Metaphor

Example

“The typical teenage boy’s bedroom is a disaster zone.”

Definition and effect on reader

A metaphor is a comparison that describes one thing in terms of another but does not use “like” or “as” in the way that similes do. In the above example, the writer is not literally suggesting that teenage boys’ bedrooms are disaster zones: it’s a metaphorical representation of how messy they are.

This technique can be used to reinforce a point without repetition and the imagery created can often really stick in a reader’s head. On top of that, metaphors are often very witty and can add humour and colour to a piece.