Upon reading the title Shooting Dad by Sarah Vowell; I was unsure what I was about to read. This essay is a story of Sarah growing up and how she always thought her and her father were opposites. It wasn’t until she was older; she realized she wanted a bond with her father. It was in that longing she began to realize how much a like they truly are. In her writing the reader can see how the proper usage of similes and metaphors can enhance ones writing.
“…our home for the Civil War Battleground it was.” (154) is a prime example of one of the ways Vowell uses similes to enhance the readers understanding of her surrounding at that time. She is talking about her house is divided like it was during the Civil War. With her usage of “little death sticks” (157), “elaborate took of death“(157), and “Satan I rebuke thee“(157). She shows how she feels about the guns or any weaponry of this kind. They are murderous to her. Vowell has great usage of similes jumping out on every page. One of the best is when she speaks of is while she is talking about William C. Quantrill, the man whom her great-great-grandfather John Vowell fought under. She says that: “Quantrill is most famous for riding into Lawrence, Kansas, in 1863 flying a black flag and commanding his men pharaohlike to “kill every male and burn down every house.”” (158); with this reference I think back to Biblical times when the Pharaoh ordered the killing of all Hebrew baby boys. To me this shows how cruel Quantrill was.
The brilliance in the way Vowell lays down metaphors is impeccable. “I had to more revolvers out of my way to make room for a bowl of Rice Krispies on the kitchen table.” (155), “makeshift museum of death” (156) and “the look on his face, she might as well have told him that his American citizenship had been revoked” (155) are examples of the humors metaphors I have found in this essay. Through reading this I have learned that with proper placement metaphors can be contribution to ones...
Cited: Vowell, Sarah. “Shooting Dad“. The Bedford Reader, 10th Ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s (2009);
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