An analogy is a comparison of two things, alike in certain aspects; particularly a method used in exposition and description by which something unfamiliar is explained by being compared to something more familiar. In argumentation and logic, it is frequently employed to justify contentions and is widely used in poetry but also in other forms of writing; a simile is an expressed analogy, a metaphor is an implied one. (A Handbook to Literature)
late Middle English (in the sense ‘appropriateness, correspondence’): from French analogie,Latin analogia ‘proportion,’ from Greek, from analogos ‘proportionate.’ (New Oxford American)
Analogy Writing Exercise
Choose a scene or section of a previously written work in which the narrator or a character needs to explain something to the reader and is currently attempting to explain in a literal, direct way. Study the intention of the explanation and the subject of the explanation.
Next, choose your favorite parable. Think Aesop. How might you rewrite this favorite parable to fit your scene’s explanatory needs? Rewrite the scene using the parable rewrite.
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A Handbook to Literature. William Harmon.
“Cogito et Histoire de la Folie.” Jacques Derrida.
Eats Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Lynne Truss.
The Elements of Style. William Strunk.
New Oxford American Dictionary. Edited by Angus Stevenson and Christine A. Lindberg.
The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Martin Puchner, et al.
The Norton Introduction to Philosophy. Gideon Rosen and Alex Byrne.
Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. Patricia T. O’Conner
Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French & Ned Stuckey-French.
Writing the Other. Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.« Back to Reference Index