The Moonstone

The Moonstone Metaphors and Similes

“The light that streamed from it was like the light of the harvest moon" (97) (simile)

This description of the Diamond makes reference to its legendary name of “the Moonstone,” not only for its appearance but also its use in the worship of the Moon deity.

“I declare they bounced on the ground as if it were made of india-rubber. Everything the Miss Ablewhites said began with a large O; everything they did was done with a bang; and they giggled and screamed, in and season and out of season, on the smallest provocation" (95) (simile)

The Ablewhite sisters are a clear contrast to the more mature, deeper, and thoughtful Rachel. Betteredge’s dubbing of them as the “Bouncers” comes from their extravagant and superficial behavior.

“…there, with a red handkerchief tied around his grizzled head, and his respectable black coat rolled up for a pillow, lay and slept Sergeant Cuff! He woke, instantly and quietly, like a dog, the moment I approached him" (180) (simile)

Sergeant Cuff’s detective abilities are far superior to those of Superintendent Seegrave’s, or anyone else’s at the Yorkshire estate, for that matter. Betteredge compares him to a dog while seeing him asleep, but this description also brings to mind the strong tracking abilities of dogs.

“Do you remember when you came out on us from among the sand hills, that morning, looking for Mr. Betteredge? You were like a prince in a fairy-story. You were like a lover in a dream" (362) (simile)

Poor Rosanna confesses in her letter that she was in love with Franklin Blake all along. While many people have difficulty figuring out why, she says so herself here, saying that she projected romantic notions onto Franklin. Exotic, rich, and gentlemanly, Franklin has everything Rosanna does not—and everything the servant girl would love to have.

“My girl’s words fell upon me like a splash of cold water" (80) (simile)

Penelope tells Betteredge that Rosanna is most likely in love with Franklin Blake, given her strange behavior at his arrival; Betteredge laughs it off, calling it ridiculous. Penelope calls her father heartless, which reminds Betteredge of how miserable Rosanna often is. Interestingly enough, the comparison to “splash of cold water” is almost hinting at the way Rosanna eventually commits suicide (by drowning).

“I looked through the Window, and saw the World, the Flesh, and the Devil waiting before the house – as typified in a carriage and horses, a powdered footman, and three of the most audaciously dressed women I ever beheld in my life" (254) (metaphor)

Miss Clack is an annoying and meddlesome religious busybody, and her narration is often over the top. Because of her dislike (and jealousy) of Rachel Verinder, she condemns many of the “worldly” activities the other girl engages in. Even when Rachel is simply going to a flower show, she condemns it by calling it “the Devil waiting before the house.”

“How can I make a man understand that at feeling which horrifies me at myself, can be a feeling that fascinates me at the same time? It’s the breath of my life, Godfrey, and it’s the poison that kills me – both in one!” (279) (metaphor)

During his proposal to her, Rachel tells Godfrey that she is in love with another man, although she does not mention his name. She is convinced that Franklin took the Diamond, and yet, being still in love with him, she is torn, describing it as what gives her life and what kills her at once.

“Even the lonely little bay welcomed the morning with a show of cheerfulness; and the bared wet surface of the quicksand itself, glittering with a golden brightness, hid the horror of its false brown face under a passing smile" (356) (metaphor)

The Shivering Sand is a crucial part of Franklin’s return to the Yorkshire estate, and he describes it almost with personification as he passes by during the day. By comparing the way the quicksand moves to it possibly having a face, it reminds readers of Rosanna who died there (something Franklin himself remembers when he is pulling up the chained box).

“In the matter of bravery (to give him his due), he was a mixture of bull-dog and game-cock, with a dash of the savage" (63) (metaphor)

Before John Herncastle became corrupt at the Storming of Seringapatam, Betteredge referred to him as Honorable John. Betteredge says that, even before his departure to India, however, Herncastle had animalistic tendencies in him.

Metaphor: Franklin's Foreign Education“Here (God bless it!) was the original English foundation of him showing through all the foreign varnish at last!” (78) (metaphor)

Betteredge describes Franklin as having different layers and pieces of foreign education from the different countries in which he was educated. Betteredge uses the metaphor of Franklin having different layers of varnish as a way to explain the different styles of things that the younger man says.