“…the littlest children, whose diapers were in various stages of anarchy”
It was hard to identify the figure of speech that is used in this line. But within my knowledge, personification seems to come closest in its definition to the usage in this line. Personification is a figure of speech where human qualities and traits are applied to nonhuman beings and things. Diapers can’t literally be related to anarchy, as anarchy is used to describe happenings in the human world amongst human interactions. Anarchy when applied in its true form, represents “absence of government,” “lawlessness,” and “political disorder”(anarchy). This line however, claims that the “diapers were in various stages of anarchy.” It can’t be taken in a literal sense, but it’s obvious that the author was implying the chaos that usually accompanies anarchy in society to the mess/chaos in the little children’s diapers. The children were of various ages, and therefore their diapers were at “various stages of anarchy.”
“He nodded and the red car wobbled back and forth on the road as if the driver were having an epileptic seizure.”
This line attempts to use imagery to make its point. The red car is referring to the birthmark on the forehead of the grocer. And when he nodded, the author refers to the movement of the birthmark on the grocer’s head as a “red car” wobbling back and forth on the road, or the forehead in the literal sense.
“…the water spigot thrust itself out of the ground like the finger of a saint.”
The figure of speech used in this line is a simile. Similes compare two things, usually using words such as “like” and “as.” In this line, the water spigot is likened to a finger of a saint. To the ruptured friend, making kool-aid was a sacred and holy ceremony. So it makes much sense that the source of water, the spigot, was likened to holy figure like a saint.
“…like a brain surgeon removing a disordered portion of the imagination.”
The figure of speech used in this line is also a simile. The author likens the kool-aid wino’s “sudden but delicate motion” to “a brain surgeon removing a disordered portion of the imagination. This description allows the readers to get an understanding of just how much care and precision the kool-aid wino put into making his kool-aid.
“Like the inspired priest of an exotic cult….”
The figure of speech used in this line is also a simile. The author likens the kool-aid wino to a cult leader, having performed the first part of the “ceremony” successfully. The use of simile in this line further indicates to the readers the level of obsession and passion from the kool-aid wino, when it comes to making kool-aid. The process of making kool-aid truly seems like a ceremony to the kool-aid wino.
Bertrand Russell Look him up! Why is he appropriate here?
The figure of speech used in this line is an allusion. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell was one of the most famous British philosopher, logician, essayist and social critic of the 20th century. Russell was very well educated and well-spoken. Today, he is largely considered as the founder of modern analytic philosophy. However, over his lifetime, Russell made significant contributions to a broader range of topics including education, history, political theory, and religious studies. At the age of 78, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature(Russell). The allusion to Bertrand Russell in this line demonstrates the confidence and poise of the kool-aid wino, when he declared “the dishes can wait.” Even a Nobel Prize winner like Russell couldn’t have said it better than the kool-aid wino.
“They were like fruit under a tree.”
The figure of speech used in this line is a simile. The author likens the half-rotten comic books to “fruit under a tree.” Usually, fruits that are under trees are in rotting stages, since they have fallen from the trees and have been left there for a considerable amount of time. The fruits are also just scattered around the base of the tree, in a disorganized and messy fashion. The use of simile in this line indicates to the readers the conditions of the comic books, as well as how they were scattered all over the chicken house.
How do the above figures of speech add to your enjoyment of the story?
The different figures of speech used in this piece made it very enjoyable to read. Lines that would have gone unnoticed are accentuated by the use of different figures of speech. It also helps to emphasize certain points, that really make the story stand out. For example, the use of different similes in the story helped me realize just how seriously the kool-aid wino treated the process of making kool-aid. If the author just stated his friend really liked making kool-aid, it would’ve been a very boring and stale story. But through the use of different figures of speeches, it made the story exciting and memorable.