Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 4 years ago

What does this sentence mean? (From a novel)?

(There’s a rat high up in the hedge.He’s scaling the scrawny branches of a hawthorn tree.)

With his lardy **** wedged into a crook, like an ugly bird with its wings coiled into a pointy tail, now he’s gorging himself on hawberries

I could not get the ugly bird metaphor..

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I just searched the phrase, it's from Sara Baume's "Spill Simmer Falter Wither." Um, if this is a metaphor, and it probably could be, just from the immediate what's there on page 170 (because I can't know the full extent without having read it) it seems like she's comparing a rat to a human being. The rat is stuck in the tree, and rather than use the stepladder (which you omitted) it gets it's butt stuck in a tree.

    So, just from what's there, it seems like the protagonist is on a journey, and she's observing a rat climb down a tree, and she's wondering why animals will do things like this when there's a much easier route.

    Anything beyond this I can't tell you because I haven't read the book. I only read two paragraphs on page 170, which Google Books let me look at, so your guess is as good as mine.

    To identify the metaphor, look for the motif in the book. What's the constant theme. It could be anything, as that metaphor by itself could mean the exact opposite of what I think it means if i read on and see the protagonist say something different.

    A book is like a clock. It has many gears and mechanisms. Some of them are jewels, some of them are cogs, others are just little hands and feet, some are faces, some are numbers, some are just decoration. But, the fact is that all of this stuff is there to identify what the book is about.

    So, take a motif. A motif is a dominant theme in a book that is present the whole time. That motif will help you identify what the metaphor means because everything is in context to everything else in a book. So, let me just say I'm going from a literary analysis that combines a lot of different schools, but I believe each different analysis helps shade the text. So, I'd recommend you look into different analysis methods.

    The ones I use are Russian Formalism first, to identify the structure, then I use Hermenuetics and then I use what's called The New Criticism. This is three different analysis methods, and I'll sometimes use Deconstruction, Structuralism or Psychoanalysis. The fact is you should look at a book from all its angles. Every way you can understand it, and then look for the one that best fits the book.

    Hopefully this helps.

    P.S. Thank you for introducing me to this writer. She is a breath of fresh air in a market full of awful diction. This is beautiful prose, and you ought to be proud that you get to read it. She's wonderful, and try to understand, you're not going to get better than her in today's age for modern writers. Plain and simple.

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  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    It's not a metaphor. The writer is just saying that a rat climbing up a tree looked a bit like an unpleasant-looking bird.

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