The Edible Woman

The Edible Woman Metaphors and Similes

Feet "beginning to dissolve like melting jelly" (Simile)

Marian wakes up from a dream during which she sees her feet beginning to dissolve. This simile foreshadows the dissociation Marian will begin to feel within her own body, as well as the "dissolving" of her self and her identity while she's engaged to Peter.

Room "dim as twilight" (Simile)

When Marian first enters Duncan's apartment, she notices how dark it is. The dark setting alludes to the shadowy, indeterminate role that Duncan will play in Marian's life, and hints at the indecency and secret nature of their relationship. It also contrasts with Peter's apartment, which is well-lit and well-decorated.

"Those arts-crafts types" (Metaphor)

When Peter calls Len one of those "arts-crafts" types, he trivializes Len for Len's involvement in the arts (Len works in television). He compares Len's occupation to something that a child does, like arts and crafts, revealing his own judgemental nature and narrow view of the world.

"Treating me as a stage-prop" (Simile)

Marian states that Peter is treating her as a "stage-prop" at dinner, emphasizing how he uses her as an inanimate object without treating her like a real person with thoughts, feelings, and desires. This theme will continue over the rest of the novel as Peter routinely displays uninterest and lack of understanding towards Marian, treating her instead as a stereotype.

A "private burrow" (Metaphor)

When Marian crawls underneath the bed while drinking with Peter, Len, and Ainsley, she says that she has dug herself a "private burrow." She has distanced herself from the group, intentionally creating her own solitude and alienation as she feels a deep disconnect from the others.

"As he would a new camera" (Simile)

When Peter and Marian are at dinner, she likens his gaze to the one he has when he is eyeing an object—a camera—he wants to buy. One of Peter's hobbies is photography; this simile emphasizes that Peter views Marian as an object and a hobby, something superficial and inhuman.

The carcass (Metaphor)

As Marian breaks her inability to eat food and eats the cake she bakes for Peter, she states that she is eating a carcass. This metaphor makes the action violent, and also characterizes her action as "unfeminine," thus emphasizing how, free of Peter, Marian is finally able to break away from constrictive femininity.