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.”
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.