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Similes

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Similes

A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things through some connective word, usually being "like", "as", "than", or a verb such as "resembles".[1] A simile differs from a metaphor in that the latter compares two unlike things by saying that the one thing is the other thing.[2]

Uses

In literature

  • "Curley was flopping like a fish on a line."[3]
  • "The very mist on the Essex marshes was like a gauzy and radiant fabric."[4]
  • "Why, man, they both bestride the narrow world like a Colossus."[5]
  • "But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile."Charles Dickens, in the opening to A Christmas Carol.
  • "Vincent is as strong as a lion"

Using 'like'

A simile can explicitly provide the basis of a comparison or leave this basis implicit. In the implicit case the simile leaves the audience to determine for themselves which features of the target are being predicated. It may be a type of sentence that uses 'as' or 'like' to connect the words being compared.

  • She is like a candy so sweet.
  • He is like a refiner's fire.
  • Her eyes twinkled like stars.
  • He fights like a lion.
  • He runs like a cheetah.
  • She is fragrant like a rose.
  • Gareth is like a lion when he gets angry.
  • “For hope grew round me, like the twining vine,” (Coleridge - Dejection)
  • "And the executioner went off like an arrow." -Alice in Wonderland

Using 'as'

The use of 'as' makes the simile more explicit.

  • She walks as gracefully as a cat.
  • He was as hungry as a lion.
  • He was as mean as a bull.
  • That spider was as fat as an elephant.
  • Cute as a kitten.
  • As busy as a bee.
  • As snug as a bug in a rug.
  • Eyes as big as dinner plates.
  • As easy as ABC.

Without 'like' or 'as'

Sometimes similes are submerged, used without using comparative words ('like' or 'as').[6]

Compared to metaphor

Although simile and metaphor are generally seen as interchangeable and a matter of stylistic and creative taste, simile acknowledges the imperfections and limitations of the comparative relationship to a greater extent than metaphor, and it is generally limited to one or two points of comparison. Simile also hedges the author against outrageous, incomplete, or unfair comparison. Generally, metaphor is the stronger and more encompassing of the two forms of rhetorical analogies.

See also

References

External links

  • Sayf al-Din al-Amidi which discusses similes

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