Comparison is a rhetorical or literary device with which a writer compares or contrasts two people, places, things or ideas. In our daily life we compare people and things in order to express ourselves vividly. So when we say someone is “as lazy as a snail” you are comparing two different entities to show resemblance to the slow laziness of a snail.
Comparisons are common in literary works. Writers and poets use comparisons to relate their feelings about something to something that readers can use. There are numerous devices in literature that compare two different things to show the similarity between them, such as parable, metaphor, and analogy.
Examples of Comparisons in Literature
In the following comparative examples, we will attempt to analyze literary devices used to display comparisons .
A metaphor makes a hidden comparison between two things or objects that are indistinguishable, but have some characteristics unlike the parable let's not use "like" or "as" to develop a comparison in a metaphor. Consider the following examples:
Example 1: When I'm Afraid (by John Keats)
These lines are from When I'm Afraid, by John Keats.
"In front of piled-up books, at characters
Keep the whole thing like rich yarns - ripened grain" ,
John Keats compares writing poetry to reaping and sowing, and both acts represent the insignificance of a life and unsatisfied creativity.
Example 2: As You Like It (by William Shakespeare)
This line is from As You Like It, by William Shakespeare.
"The whole world is a stage and men and women are just players ..."
Shakespeare uses a metaphor of a stage to describe the world and compares men and women who live in the world with actors (actors) .
A Parable is an open comparison between two things or objects to show similarities between them. In contrast to a metaphor, a simile draws similarity using the words “like” or “like”.
Example 3: Lolita (by Vladimir Nabokov)
This line comes from Die Shorts tory Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov.
"Older American women who lean on their sticks and come towards me like towers of Pisa."
In this line Vladimir compares Nabokov old women leaning on their sticks with the Leaning Tower of Pisa Two opposing things create a funny effect.
An analogy aims to explain an unknown idea or thing, comparing it with something that is familiar to you. Oh my soul, where are you,
Surrounded, separated, in immeasurable oceans of space,
Ceaselessly meditating, venturing, throwing, searching for the spheres to connect them,
Until the bridge that you will need to be formed, until the ductile anchor remains ,
Until the gauze string that you throw somewhere, oh my soul. ”
Walt Whitman uses an analogy to show the similarity between a spider that spins a web and its soul.
Example # 5: Night Clouds (by Amy Lowell)
These lines are from Night Clouds, written by Amy Lowell:
" Las White mares of the moon run across the sky
Flapping their golden hooves over the crystal skies. "
Amy builds an analogy between clouds and mares. She compares the movement of the clouds. White clouds in the sky at night with the movement of white mares on the ground
An allegory uses symbols to compare people or things, to represent abstract ideas or events The comparison in the allegory is implicit
Example # 6: Farm of Animals (By George Orwell)
Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is an allegory that compares animals on a farm to the Communist Revolution in Russia before World War II. The actions of the animals on the farm can be compared to greed and corruption after the revolution. Farm animals represent different sectors of Russian society after the revolution.
For example, the "pigs" can be compared to those who became the authority after the revolution; "Mr. Jones", the owner of the farm, is compared to the overthrown Tsar Nicholas II; and "Boxer", the horse, represents the working class.
Example # 7: Faerie Queen (by Edmund Spenser)
Faerie Queen is an allegory of Edmund Spenser, in which the good characters in the book can be compared with the various virtues, that bad characters can be compared to vices. For example, "The Knight of the Red Cross" represents Holiness, and "Lady One" Truth, Wisdom and Goodness. His parents symbolize the Human Race, and the "Dragon", which he has imprisoned, means Evil.
The comparison examples above help us realize that in general, writers use different types of comparison to link a new or unknown idea to common and familiar objects. Help readers understand a new idea, which may have been difficult for them. Understanding a new idea is easier when compared to something they are familiar with.
Additionally, by using various literary tools for comparison, writers increase their chances of attracting attention. and interest of your readers, since comparisons help them identify what they are reading to their lives.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw