Initiation Story

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  • Simile
  • Symbol
  • "The sparrows were still chirping, and as she lay in bed Millicent visualized them, pale gray-brown birds in a flock, one like the other, all exactly alike." (Plath 9)
  • Theme
  • "And then deciding not to join the sorority after all. And how she could still be friends with everybody." (Plath 9)
  • The basement room was dark and warm, like the inside of a sealed jar." (Plath 1) This simile is describing the basement as a trapped and enclosed area. The air is stale and trapped inside.
  • Character
  • The man in the back seat said "Heather birds' eyebrows" (Plath 8) is what he ate for breakfast. "They're bright purple and have very tasty eyebrows." (Plath 8)
  • The birds symbolize Millicent's situation she is in. Sparrows symbolize the sorority group how they are all the same. Heather birds symbolize Millicent deciding to be strong, proud, and free.
  • Metaphor
  • The theme of Initiation is to make your own choices, don't make choices based on what other people do. Millicent made her own choice to not join the sorority group even though she was pressured by the other sisters to join the group.
  • Quote
  • Millicent was thinking about the options she had, she could be "one of the select flock," (Plath 9) or "The other victory would be much harder, but she knew that it was what she wanted." (Plath 9)
  • Millicent is a dynamic and round character. She changed her personality to fit in and become a sorority group member. She was shy before, but was then confident. Millicent had to ask everyone what they normally eat for breakfast on the bus. This was an action that Millicent normally wouldn't do.
  • This metaphor is showing that the silence was the most quiet. The silence is similar to a basement that is old and covered in cobwebs. The basement was dark, warm, and had a tint of blue from the October moon.
  • "The silence was soft with cobwebs, and from the small, rectangular window set high in the stone wall there sifted a faint bluish lightlight that must be coming from the full October moon." (Plath 1)
  • Millicent was sitting on the woodpile thinking about all the things she had to do to become part of the sorority. Millicent decided to not join the sorority group because she can still be friends with the sisters even though she isn't a part of the group.
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