Language

Choice of words

The language of the short story “The Familiar” by Andre Norton is easy to fo…

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Similes

Similes convey the narrator’s perspective and help describe the characters, setting, or atmosphere. The noises made by the crowd outside are “as a rising wave” (p. 56, ll. 28-2…

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Metaphors

The story includes several metaphors. Fear is described as having “clutching tendrils” (p. 59, l. 11), a metaphor that compares it with a plant such as ivy, which uses tendrils – curling stems – to grip onto a wall or tree. A similar metaphor is used to describe Jeseca’s doubts whic…

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Symbols

The short story is filled with symbolical elements, often magical objects and people. This is also a typical feature of fairytales, which often use symbolical elements to suggest a moral or message.

First of all, the narrator and Jeseca are symbolic characters. They represent the guide and the apprentice. Fossi’s change from toy to living cat is a symbol of deceiving appearances; those who look wor…

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