What is Analogy?

What is Analogy

The comparison of a complex or abstract idea with a simple or concrete idea.


“Life is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get.”

— Mrs. Gump in Forrest Gump

We use analogy to break down complex ideas, make decisions, solve problems, invent, explain, persuade, and more — often through the use of other literary devices like similes and metaphors.


“Stupid is as stupid does.”

— Forrest Gump

“Faith is like Wifi — invisible but with the power to connect you to what you need.”

— Unknown

Analogy vs. Metaphor

Analogy shows how different things are similar.

Among the most common:

  • Trying to find a needle in a haystack.
  • He’s as thick as a brick.

In Snow White, the magic mirror describes her with: “Lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, skin white as snow.”

A metaphor uses one thing to mean another.

“A shell of a man” is an example.

Analogy compares shared characteristics of unrelated things, such as “her fleece was white as snow” in Mary Had a Little Lamb.

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