In the short story "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings," what are some examples of similies and metaphors?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is actually an example of both of these literary terms in the first paragraph of this excellent story. Before we examine them, however, let us just remind ourselves about the difference between the two examples of figurative language. Both similes and metaphors compare one object to another object, but the difference is that similes do this by using the word "like" or "as," whereas metaphors assert a direct comparison without these words.

Let us consider the following quote:

Sea and sky were a single ash-grey thing, and the sands of the beach, which on March nights glimmered like powdered light, had become a stew of mud and rotten shellfish.

As the landscape is described as Pelayo wakes up and has to kill more crabs, note the simile that describes the sand on March nights to "powdered night." However, now, it is a "stew of mud and rotten shellfish." I hope you realise that this is a metaphor, as it compares the sands to a stew but without using the word "like" or "as." I hope this gives you the idea of how to spot and identify and distinguish between similes and metaphors. Go ahead and re-read this excellent story and see if you can identify any more. Good luck!

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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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