The Ghost Sonata

The Ghost Sonata Metaphors and Similes

"Is she not like that blue hyacinth herself?" (Simile)

While pointing out the beautiful daughter of the Colonel to the Student, the Old Man uses a simile to compare her to the hyacinths that fill her Hyacinth Room. He suggests that she is as beautiful as the flowers she adores.

“My whole life’s like a book of fairy tales.” (Simile)

The Old Man tells the Student that his life is a like a book of fairy tales. The Student marvels at the fact that ever since making the acquaintance of the Old Man, he has noticed something uncanny in the world, something fantastical or not quite real.

"They look like ghosts" (Simile)

Johansson asks Bengtsson, the Colonel's servant, why the dinners they host are referred to as "ghost suppers," and Bengtsson gives him a rather simple explanation. The reason is that at the dinners, all the guests look like ghosts, and barely speak to one another.

Vampire (Metaphor)

Bengtsson refers to the Old Man as a vampire several times, which serves as a metaphorical designation. While he is not a literal vampire per se, he is able to suck the life out of places, extracting the nourishment from food and extorting wealth from others.

"Pure as innocence" (Simile)

While discussing the virtues of the hyacinth, the Student and the Girl note that it is "pure as innocence," a simile to suggest that the hyacinth is good-natured and gentle, like an innocent youth.