The Metaphor; Short Story Questions

“The Metaphor” Questions 1. The metaphors Charlotte makes for her mother and Miss Hancock are very accurate. Charlotte compares her mother to a “white picket fence” with “thorny bushes and barbed wire” on the other side (72). Charlotte’s mother is a very beautiful person on the outside. She has great hair and a great figure, but deep down she is not that good of a person. She is a very emotionless and stern woman. In the last few paragraphs of the novel she tells Charlotte that Miss Hancock’s death was her own fault. On the other hand, Miss Hancock is compared to a cake.

The cake “was frosted by someone unschooled in the art of cake decoration” but the inside of the cake “was rich and soft and very delicious” (80). Miss Hancock looks quite unattractive on the outside because of her age, clothing, and excessive amounts of makeup, but she is a great person. Her students all really care for her and even decides to get her a trophy. She teaches with great enthusiasm and use a lot of emotion. She is also more of a mother to Charlotte than her actual mother is. Charlotte’s metaphors tells us much about the truths of these two characters. 2.

Charlotte’s mother and Miss Hancock are the exact opposites of each other. Charlotte’s mother is described as a very beautiful a person but she is not a very good person. She has a great figure and had hair that looked as if a hair dresser made it everyday. However, she is actually a very emotionless and cold person. When Miss Hancock died Charlotte could not stop crying for she felt that she killed her, but all her mother did was tell her to stop crying for she was “disturbing the even tenor of [their] home”(80). Also, she changes the people around her with rules so they are more to her liking even if they do not like it.

When Charlotte was little she liked to make gardens with blocks, but when the blocks scattered across the floor her mother told her to make little gardens instead of large ones. Her mother solve all her problems by telling the person what the correct behavior is so she is always in control. Since Charlotte’s mother solves all her problems this way she is less of an actual mother to Charlotte. In contrast, Miss Hancock is more of a mother than Charlotte’s biological one. Miss Hancock is plump and wears an excessive amount of makeup to cover her aging. Even though she is not a very attractive person she does have a great ersonality. She praises Charlotte on how well she can write and even asks her if she wanted to discuss her metaphor about her mother as it Miss Hancock could tell she had some problems with her mother. She also expresses her emotions unlike Charlotte’s mother. After she finished reading “Hamlet” she had “tears standing in her eyes” but at the same time she also made her students feel the same way about the play(75). In conclusion, Charlotte’s mother while more attractive and in control of herself is not as good as a mother while Miss Hancock who is very plump and overenthusiastic is.