The stairs featured in the piece "Teething Trouble" by Zadie Smith are the metaphor which sums up the transition Clara takes through her relationship with Ryan Topps. I really love the stair metaphor Smith utilizes throughout the piece; from Clara resorting to the stair description of the Jehovah religion when she fails to find a topic of conversation with Ryan, to the staircase on which she meets Archie, her second love interest. The stairs are a great metaphor to use in pieces like this because stairs often connote being lost as well as status quo reflected in the piece. Clara discovered the value of those living at the lower level of the staircase; the "Hippies, Flakes, Freaks, and Funky Folk." Clara discovered that some of the best people live on the lower level of the staircase of life. The value reflected through the staircase metaphor in this piece reflects the transformation Clara goes through as well as her getting lost on her stairway and meeting those below the top tier.