it all by invoking the image of him being treated like an animal, the victim of insidious racism.

"I suppose I simply wanted to talk, to keep men who carried fire and wandered the roads in cars with headlights that shone like cat eyes in the night from crawling into my sleep" (229) (Simile)

Here as elsewhere, Taylor weaves together the natural and artificial world by comparing the mechanical headlights of cars to the nocturnal eyes of cats.

"The forest, deep greens and shades of brown, the fields looking like a patchwork quilt of growing things, the house, the orchard, the meadowland, were as much a part of me as my arms, my legs, my head" (230) (Simile)

Here Cassie invokes powerful naturalistic imagery to describe the sentiment of her perceived oneness with nature: she sees it as an extension of her physical being.

Worm and apple (Metaphor)

Mr. Granger tells the crowd of angry farmers "Don't y'all know by now, once a worm gets in an apple, the apple's ruined? You wanna save the barrel, you best rid yourself of the worms" (318). This is a metaphor he uses to explain how one uppity black person can corrupt society and make white people's lives harder.