How can I locate the similes in Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart?"

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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A high school assignment asking you to find and critically analyze similes in a story is intended to help you learn to read stories closely, to appreciate how stylistic devices enhance the effects stories have, and to learn how to identify common figures of speech.

Simile and metaphor are both figures of thought, which work by means of comparing one thing to another or describing one (usually unfamiliar) thing in terms of another (usually more familiar) thing. In the case of the similie, the comparison is explicit, using terms such as "like" or "as" and in the case of metaphor, the comparison is implicit (e.g. Donne's "Ride ... till age snow white hairs on thee"). A special type of simile, the "epic simile" is characterized by being longer than most types of simile and metaphor.

As you read through the story, look at explicit comparison (every time you see "like" or "as" look closely). Think especially about the phrase "vulture eye" and the way the narrator percieves the eye.

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