The Turtle

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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Crossing the Road In the short story "The Turtle" by John Steinbeck, he uses description throughout the story. He uses objective, personification, similes, and metaphors throughout the story. Steinbeck portrays this through a scene of a turtle crossing the road. He is illustrating the human capacity for courage and persistence.

The turtle is a metaphor for the farm workers of the depression era. Steinbeck uses this personification because the workers move everything they own on a model T-Ford, and this is their home just like the turtle's shell. John Steinbeck also uses objective description to describe the process of the turtle as it crosses the road and to describe the road itself, " The concrete highway was edged with a mat of tangled, broken, dry grass"¦the sun lay on the"¦embankment [as it] grows stepper and stepper, a concrete four inches tall"¦but higher and higher [the turtle] "¦strains"¦the front legs scratched at the pavement, and it [got] up".

(185, 2) John Steinbeck also uses description to display the process of planting seeds. "Sleeping life waiting to be spread and disperse, every seed armed with an appliance of dispersal, twisting darts and parachutes for the wind, little spears and the balls of tiny thorns, and all waiting for animals and for the wind" (185,2). At the end of the story Steinbeck uses description again to illustrate the seed being planted. "The wild oat head fells out and "¦ spearhead seed stuck the ground and as the turtle crawled on "¦ its shell dragged dirt over the seeds"(186,4) Steinbeck uses many similes in this short using the turtle. "The back legs went back to work, staining like a elephants legs". (185,2). Other places John uses Similes is when a car almost hits the turtle "flipped the turtle like a tiddly-wink, spun it like a coin" John Steinbeck uses objective, personification, similes, and metaphors trough out the story. He uses them to create a very vivid and well-created story to portray the families of the great depression.

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