Simile: A figure of speech involving a comparison between two unlike entities. Figure of speech changes the literal meaning, to make a meaning new or vivid, to express complexity, to capture a physical or sensory effect, or to broaden the meaning. In a simile it is indicated by the words “like” or “as.” It was first introduced in the late 14TH century from Latin and it is highly used in poems.
Example: In Mine, Stephen Collis utilizes this figure of speech. An example appears in “Disaster” with the lines “the daylight/fell like a stone into a well” (83). In the example, the two things being compared are daylight and a falling rock. The comparison is made using the word like, which makes the comparison explicit; it is saying the daylight falling is like a rock falling down a well. It is focusing on an aspect of similarity, which is the key to constructing a simile. In order to make this comparison more specific and easily understood, notice that it is not just the daylight and rock which are being compared. The falling speed of each is the main point of similarity that the simile is trying to address. As we know, a stone falling down a well will only take a few seconds to reach the bottom, where it will reach complete darkness. Therefore, it is believed to be claiming that daylight fell into darkness also very quickly when stating that the daylight fell like a stone into a well.
Collis, Stephen. Mine. Vancouver: New Star, 2001. Print.
“simile.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 13 Feb. 2011.
“simile.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House. Web. 13 Feb. 2011.