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English Stylistics Class 2014. Let's discuss Simile


This week we started a new theme called Simile.
Simile is another stylistic device, the imaginative comparison of two unlike objects, but they are belonging to different classes. For instance, "That guy is as nutty as a fruitcake”.

Here a human being - “a guy” is compared to bakery goods - “fruitcake”, actually these two objects belong to different classes. Animate compared to inanimate object. Simile is direct comparison, which unlike metaphor consists of three objects: the tenor, the vehicle and the link word, such as like, as, as though, as like, such as, as… as and etc. In example given above "that guy" – is tenor, a "fruitcake" – is vehicle and  as… as is link words.

So, the structure of simile is A is like B. As well as a metaphor, simile divided semantically into: original and trite. Trite similes fixed in dictionaries and called cliches. And structurally could be ordinary and disguised. Disguised similes accompanied by notional words as to seem, to look like, to appear, to ressemble and others.
Even though both similes and metaphors are forms of comparison. Similes use “like” or “as” to make a comparison, while metaphors say that one thing simply is another thing. Metaphors, therefore, are harder to spot.

This time I decided to look for unusual similes in songs that I listening to.
Here they are:

1. «I spin, colliding into sound

Like whales beneath me diving down»

from the song "Into The Ocean" by Blue October

2. «You are as subtle as a brick to the small of my back»
from the song There's No "I" In Team by Taking Back Sunday

3. «A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle»
from the song Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World by U2


Actually it is famous and popular slogan among feminists, suggesting that men are superfluous to women's needs. (Found this information here http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/414150.html)

Later, U2 used the phrase in their song Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World.

4. “She's got a body like an hourglass

It's tickin' like a clock”

from the song Misery Business by Paramore


5. "The chemistry between liars like you and me ignites like gasoline"
from the song "Photographs And Gasoline" by Framing Hanley

This is the most interesting example)))
"The chemistry between" is love affair between a couple and they are just using each other... I think there's a simile that feelings are ignites like gasoline. Two unlike objects, in fact feelings cannot ignite.

Hope, you like it!

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