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Metaphor and Simile

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Compare and contrast the two concepts, metaphor and simile. Provide examples.

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Solution Summary

This solution compares and contrasts a metaphor and simile. It also provides numerous examples of each.

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1. Compare and contrast the two concepts, metaphor and simile. Provide examples.

Simile is a specific comparison by means of the words "like" or "as" between two kinds of ideas or objects. Examples of the simile are contained in the sentence "Christianity shone like a beacon in the black night of paganism" and in the line by the English poet William Wordsworth: "But, like a thirsty wind, to roam about."

On the other hand, metaphor is the use of a word or phrase denoting one kind of idea or object in place of another word or phrase for the purpose of suggesting a likeness between the two. Thus, in the biblical Book of Psalms, the writer speaks of God's law as "a light to his feet and a lamp to his path." Other instances of metaphor are contained in the sentences "He uttered a volley of oaths" and "The man tore through the building."

From another source:

Metaphor and simile are quite different, but are commonly confused simply because they are so very similar in nature. This chapter is aimed at clearing up at least some of the confusion, if not the entire sum of the confusion! As you read on, you'll learn why these two are so similar, and how to clearly separate the two. First, have a look at the following two examples.

E.g. A good book is like a good meal. A simile suggesting that a book may be as ( mentally) nourishing and satisfying as a meal.

E.g. A wire is a road for electrons. A metaphor suggesting that electrons actually do use a wire as a road to travel on.

If I had said above that "a book is food for thought" rather than "a good book is like a good meal", I would not simply be comparing food and literature, but actually stating that from some perspective they are identical. If I am an avid reader, who hungers for information to digest, gleaning every detail to feed my insatiable appetite for brain candy, literature is not only similar to food for ...

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