27 pages 54 minutes read

Andre Dubus II

The Fat Girl

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1977

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Literary Devices

Figurative Language

Figurative language, particularly metaphors, is used throughout the text to describe how Louise is feeling. Figurative language allows authors to communicate truths or emotions that are not as easily expressed in literal terms. For example, Louise feels like her soul is in “some rootless flight” and that her hunger-induced ill temper is a demon taking possession of her soul (166). Additionally, she feels she is becoming a citizen of a new country when her mother treats her differently as a thin woman. Similes—comparisons that use “like” or “as”—also describe Louise’s emotions, such as when she feels “as if she were trying to tell a foreign lover about the United States” while talking to Richard about how she used to be fat (169). Notably, these examples of figurative language center around Louise’s emotions while she is trying to be someone she is not, hinting that she must grasp for metaphors to describe a fundamentally alien state of existence.

Dialogue Without Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are typically used to indicate dialogue, and they do so throughout much of “The Fat Girl.” However, when Louise’s mother speaks, Dubus generally does not use quotation marks.