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Similes and Metaphor

by Vern Crisler

Copyright, 1997

would personally recommend Charles H. Spurgeon, not only for his theological acumen and humor, but also because one can learn so much about literary style from him. He is the prince of metaphor and simile. For instance, his book, Sermons In Candles, is a literary gem, as is his book, Lectures to My Students.

I've heard some professional writers warn against using metaphors and similes in one's writing, but Spurgeon's view was that metaphors and similes are like windows in a house. Open these windows--i.e., stir in metaphors once in a while--and the light that shines through them will illuminate the dark murkiness of your argument. Close them--i.e., neglect your similes--and the house of your argument will be seen only by those who don't mind tripping and stumbling into the dim corners and shadowy recesses of your doctrine.

I personally stay away from metaphor and simile.

Metaphors and similes are like roses; they smell very sweet at times, but if you're not careful, they will scratch you as a cat. I have always known that to be true, and it's been etched into my memory like a brand on a cow.