what image does the author use to convey her lack of direction before the arrival of anne

It was as if a person wast at sea in a dense fog,when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut one in,and the great ship,tense and anxious ,groped her way towards the shore with plummet and sounding line,and one waited with beating heart for something to happen. She was like that ship before her education bean ,only she was without compass or sounding line and had no way of knowing how near the harbour was.
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