Friday, October 14, 2016

Tools of Language and Expression - 2

This week's two tools are simile and metaphor. They are a super way to compare items in literature. The first, simile, makes the comparison by using the adverbs "like" or "as." For instance, "That wide receiver can jump like a gazelle." Or "Andy's knee swelled up until it was as big as a watermelon." 

A metaphor makes the comparison without the use of those words. Instead, a writer compares the items through the use of implication. In other words, he/she uses one object as another. As an example, we can indicate that a child often repeats the actions of his/her parents by saying, The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. An old metaphor that comes to mind is the one that describes a person who ridicules someone else's physical fault when, in fact, the person speaking suffers the same physical anomaly. As an example: 
In Greta's opinion, Wendi was an obese slob, but Greta was at least 50 pounds overweight herself. So when she said, "Wendi should take some advice from the diet ads on TV and lose that extra flab," I thought, Well, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black! That's a really good metaphor because it compares the two overweight girls to two cooking utensils that both hang over the open coals and are covered with black soot. But the pot remarks that the kettle is black, as if the pot refuses to recognize its own soot-covered blackness. 

In the current book you're reading, or in the next one you pick up, see if you can identify the similes and metaphors used by the author. Then try to come up with a couple of similes and metaphors on your own. For some reason, people have a tendency to confuse similes and metaphors. I have my own way of helping me remember which is which. If a sentence says one thing is the same as (or if I can substitute the word "like" for "same as") I know it's a simile. If one object is used to mean another, I know it's a metaphor.

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