Comparison is not always the easiest of tasks. To better assist us in understanding and portraying comparisons metaphors can be implemented. The unknown is one of many things that cannot be completley compared and understood. The use of metaphors is that of helping convey the unknown in several ways. Metaphors can be found all over. Some works that contain metaphors are poetry, books, and mainly most forms of literature.

A metaphor is the understanding of one thing in terms of another. It is used to convey two things. An example of a metaphor would be "He has the heart of a lion." As one knows no man or human has the actual and literal aspects of a lions heart. By saying someone has the heart of a lion the point to be conveyed is that such individual is strong at heart and has gone beyond human expectations. Another commonly known example is "it is raining cats and dogs." Quiet literally it would never rain cats and dogs but the implication is to assert the fact of a heavy rain poor.

A simile is the comparison of two unlike thinks implementing "like" or "as". It is used to dramatize selected topics, for example, "life is like a box of chocolates." The key word allowing it to be a simile is "like." Life in terms of being a box of chocolate is a falsehood but the point to be shown or that one would get is life being good, sweet, and unknown like a box of chocolate. Another example would be to say that one has a voice as soft as feathers. Voice being non physical is being linked and compared to an adamant object such as the feather.

Personification is a figure of speech in which an animal or object is personified by giving it human traits whether it be physical or emotional. Examples would be to say that snow speaks to people when it falls. Snow is not a living thing but in this context it is given a human trait which is that of speech. Also saying "Oreo: milks favorite cookie"is a form of personification. Milk is a drink and a substance not an organism. Saying it has a favorite cookie would be to give milk feeling.

Anthropomorphism is the concept of gods. Giving human idiosyncrasies and qualities to entities that are not human. For one to say that plants talk to them would be a little far fetched but would be considered anthropomorphism. Examples of anthropomorphism would largely be found in a child's book or comics. Turning an animal into a human or having a object have god like powers are other examples.

Hyperbole is an exaggerated claim or overstatement. Exaggeration can be found in common day language. Saying "I'm so hungry i could eat a horse" is far off by any means. An individual could not consume a horse but is implying his or her state of hunger. Another example of a hyperbole is "I'm so busy right now, I'm doing a thousand things" not literally spoken but as an exaggeration to an overwhelmed moment.

A parable is a brief succinct story in which a prose or verse is held in correlation with religious and moral lessons. One main stream example of a parable is the Bible. It contains vast amounts of stories and text in which depict lessons. Another example would be the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" in which a young man would claim to have seen a wolf several time and each time he was believed but every time there would be nothing. When he finally encountered the world and pleaded for assistance no one was there due to his prior lies. The moral would be to always be honest because when you need something the right people will be there to help and not question you.

A fable is falsehood. A story told which carried within a fantasy. Use of animals mythical creatures, plants, and inanimate objects. Fables can be found all around from Lord of The Rings to Star Wars. In both one can see a fantasy filled world with unknown and unseen creatures who perform incredible feats. These stories are far from the real the world we as humans know. They are created and made up to stimulate the minds of individuals.

Animism is a philosophical idea that souls and spirits dwell not solely in human but in plants, animals, and rocks. Animism can not only be found in literature but in culture. Native Americans for instance believe in animism. They pride themselves and live in a world where everything around them is meant to be and has a spirit. Native Americans practice rituals where they dance and give praise to trees and the water.

An analogy is a Comparison of two objects or pairs that have the same relationship. Both items do not necessarily have to be equivalent but show a common bond. An example of an analogy is glove is to hand as monitor is to computer. A glove is used on your hands and is worn and will only work that way and vise verse as a monitor is connected to a computer and will work with that. They do not have the same meaning but uphold similar ideas.

In the poem "The Forces That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower" by Dylan Thomas we will see the metaphoric references that are used. To explicate the metaphors in this poem it must first be read and understood. Dylan Thomas the protagonist of this poem is continuously using himself and portraying foreign and uncommon words to deliver his point. In the first stanza of the poem one can see the protagonists use of metaphor when he states "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower." The key words in this first sentence are "force" and "drive", which refers to his life being driven by the "green fuse" and him being one with nature. The comparison here is Dylan Thomas to nature as he explains through metaphors such as "Drives my green age" and "My youth is bent by the same wintry fever." One can see the correlation with Dylan's age to seasons of the year in "My youth is bent by the same wintry fever." Remember what a metaphor is? It is the understanding of one thing in terms of another and to convey two things. Other metaphors found in this poem are "And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind" which signifies a human relationship between the protagonist and the "wind." Talking to wind would be anthropomorphism which is one of the many forms of metaphors. Given that wind has no human attributes one should assume that it is a figure of speech set out to portray a relationship.

In the poem "A Meditation for his Mistress" by Robert Herrick there are many examples of metaphors used throughout. In this poem Robert Herrick is using multiple metaphors to describe his affection and love for a women by comparing and giving her non-human attributes. He uses different variations of flowers an objects to define this women. When he wrote "You are a lovely July-flower" he using a metaphor to describe the female of a flower. We know that as a human one cannot be a flower but as a metaphor it can be conveyed that this women in the poem is beautiful. Another example used in this poem would be "You are the queen all flowers among." In this, Robert Herrick is implying that the female is the queen and has leadership of all. In more detail she is still being compared to as a flower but is the most beautiful and stands out the most.

Another famous writer is Emily Dickinson. Three of her literary works that contain metaphors are "Hope Is The Thing With Feathers", "I Took My Power In My Hand", and "The Return." In the first poem "Hope Is The Thing With Feathers" one can see the blatant metaphoric implications right from the title. "Hope" being an emotion is given a physical characteristic which is "feathers." This type of metaphor can be defined as personification because a human quality is being given to an object. In the second poem "I Took My Power In My Hand" one can see Emily Dickinson using a hyperbole when she said "and went against the world". In reality no one can face the world as it is humanly impossible but in this reference she uses the statement as a way to describe her fight.">
© David Quick 2010