The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give Metaphors and Similes

“Natasha’s mannequin wore a white dress with pink and yellow flowers all over it." (metaphor)

Starr uses the metaphor of a "mannequin" to describe Natasha's corpse. The metaphor helps her deal with the pain and unreality of seeing her best friend's lifeless body in the casket at her funeral. Similarly, she uses the metaphor of a mannequin to tell herself that she is not actually seeing Khalil's body at his funeral.

blubbering like a little kid who skinned her knee (simile)

This simile occurs when Starr heads back from the interview with the DA. The conversation is emotionally taxing on top of all the other problems going on in Starr's life, and she ends up vomiting and crying. Since Maverick responds by hugging Starr, this simile also reflects the continued importance of Maverick in Starr's life. Even though Maverick couldn't be there for Starr when she actually was a little kid who skinned her knee, now that he is back in her life he's determined to stay there and be as good of a father as he possibly can.

It seriously looks like the circus is setting up in town. (simile)

Starr uses the simile of a circus to describe the amount of media trucks that surround the courthouse. This simile reflects the national attention that cases of police shooting such as Khalil's receive. It also reflects how much Starr has to overcome to testify to the grand jury; she feels the pressure of an entire nation on her shoulders.

It sounds like the Fourth of July behind us: pop after pop after pop. (simile)

Starr compares the riots and violence following Khalil's death to fireworks at the Fourth of July. This is a striking comparison because it highlights the contrast between the sadness of this night and the happiness of a holiday. It also emphasizes the violence of the occasion by drawing a parallel between the flares and fireworks, which are extremely loud and often frightening.

A heat wave hits like the sun dropped in. (simile)

This simile compares the heat wave from King's makeshift bomb that envelops the store to the sun itself. It's a powerful comparison, because it highlights the danger and violence of King's action. It also foreshadows the utter destruction that will result from the fire.