The Homecoming

The Homecoming Metaphors and Similes

Objects (simile)

When Lenny is talking to Teddy upon the latter's arrival, he complains about a ticking noise. Later when he talks to Ruth, he mentions the object again and comments about all "commonplace" objects that "They're as quiet as mice during the daytime" (28). It is an effective simile because it compares the objects to something diminutive and meek like mice, but implies that at night the objects' noises would be as annoying and disconcerting as the scuffling of mice across the floorboards.

The sons (simile)

Max is full of self-pity, ruing how hard he has worked over the years to provide for his family. He comments about his sons, "Who do you think I am, your mother? Eh? Honest. They walk in here every time of the day and night like bloody animals" (16). Comparing his sons to animals is a way to suggest they are wild, uncouth, and primitive.

London (simile)

Teddy is very clear about how much he prefers America to London, and one of the most frequent complaints about the latter is how dirty it is. He laments to Ruth, "You know what it's like? It's like a urinal" (55). Referring to London as a urinal is a good deal more effective than simply saying it is dirty. A urinal is a filthy, crude, and repulsive toilet where men relieve themselves; there is no better way to conjure up an image of smelly, disgusting London.

Homecoming (metaphor)

The "homecoming" in the text works on a literal level, with Teddy returning to his childhood home. However, the return home is also useful as a metaphor because Teddy and Ruth both come "home" to themselves. Teddy fundamentally realizes that his commitment to his philosophy is more important than anything else; he also fully commits himself to the masculine world of his youth. He submits to his father and brothers and essentially abandons his wife to them. The play can also be seen as Ruth's homecoming, for she realizes that staying with Teddy is not enough for her. She is not emotionally, and it is assumed sexually, fulfilled. She has little power with Teddy, but now has a great deal of it.