Simile, Metaphor and Personification
A simile is a comparison between two things using as or like.
- She was as cool as a cucumber. The relaxed attitude of the woman is compared to the low temperature of a cucumber.
- He ate like a horse.
A metaphor is a comparison between two unlike things that doesn't use the words 'as' or 'like'. The greater the difference between the two things being compared, the greater the effectiveness of the metaphor.
The comparison shows that the unlike things actually have characteristics in common in the writer's view. A metaphor that is used throughout a piece of text is called an extended metaphor.
- School is a prison. In reality, school is not a prison, but in the writer's view there are similarities.
- My cat is a teddy bear.
Personification is used to describe when the writer assigns the characteristics of a person to something that isn't human.
- The Flu was walking down the corridor and sneezing in our faces. Flu is a disease. It doesn't have emotions and can't walk or talk. By using personification as if it were a real being, we have a sense of it spreading freely and mocking its victims.
- The fire roared.