Visual Metaphor

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
Visual Metaphor Project
For this assignment, your task is to choose two character from the novel and create a “visual
metaphor” for each; that is, think of something that represents the character (it could be an
object, or maybe an animal), and draw that character as your metaphor. Try to create original
metaphors (avoid ones that are stated in the novel already) that represent more than one aspect
of a character. The best metaphors will have a deeper insight into the character and will highlight
multiple qualities of the character (try not to focus on the physical traits only, though these can
play into the metaphor as well). As an added challenge, you may try to have the two characters’
metaphors work together as well (though this is not a requirement).
Steps for the assignment:
1. Choose your characters.
2. Think about, and possibly jot down, important characteristics of each.
3. Think of something that could represent your character (your metaphor).
4. Divide a blank piece of paper in half, then draw your characters as the metaphors that
represent them, on either side of the paper.
5. Underneath the drawings, write a short paragraph explaining why you chose each
metaphor. Begin with your character’s name, then “is a _____________ because….”
6. Put your name on the assignment and hand it in.
Criteria for grading:
6: Metaphor is unique; I’ve never seen it before
5: Metaphor is original; I’ve seen it once or twice
4: Somewhat obvious choice
3: Obvious choice
0-2: No originality shown
Depth of character revealed (through metaphor and explanation).
6: Metaphor reveals many aspects of character with depth and subtle character traits
5: Metaphor reveals many aspects of character
4: Metaphor reveals some aspects of character with physical focus
3: Metaphor focuses on physical traits or just 1 or 2 characteristics
0-2 Metaphor does not fit character or fails to highlight character traits effectively
Visual Presentation:
6: Impressive visual presentation
5: Neat, effective presentation
4: Some effort put into presentation, but seems unpolished
3: Straightforward but untidy
0-2: Messy