Difference WikiWords

Difference Between Analogy and Metaphor

Main Difference

Showing similarity between two different things upon their little resemblance is itself an art, and it is widely used in literature. That also raises readers interest and also enhances ones ability to see things differently. Figures of speech, metaphors and similes are the the literary devices serving the similar purpose. They can be easily differentiated as metaphors actually makes an implicit or hidden comparison, whereas simile makes an explicit one comparison with using connecting words ‘as’ and ‘like’. On the other hand, analogy is the comparison between two different things, they are extensive or elaborated as they aim at explaining the idea behind the comparison. The literary devices like metaphors and similes draw an analogy.

Comparison Chart

AnalogyMetaphor
DefinitionAnalogy is the comparison of two quite different things using the literary devices like metaphors or similes.Metaphor is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that are quite different but share similarity at some point
SizeAnalogy draws as extensive or elaborated comparison between two things as it aims at explaining the idea behind the comparison.Metaphor is relatively shorter as it doesn’t explains things.
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What is Analogy?

It is the comparison of two quite different things using the literary devices like metaphors or similes. They are extensive or elaborated than those literary devices as aim at explaining the idea behind the comparison. With knowing that either metaphors or similes can be utilized to show analogy, one thing is sure that these sentence, phrase or verse showing analogy can have presence of the connecting words like ‘as’ and ‘like’ (similes) or it can have other connecting words. Moreover it can be implicit, hidden comparison, and can even show the explicit comparison.

Example: “They crowded very close about him, with their hands always on him in a careful, caressing grip, as though all the while feeling him to make sure he was there. It was like men handling a fish which is still alive and may jump back into the water.”

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The context is taken from the George Orwell’s narrative essay ‘A Hanging’. In the lines above the writer has used simile ‘as’ to show the analogy between fish and prisoner. It is extensive and gives the whole sense, so it will preferably be recognized as an analogy having usage of literary device ‘simile’, rather than just be recognizing as the ‘simile’.

What is Metaphor?

It is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that are quite different but share similarity at some point. It is not the simple or direct comparison like simile. It is an implicit or hidden comparison, when knowing things well can understand rightly.

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Example: “He is the black sheep of the family” it is a metaphor that is sometime interpreted wrongly as in this one being compared to the black sheep might not be black or is not even a sheep, but the comparison between both of them is done as the black sheep is referred as the person who brings disgrace to the entire family.

Analogy vs. Metaphor

  • Analogy is the comparison of two quite different things using the literary devices like metaphors or similes, whereas Metaphor is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that are quite different but share similarity at some point
  • The literary devices like metaphors and similes draw an analogy.
  • Analogy draws as extensive or elaborated comparison between two things as it aims at explaining the idea behind the comparison, whereas metaphor is relatively shorter as it doesn’t explains things.

Comparison Video

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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson