The Cricket in Times Square

The Cricket in Times Square Metaphors and Similes

"It was like a quick stroke across the strings of a violin, or like a harp that has been plucked suddenly" (Chapter 2, pg. 7) (Simile)

Although Chester's chirp is compared to a violin multiple times throughout this story, this particular instant is important because it was the very first time Mario heard Chester. He is immediately struck by how beautiful the sound is, as so many other characters will continue to be impressed with Chester as the book goes on. These repeated comparisons of Chester's sound to a musical instrument foreshadow the concerts that Chester will perform for the newsstand's patrons at the end of the book.

"Above the cricket, towers that seemed like mountains of light rose up into the night sky" (Chapter 4, pg. 29) (Simile)

Upon his first sight of New York City, Chester compares the towering skyscrapers of Times Square to mountains. This emphasizes their vastness in comparison to him, a tiny cricket. Additionally, mountains are something natural, not manmade. Chester is very unfamiliar with this manmade concrete jungle and much more familiar with natural settings, so comparing these buildings to something naturally created heightens the contrast between New York and the place he is used to.

"But now here she was crying and warbling like an Italian nightingale!" (Chapter 11, pg. 93) (Simile)

When Selden compares Mama Bellini to an Italian nightingale, he creates sound imagery that will allow readers to hear how deeply hearing Chester play "Come Back to Sorrento" affects her. It is a stark contrast from her mood just a few minutes before, when she was livid with the cricket for starting the fire that destroyed some of the newsstand.

"Then quickly, like a lock sliding into place, something was decided in his mind" (Chapter 13, pg. 115) (Simile)

This simile makes it clear that Chester has decided to do exactly what he has to do: leave New York and go home to Connecticut. He has accepted that New York longer makes him happy, which means he has gotten everything he can out of his time in the city. It is important that Chester realizes this, because he has been concerned with helping the Bellinis, and he now needs to think about doing what is best for him.

"Like ripples around a stone dropped into still water, the circles of silence spread out from the newsstand" (Chapter 14, pg. 122) (Simile)

Chester's beautiful music is powerful enough to have an effect on everyone around him, the way a single stone dropped into the water can make ripples spread far away from it. This, Chester's final performance, is the most profound, and for a moment it seems like all of New York City has stopped to listen.