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A を B のようにして

zuotengdazuo

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ポケットからカロリーメイトを出してしゃがんで差し出すと、アメは器用に前足を両手のようにして受け取る。「えらい!」と、がつがつと食べる背中に声をかける

Hi. For the bold part, is A を B のようにして a fixed pattern that is the same as A を B にして which means “use A as B”?

By the way, does the underlined part mean “I said to the back of アメ (name of the cat)”, which is the same as に言う?
Thank you.
 

bentenmusume

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Hi. For the bold part, is A を B のようにして a fixed pattern that is the same as A を B にして which means “use A as B”?
In terms of meaning, that's correct. The cat is skillfully using its front legs as if they were hands (obviously, cats don't have hands). I'm not sure why it's necessary to perceive it as a "fixed pattern", as it strikes me as just を、のように、and the verb する being used with their fundamental meanings. There are plenty of similar but variant expressions you could use to express something similar (e.g. AをBに(として)使って), etc. etc.

By the way, does the underlined part mean “I said to the back of アメ (name of the cat)”, which is the same as に言う?
声を掛ける is similar to 言う, yes, but with more of a nuance of "call out to". The speaker is calling out to the cat, who is facing the other way (and thus not giving the speaker his/her full attention). It doesn't literally mean he's trying to communicate with the cat's back.
 
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