A Story by Mike Keenan



Okay, we are going to wind up with a quick review.


Analogies, Similes and Metaphors


Analogies, similes and metaphors are closely related, but they are not the same.


A simile compares two things using the words "like" or "as" to create a new meaning. These comparisons are direct and typically easy to understand. For example:


    As sly as a fox


    As stubborn as a mule


    As blind as a bat


Can you give me an example of a simile?





Metaphors are a figure of speech used to make comparisons. These comparisons describe one thing in terms of another, but without using the words "like" or "as". For example, describing a woman in terms of a flower can highlight her beauty:


"Her petal-soft smile blossomed in the morning sun."


In this case, the woman's lips are described as petals that blossom, so the comparison creates an association between the qualities of a woman and a flower without directly saying it.


Here are a few brief examples:


    You are the wind beneath my wings.


    He is a diamond in the rough.


    Life is a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs.


Can you give me an example?


Analogy Examples in Literature





Last one-

An analogy is a literary device often used in literature and poetry to make connections between familiar and unfamiliar things, suggest a deeper significance, or create imagery in the reader's mind.


Analogies in Literature



    "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

    And then is heard no more. It is a tale

    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

    Signifying nothing."


    - Macbeth, Act V, William Shakespeare


This depressing analogy compares life to a passing shadow, something fleeting that comes and goes and is meaningless. Yikes!


    "If you want my final opinion on the mystery of life and all that, I can give it to you in a nutshell. The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked up in the safe." - Let Me Count the Ways, Peter De Vries


This analogy compares the universe to a safe that cannot be unlocked. We're never going to find all the answers.


Can you give me an analogy that features Theo? For example Theo is to  music as ….



    "A nation wearing atomic armor is like a knight whose armor has grown so heavy he is immobilized; he can hardly walk, hardly sit his horse, hardly think, hardly breathe. The H-bomb is an extremely effective deterrent to war, but it has little virtue as a weapon of war, because it would leave the world uninhabitable." - Sootfall and Fallout, E.B. White


This analogy compares using an H-bomb to armor that prohibits a soldier from moving; there would be no fight, just game over.

Analogies in Poetry


In poetry, analogies help the writer paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind, while adding a deeper layer of significance. The idea is to get a notion to resonate and move a reader's heart. Here are a few examples from some amazing poets:


    "The day is done, and the darkness

    Falls from the wings of Night,

    As a feather is wafted downward

    From an eagle in his flight."


    - "The Day Is Done," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



This analogy likens the closing of a day to a feather drifting softly from an eagle's wing.


    "There is no frigate like a book

    To take us lands away,

    Nor any coursers like a page

    Of prancing poetry.

    This traverse may the poorest take

    Without oppress of toll;

    How frugal is the chariot

    That bears a human soul!"


    - "There is no frigate like a book," Emily Dickinson


This analogy is saying that nothing on this earth can move a human's soul more effectively than a book, not even a powerful warship (frigate).


    "Nature's first green is gold,

    Her hardest hue to hold.

    Her early leaf's a flower;

    But only so an hour.

    Then leaf subsides to leaf.

    So Eden sank to grief,

    So dawn goes down to day.

    Nothing gold can stay."

    - "Nothing Gold Can Stay," Robert Frost


This analogy makes the point that life inevitably changes, like the changing colors of nature.


    "The white mares of the moon rush along the sky

    Beating their golden hoofs upon the glass Heavens;

    The white mares of the moon are all standing on their hind legs

    Pawing at the green porcelain doors of the remote Heavens."

    - "Night Clouds," Amy Lowell


This analogy illustrates desire, likening it to a mare pawing at a doorway, seeking entrance.


    "Make me Thy loom then, knit therein this twin;

    And make Thy holy spirit, Lord, wind quills;

    Then weave the web Thyself. The yarn is fine.

    Thine ordinances make my fulling mills.

    Then dye the same in heavenly colors choice,

    All pinked with varnished flowers of paradise."

    - "Huswifery," Edward Taylor


This analogy is likening people's need to be molded by God to the manner in which yarn is weaved into something spectacular.

Analogies Create Meaning and Substance


Analogies help us illustrate our points with a soft swish around the literal meaning. They provide flounce to our prose and are intended to awaken readers' minds.


What better way to instill this greatness into a writer than to start young? If you'd like to plant that seed today, we hope you'll enjoy sharing these Analogy Examples for Kids that include the logic puzzles that are word analogies.

© 2022 Mike Keenan

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Added on March 18, 2022
Last Updated on March 18, 2022


Mike Keenan
Mike Keenan

Kanata, Ontario, Canada

A retired English/Phys-Ed-teacher-Librarian, I write primarily poetry, humour and travel, published in many newspapers & magazines. For poetry feedback, please read my 'Poetry Evaluations' and 'Poetry.. more..