A metaphor is a comparison between two unlike things. Writers use metaphors and other figures of speech to spice up their work and to make it interesting, to grab the reader, and to make sure they don't get bored. The difference between a metaphor and a simile is that a simile uses "like" or "as" while a metaphor doesn't for example "Ben is a monkey" or "Ben is like a monkey", both mean the same thing but are two totally different figures of speech. Metaphors are used to help understanding because we use what we know and compare it to something we don't know. There are so many different types of metaphors such as

  • A SIMILE is a figure of speech in which two unlike things are compared to each other. "As thin as a toothpick" is a simile used to describe how skinny or think someone is.
  • PERSONIFICATION is giving human qualities to animals or objects."My computer hates me" is a personification because computers can't hate something or someone.
  • ANTHROPOMORPHISM is the attribution of human characteristics to animals or non-living things, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts. An example is that most cartoons use anthropomorphism because they make animals or non living things act like humans (The Lion King, Stuart Little and many more)
  • A HYPERBOLE is an exaggeration or overstatement."She could pass as a clown at the circus." is a hyperbole because she has on so much make up so someone is exaggerating and says she looks like a clown.
  • A PARABLE is a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle or moral lesson.
  • A FABLE is a short story/tale to teach a moral lesson often with animals or inanimate objects as characters."A fox, seeing some sour grapes hanging within an inch of his nose, and being unwilling to admit that there was anything he would not eat, solemnly declared that they were out of his reach." (Ambrose Bierce, "The Fox and the Grapes." Fantastic Fables, 1898)
  • ANIMISM is the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena and the universe itself possess souls.
  • ANALOGY is a comparison of two pairs which have the same relationship. "A street light is like a star." both provide light at night, both are in predictable locations, both are overhead, and both serve no function in the daytime.

    In the poem The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower By DYLAN THOMAS is a poem with great understanding, it describes and shows the readers that life and death are not two separate forces but that they are two that come together as one. There are little things in this poem that have one meaning but there's actually a bigger meaning behind it then its actual true meaning.

    The force that drives the water through the rocks. In this section water means life as the rocks mean death. We make a sacrifice everyday walking out of our houses to get to where we have to go because every corner or everywhere we go death is waiting for us.

    How of my clay is made the hangman's lime. In this section clay means his body and how it is formed and lime means decomposition. His body is decomposing in public for everyone to see. Many things in this poem are compared to life and death things we couldn't even imagine or think could be related to those two things. It was a tough poem to get into and find the true meaning behind it but if we really look pass the obvious we can see and figure out the true meaning behind the poem.

    In the poem A Meditation For His Mistress By ROBERT HERRICK he uses many different types of metaphors. In just the first line he compares her to a flower something that isn't related to her in anyway shape or form "YOU are a tulip seen to-day." In the beginning of each stanza from this poem he is using a metaphor to describe how beautiful she is. He says anything and everything to describe how beautiful and pretty she is. He compares her to flowers and like all flowers there is a very sad ending because no flower lives forever so he say

    "You are the queen all flowers among
    But die you must, fair maid, ere long,
    As he, the maker of this song."

    Which means she may be pretty she may be beautiful but she is just the same as everyone else and will not live for ever.

    In the poem A Book by EMILY DICKINSON she describes two things that have nothing in common.

    There is no frigate like a book To take us lands away. She compares an old huge ship sailing to a book. She probably liked to read and is explaining that sailing on a frigate is nothing compared to reading a book and enjoying it so much we actually go into our own world and every time we read there and peaceful.

    In the poem The Stone by EMILY DICKINSON she compares a stone to being alone in the world. She says how careless and independent the stone is.

    How happy is the little stone
    That rambles in the road alone,
    And doesn't care about careers,
    And exigencies never fears;

    This means a stone has no care in the world, it rambles in the roads alone all happy it doesn't care about it's careers and urgency doesn't scared him/her because he or she is free. This poem is interesting and can be compared to a lot of people in the world because many take on life with no care in the world but themselves.

    In the poem I Took My Power In My Hand by EMILY DICKINSON Talks about her taking on the world as a challenge.

    I took my power in my hand
    And went against the world;

    She took matters into her own hands I guess because she saw that things just weren't going to be handed to her so she too power into her own hands and went against the world and aimed for what she wanted.

    I aimed my pebble, but myself
    Was all the one that fell.

    When she says "I aimed my pebbles" she means she aimed at all her goals and when she says "but myself was all the one that fell" she probably means but she was the only one that failed to reach those goals.

    Was it Goliath was too large,
    Or only I too small?

    In These two stanzas she is asking herself was the goals to big for her or was she just too small for those goal.

    I found this poem interesting because every goal we make we should make an effort to reach, no goal is to big for anybody and nobody is too small for any goal.

    In the poem l(a By E.E Cummings he compares a leaf falling alone to actually being alone. With the way he forms and puts the poem


    We get the feeling of the leaf actually falling alone because every line has like 1 or 2 letters in it. If we actually look past the meaning and just look at the shape of the poem we see that the shape looks like a 1. That one symbolizes being alone and lonely. Everything in this poem makes us the readers see that it is about being lonely. Even if we just look at the obvious if we put the letters together outside of there parenthesis we see that it spells loneliness.Inside of the parenthesis it says a leaf falls. We can relate this to math work because in all equations with parenthesis its what ever is inside of the parenthesis goes first then the outside comes after, If we read the poem like that its "a leaf falls loneliness".

    Metaphors work in life to bring someone outside of their shell and make them think outside the box. People use metaphors in life all the time and actually don't realize it. Metaphors are something that take over our lives because now a days anything we say is some sort of metaphor. We are surrounded by metaphors we don't notice or realize it but we are, the television we watch has so many metaphor like cartoons we all know animals cant talk or a toaster can walk or speak but cartoons put it that way and that right there is PERSONIFICATION or an ANTHROPOMORPHISM. We see these things as a way of excitement but its actually an easy and fast learning experience for us.

    There are many metaphors to describe my life, one cannot pick just one metaphor to describe ones life because many events happen in life. The Metaphors Of My Life are

    My life is like a Battle because it goes through so many challenges in life that I either win or lose. School is a very big challenge for me if I do my stuff and make an effort I will win and continue on with life but if I don't make an effort I will lose and be stuck in the same spot until I make an effort in life.

    My life is like a Garden because I go through life and make so many relationships with so many different people, if we make an effort to talk and to stay as friends our flower(relationship)will grow and if we don't make an effort to continue being friends our flower(relationship)will wither and eventually die.

    My life is like a mission because when I want and need to get my point across I feel that I should get it across in any way shape or form.

    My life is like a journey because everywhere we go and anything we do there's always someone or something new out there for us.

    My life is like a building we all start when we are first born developing and building our own buildings adding new/extra floors and rooms, meaning things are being attached to our lives and we choose to either add them to our lives or destroy or delete them from our lives.

    My life is like a roller coaster because no matter where I go or what I do there's always an outcome and outcome that can turn out bad or good. I think everyone in the world can relate to this as a metaphor that's part of there lives because nobody lives peacefully with no problems in life.

    My life is like a race because everything that I do I am always trying to find the fastest way to finish it because life is too short to just stay stuck on one thing for a long time.

    My life is like a classroom because everything and anything we do in life consist of a lesson. Everything always has a meaning or lesson behind it.

    These are just a few metaphors of my life. There are many metaphors in ones life because as we grow in age and intelligence we will see that our life is actually surrounded in metaphors because everything we do has a deeper and stronger meaning behind it then the actual meaning.
    © Dennis Valdez 2010