Examples of Similes and Metaphors in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

Examples of Similes and Metaphors in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a prize-winning American classic, which deals with serious issues like rape and racial inequality from a child's point of view. The author makes use of literary devices throughout the story, that bring it to life.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about racial injustice and loss of innocence. The mockingbird has been used as a metaphor for innocence.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee, which is considered as one of the major works in modern American literature. The story revolves around what the author observes around her and is based on an event that occurs when she is ten. The story takes place during the Great Depression in a town called Maycomb. It deals with issues like racial discrimination, yet carries an element of humor. It is among the most widely read books all over the world, and was even ranked ahead of the Bible in 2006.
The imagery used in this book has captivated many for decades. The effective use of literary devices like similes, metaphors, and others, have made the story easier to connect to. As already mentioned, the mockingbird itself is a metaphor or symbol of innocence, and the action of killing it, as the title suggests, refers to the killing or destruction of innocence. Here, we give you some examples of similes and metaphors used in the story.
Examples of Similes
Simile is a direct comparison between two entities (objects or individuals). It includes the use of words like as and like that are used for comparison.
Examples of Similes in To Kill a Mockingbird
The second grade was as bad as the first.
Jem waved my words away as if fanning gnats.
They were folded across the fence like they were expecting me.
Not like a lady sewed'em like somethin' I'd try to do.
I never thought it was as much fun as Tarzan.
Popped me like a cork on pavement.
You act like you believe in Hot Steams.
There's some folks that don't eat like us.
...like soft teacakes with frosting of sweat and sweet talcum.
...wriggling like a bucketful of Catawba worms.
He was as good as his worst performance.
Examples of Similes in To Kill a Mockingbird
Her face was the color of a dirty pillowcase, and the corner of her mouth glistened with wet, which inched like a glacier down the deep grooves enclosing her chin.
Her mouth seemed to have a private existence of its own. It worked separate and apart from the rest of her, out and in, like a clam hole at low tide.
Mrs. Merriweather played her voice like an organ.
Like some viscous substance coming to a boil.
She had put so much starch in my dress it came up like a tent.
It was like going to Mardi Gras.
Aunt Alexandra fitted into the world of Maycomb like a hand into a glove.
Jem gulped like a goldfish.
We could see him shiver like a horse shedding flies.
He walked quickly, but I thought he moved like an underwater swimmer.
Examples of Metaphors
In a metaphor, two unrelated things are identified as one, and the similarities between them are highlighted.
Metaphors in To Kill a Mockingbird
I tried to climb into Jem's skin and walk around in it.
His hair was snow white and stuck to his head like duckfluff.
Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it.
He was a thin leathery with colorless eyes, so colorless they did not reflect light.
The old house was the same, droopy and sick, but as we stared down the street we thought we saw an inside shutter move. A tiny, almost invisible movement, and the house was still.
Molasses buckets appeared from nowhere, and the ceiling danced with metallic light.
Metaphors in To Kill a Mockingbird
Walter looked as if he had been raised on fish food his eyes, as blue as Dill Harris's, were red-rimmed and watery. There was no color in his face except at the tip of his nose, which was moistly pink.
As I inched sluggishly along the treadmill of the Maycomb County school system, I could not help receiving the impression that I was being cheated out of something.
Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree-house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape.
The Governor was eager to scrape a few barnacles off the ship of state.
They c'n go loose and rape the countryside.