This passage from Cats Eye by Margaret Atwood, illustrates the alikeness between Elaine and Cordelia by comparing the girls and the old ladies in the streetcar. Detailed descriptions of the characters contribute to highlighting different themes like friendship, disguising ones true identity and the notion of time. These are highlighted through various literary features such as metaphor and imagery.
The passage shows a relationship between two girls, Cordelia and the narrator. They seem to be friends in the passage as it is mentioned by the narrator that [they] think [they] are friends. The phrase we think reflects the narrators uncertainty about her friendship with Cordelia. Yet, there are many references to them being almost twin-like and identical in the way they dress and act. Were impervious, we scintillate, we are thirteen- the use and repetition of the inclusive pronoun we further highlights their alikeness. Even though they are friends, the reader is able to sense the narrators inferiority to Cordelia through her tone of voice. It is shown through her comments such as I am almost as good or that Cordelia is opaque and glinting that the narrator admires or wants to be like Cordelia.
The detailed descriptions of the appearance of the old ladies on the streetcar highlights the theme of superficiality. The descriptions show that the narrators bias on people stems from their outer appearances, as shown in her observations such as some are respectably dressed and others are poorer and foreign looking. Further, her comment that Cordelia can tell cheap cloth at a glance once again reinforces Cordelias superiority and her attitude towards superficiality. These attitudes of young girls like the narrator and Cordelia convey how prejudices are deeply embedded in our society.
Metaphors like costumes and stage props, were used to describe peoples willingness to disguise their true identity; costumes are normally worn by actors who are impersonating someone...
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