Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Clarisse is Like a.... :Analyzing Metaphors to Understand Character - Section 3: Analyzing Analogies


At first, the metaphors used to describe Clarisse are difficult to grasp and easy to read past, especially because that are quite a few in just a couple of pages of reading. However, unpacking these images can be a meaningful activity because it provides a deeper understanding of her character. I was reminded of this fact today. Some kids described Clarisse as "weird," and I understand why: she wanders around by herself and talks to strangers. That is not "normal" behavior. But reviewing and discussing the metaphors helped students see past these initial reactions. 


The image that seemed to bring the most meaning was the comparison of Clarisse's face to that of a clock in the middle of the night. We have all had that experience when we wake late at night and can only see the digital numbers glowing in the dark room; they are certain and "knowing," as Bradbury describes it. We have had the experience, but probably have not thought about the clock in this way-- as smart-- yet it makes sense when we think about it. The image, then, gives us a deeper understanding of Clarisse, who seems to be the only light in the darkness, the only one with answers. Therefore, she is not "weird," or at least that isn't all she is. 

  A Mirror v. a Torch
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: A Mirror v. a Torch
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Clarisse is Like a.... :Analyzing Metaphors to Understand Character

Unit 9: Fahrenheit 451: The Hearth and the Salamander
Lesson 4 of 10

Objective: SWBAT analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text and interact with each other by comparing Clarisse to Mildred.

Big Idea: Are you more like fluttering candlelight or a brighter torch that burns out quickly?

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