Essay on The Use of Similes in Auto Wreck

Essay on The Use of Similes in Auto Wreck

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The Use of Similes in  Auto Wreck        

 

In his poem Auto Wreck (p. 1002), Karl Shapiro uses carefully constructed similes to cause the events he relates to become very vivid and also to create the mood for the poem. To describe the aftermath, especially in people's emotions, of an automobile accident, he uses almost exclusively medical or physiological imagery. This keeps the reader focused and allows the similes used to closely relate to the subject of the poem. Three main similes used are arterial blood, tourniquets and cancer. These images all follow the same idea, and thus add more to the poem than other rhetorical figures might.

The first simile used, "Pulsing out red light like an artery," serves two purposes. First and most obviously, it describes the light of a flare in vivid detail. A picture of a ruptured artery, pumping out deep, red blood in steady, rhythmic pulses, easily conjures up a vision of an emergency flare's crimson beam. Second, and much more subtle, the simile is a portent of the events about to occur, a pierced artery is frequently a mortal w...

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