Literary Devices


What is it?

A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things and uses the words "like," "as," "than" or "resembles".

Why is it important?

Similes make descriptions vivid by comparing their subjects with known events or things. Effective similes help readers visualize what is being described.

How do I do it?

Create a comparison by using "like," "as," "than," or "resembles."

Example 1:

"That was the way all the Aubignys fell in love, as if struck by a pistol shot."

—Kate Chopin, "Desirée's Baby"

Note: Chopin uses the idea of a pistol shot to convey the suddenness with which the character has fallen in love. The image of a pistol shot also suggests something physical, piercing, and completely overpowering.

Example 2:

"He walked Seabiscuit through the masses of shouting fans to the winner's circle. The horse was strutting like a prizefighter."

—Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit

Note: Hillenbrand compares Seabiscuit with a prizefighter in order to give readers a sense of the horse's gestures and attitude.

More about simile