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Did You Know?
As opposed to common belief, a simile doesn't necessarily have to have the words 'as' and 'like'.
What a simile tells you directly, a metaphor just hints at.
- Neha Joshi

A simile is a figure of speech used when there is direct comparison between two things, people, or qualities. Though the easiest to understand and use, is also a little confusing at times. Most of your lessons must have told you one thing: that when in a sentence, there is comparison with the words 'as' and 'like', the figure of speech used, is a simile. However, you'd be surprised to know that this isn't always true. For this, you need to understand the 'simile' completely. The best way to do so, is with the following examples.
Comparison using 'as'
so are you to my thoughts as food to life
looking at all the wonderful cuisines listed in the menu, he felt as hungry as a lion
➜ "She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat."
- James Joyce, 'The Boarding House'

➜ "Listening to your beautiful voice everyday is as effective as having the same food for all my meals."
- Neha Joshi

➜ Watching the movie was as good as (or 'like') watching a snail cross the road.

➜ She isn't as beautiful as her mother was in her youth.
Comparison using 'like'
love is like the wind you cannot see it but you can feel it
like a lamp dispelling light the darkness of ignorance
➜ "Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"
- Mark Twain

➜ "Insanity hovered close at hand, like an eager waiter at an expensive restaurant."
- Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

➜ "Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through."
- Jonathan Swift

➜ "Having you by my side has given me the strength like that of the Hulk."
- Neha Joshi
Comparison Without 'as' and 'like'
Sometimes comparison is made without the usage of the words 'as' and 'like'. In certain cases, a simile is used for directly comparing two fundamentally different things/qualities without the use of these words, as follows:-

➜ "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? / Thou art more lovely and more temperate."
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18
A simile is thus, the simplest figure of speech. Using it in the right places, makes a piece of language less drab to read. You can thus, use a simile to make a simple text very interesting.