Lonesome Dove Metaphors and Similes

Lonesome Dove Metaphors and Similes

How life is

In the beginning of the novel, a man from the cattle ranch watches as two pigs eat a rattlesnake before his eyes. This image is important because it is used as a metaphor to describe the life the people at the ranch had. Their lives were boring, with no danger in them and in a sense, the pigs, or rather the good people, ate the rattlesnake who symbolizes in this context danger. However, as we will later see, the people are not happy with the way their life is going.

Metaphor for safety

When Jake is introduced, the narrator reveals that he killed a man and that he was on the run. Jake was running towards Montana, the place where he hoped to find happiness. Thus, Montana is a metaphor for safety for Jake and for other characters in the novel.

Metaphor for masculinity and adulthood

In the ninth chapter, Newt is given a gun when he is sent to bring some horses with a bigger group. Dish is extremely excited to receive a gun, feeling like a man for the first time in his life. Thus, it is clear that the gun is used here as a metaphor for masculinity and adulthood and also to suggest that Newt was no longer a child.

Metaphor for comfort

One of the things mentioned time and time again is the fact that in Lonesome Dove, there is no shade. The shade is important for the people in the novel since they live in an extremely hot environment and need shade in order to be comfortable. The lack of shade is a metaphor used to suggest the lack of comfort the characters experienced. Apart from feeling physically uncomfortable, the characters also felt mentally uncomfortable since they found themselves stuck living a life they did not want to live, a boring existence in which every character just waits for something good to happen.

Metaphor for independence

When Lorena leaves with the group, she stops wearing dresses and starts wearing pants instead. The pants are important here because they are used as a metaphor for masculinity. In the time when the novel was set, only men wore pants and it was considered as being inappropriate for a woman to wear pants. By wearing trousers, Lorena asserted her independency and made it clear that she no longer expected to be taken care of by the men around her.

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