The figurative language of Casey Cep

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about similes and metaphors from Casey Cep…

Typically, when I find figurative language, the writing is somewhat flowery. I mean that in a good way of course, although flowery language doesn’t suit every purpose.

In a recent New Yorker article running under the headline, “We can’t afford to lose the Postal Service,” author Casey Cep, (pictured above), gives an impassioned plea to maintain an organization where her mother has worked, as a letter carrier, for many years.

I appreciate Cep’s writing and I like the way she does it with intelligence and dignity.

  • My mother is so close with so many of the people who live along her route that they have always felt like second or third cousins to me — people I knew I was related to even if I didn’t see them very often.
  • While we three watched the miracle that was cable television or played mini-golf with Dad, my mother put on her Sunday best and spent her days doing what I later learned a lot of other people’s parents did all the time: attend meetings. To me, my mother suddenly seemed like an executive.
  • Among the populace, if not in Washington, it is seen just as favorably by Republicans as Democrats.
  • Encomiums about how neither snow nor rain nor heat nor bloom of night can stop the mail are true, but do not go far enough: carriers have also delivered through national crises, from the Unabomber’s explosives to the anthrax attacks. Today, during the coronavirus pandemic, many postal employees have continued delivering without gloves or masks or sanitizer, providing their own as the agency tries to secure adequate supplies.
  • When the founders established the Postal Service, profitability was not the goal. As with public education and public libraries self-sufficiency is not the measure of the agency’s success.