A simile is a comparison of two unlike things using "like" or "as." A metaphor is a comparison of two unlike things without using the words "like" or "as." In Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game," there are many different comparisons and figures of speech that help readers to understand the meaning behind a description or a quote by a character. For example, when Rainsford is trying to see the island from the yacht, it is difficult because it is a moonless night. He says, "It's like moist black velvet." Here, Rainsford is comparing the darkness of the nighttime to the moisture from the sea and a soft material called velvet. It means he can't see through the darkness, but this is a better description because it applies the sense of touch, which helps others to relate to his meaning.
An example of a metaphor is from the description of the yacht after Rainsford falls overboard: "The lights of the yacht became faint and ever-vanishing fireflies." In this sentence, the lights are compared to fireflies without the use of "like" or "as," but with the word "became." Since "like" or "as" are not used, but two things are still being compared, a metaphor is created.
The following is an example of two similes:
". . . giant rocks with razor edges crouch like a sea monster with wide-open jaws. They can crush a ship as easily as I crush this nut."
The first simile compares rocks that crouch like a sea monster; then, the same rocks can also crush as easily as Zaroff can step on a nut to crush it. Both sentences compare two unlike things together using "like" or "as."
The following is an example of another metaphor:
"He was in a picture with a frame of water, and his operations clearly must take place within that frame."
In the above quote Rainsford compares the island to a picture with a frame of water. He's created a metaphor for himself to understand his own circumstances in order to play Zaroff's game and to save his life. This is exactly the purpose of using metaphors and similes--to create a comparison for better understanding.