The Tiger Rising
In The Tiger Rising Rob Horton often used similes when referencing his struggles. The first one mentioned on page three it states, “Rob had a way of not thinking about things. He imagined himself as a suitcase that was too full, like the one that he had packed when they left Jacksonville after the funeral.” Rob is comparing his mind to a suitcase that is full and locked up, if his mind is too full then he won’t have room to fit any new problems in. Rob uses this reference in that moment because he was waiting to get on the bus to go school and he was feeling anxiety because these two boys, Norton and Billy who ride the bus with him, are bullying him. He pushes all the negative thoughts and feelings down into the suitcase so he won’t have to acknowledge them.
A second simile Rob uses in the story is on page 52, “…Rob felt his heart move inside him—not from fear or exertion but from something else. It was as if his soul had grown and was pushing everything up higher in his body.” In that moment Rob had just shown Sistine the tiger in the woods and they were running back to the motel after hearing a car coming, Sistine and Rob were holding hands, officially friends. Rob is describing happiness, something he hasn’t felt in such an incredibly long time that he couldn’t identify it so he used the simile like “his soul had grown”.
Next after Rob’s father shot the tiger and Rob blows up at his father and demands that he speak of his mother again Rob thinks, “And with that word, with the small sound of his mother’s name, the world lurched back into motion, like an old merry-go-round, it started to spin again.”(111) This feeling is describing Rob letting go of all the feelings he kept hidden in the suitcase because since he started burying all his feelings he wasn;t really living and functioning as a normal child, but now that his father acknowledged his mom it was as if he started to live again, similar to in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy...
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