How Does Sharon Olds Use Similes In On The Subway

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In the poem “On The Subway” by Sharon Olds, the author implements multiple literary devices to get her message across. Her use of metaphors, similes, and symbolism are perceived in such fashions that the reader can feel the tension experienced first hand by the characters sitting on that subway directly in front of each other. The use of metaphors throughout the poem gives the reader a source of comparison when describing the situation the characters are found in. She is illustrating how she feels in those moments while traveling underground with strangers when she mentions: “... a couple of molecules stuck on a rod of light rapidly moving through darkness.” Further, into the poem, the tone becomes obscure and serious. She mentions multiple lines that are actually occurring in the world, but not exactly in that form or fashion. “I am living off his life,” and “I am taking food from his mouth” are used to illustrate that the world is run like that, we feed off others because the currency is in a forever cycle that…show more content…
She uses similes when she is judging the stranger sitting in front of her and uses them to compare his appearance. She is observing his shoes and mentions: “...complex patterns like a set of intentional scars,” and “He is wearing red like the inside of the body exposed.” she includes these comparisons to illustrate a more vibrant vision of his outfit to the reader. Moving forward, she also includes her judgment of his appearance and the way he comes across to her. “This life he could take so easily and break across his knee like a stick …” she mentions this to have the reader believe that the person sitting there with her looks shady and sketchy like a thug in a dark alley. This does not only illustrate how he appears to be but also how she feels in those moments that feel like the earth just stops rotating and the feeling of hopelessness is

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