The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox Metaphors and Similes
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Written by Polly Barbour
She loved wearing the couture dress "because he once said it made her breasts look like peaches". Iris' boyfriend compares her breasts to peaches because the dress makes them look round and youthful. Peaches by definition are a spring and summer fruit so he is also reminded of something luscious that welcomes in the new.
"She takes it up carefully by the shoulders and gives it a shake, and it opens up before her like a flower."
Iris is getting a couture dress out of its wrapping and readying it for the mannequin in the window. The comparison to a flower likens the dress to something that starts out as a bud with potential when folded up but blossoms into something if color and beauty when displayed. It also emphasizes the beauty of the dress making it more like a product of nature than an inanimate garment.
There are "needles if rain" falling on Esme. Comparing the rain to needles tells us that it is the type of rain that falls suddenly and quickly almost feeling like it has sharp points that pierce the skin. This also adds to the motif of sewing that is present throughout the novel.
"The pain spread outwards, like ripples on a pond."
Comparing pain to ripples in the water tells us that her pain was deep and not over quickly; the exact point of the body from which the pain first emanated spread wider and wider so that just when she thought it might stop hurting it merely spread somewhere else, extending from the original core.
Birds Like Needles Simile
This is the second time that needles are used as a simile in the book. This time it is the birds that are said to "fly through the trees like needles through fabric" which describes the weaving in and out motion the birds are making, flying easily through the trees as if they are being stitched through fabric by an expert seamstress.
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The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell.