Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind Metaphors and Similes

"Words pile up like snowdrifts" (Simile)

Melody begins the novel by discussing her love of words, which she considers to be as unique as snowflakes. However, since she is unable to speak, the words Melody loves pile up like snowdrifts inside her head. Without a voice to express them, the beautiful words bury Melody, leading to her to feel helpless and claustrophobic.

"Tornado explosions" (Metaphor)

Since Melody is unable to express herself using words, she often has spastic fits that she calls tornado explosions. The comparison to a tornado indicates that Melody’s outbursts are a somewhat violent spectacle for her to experience and for others to witness. Her tornado explosions are often mistaken for arbitrary fits, unconnected to any meaningful communication.

"Find a hole and hide in it" (Metaphor)

After Melody passes Mr. Dimming’s quiz with a perfect score, thereby qualifying for the quiz team, she spasms and shrieks in an uncontainable expression of joy (a tornado explosion). The outburst draws unwanted attention and prompts Melody to ask Catherine to quickly wheel her into the hall. Melody wishes to find a hole to hide in—a metaphor for the shame and embarrassment she feels at having been so exposed to other classmates’ gazes in the classroom.

Just like a broken doll (Simile)

Melody mentions how she was given a doll as a Christmas present. Though the doll is supposed to talk, sing, and cry, the doll turns out to be broken, capable of making a screeching sound. Melody sees herself in the broken doll, as she is also unable to do what society expects of a child, able only to produce indiscernible noises. This simile is significant because it shows the extent to which Melody has assimilated a negative view of herself as broken, focusing more on her deficiencies than her positive qualities.