Metaphors and Similes - Page 6

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  1. #51
    Metaphors serve many purposes, but using specific meaning to create verisimilitude will usually be the least of it. Chandler is promoting creepy with that simile. Analysis, for the reader, is hardly ever a useful response to metaphor.
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  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by ppsage View Post
    Metaphors serve many purposes, but using specific meaning to create verisimilitude will usually be the least of it. Chandler is promoting creepy with that simile. Analysis, for the reader, is hardly ever a useful response to metaphor.
    I was first impressed by John Hart's careful choice of words and phrasing to create a mood, and only second started noticing his similes/metaphors. Right, for creating a mood, similes/metaphors are useful.

    But the mood is that he is going through a lot of trouble to get to a client's house. If you call that a mood. Creepy doesn't really fit at all. It probably pulls the reader out of the story.

    So, there are a lot of GREAT examples of using metaphoricals for mood, but I don't think that's one of them. Chandler wrote 80 years ago. Does anyone use that style nowadays except in parody?

    Anyway, it's a great example of power. It's an example of a simile that doesn't really describe, though those aren't hard to find. (He was as clever as a fox.). Most similes and metaphors do stand up to analysis, but some do not and this is one.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    I think he meant that it was cold and wet like a frog's belly. Most people don't know the difference between a toad and a frog, and actually, toads, though they are not aquatic (generally)and therefor dry ( ...as opposed to frogs, which are aquatic) mostly like to come out at night or in the rain, fog, when there's moisture out, and ... When you pick one up they are likely to pee on you, so they would be, often, cold and wet on the underside. You see, I have a lot of in-the-field experience with toads, and frogs, lizards, snakes, rats, spiders, bugs in general, all of that 'creepy' stuff.
    Thanks.

    So we just have to assume Chandler meant a cold, wet toad.

    If I had trusted Chandler, I would have realized that toads could be wet. I also would have known they were cold blooded. (I had to look that up.) So his simile tells me a few things about toads.

    Look, all this shows is that some similes don't describe and don't do well with analysis. Didn't we already know that?

  4. #54
    We're getting pretty close to maximum density.





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  5. #55
    Not sure about 'creepy' exactly, but there sure is a mood being created, it is a summer, holiday, good time sort of place out of season, deserted, and at the wrong time of day, it matches well with that.
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  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    By choosing a common object -- the handrail -- and describing it in very tactile way Chandler instantly puts that handrail in the reader's hand.
    ...
    Yes, everyone knows what a handrail is, and everyone knows what a toad is, we don't need Chandler describing them. But, because he juxtaposes these two common things, he grabs the reader and pulls him/her into the story.
    ^ Well said. (Terry's entire post, actually, is worth rereading.)

    The "toad's belly" comparison enhances the prose because it stimulates different regions of the reader's brain (those dealing with physical touch). The mind sparks. A sensation is elicited. Immersion is enhanced.

    A line such as: "Her skin was like wet leather" would stimulate the reader's brain more than the clinical: "Her skin was wet, wrinkly, and rough to the touch." This has been shown through neuroscience.

    Granted, you wouldn't want to use similes and analogies all the time—overuse of anything is simply bad writing. But when you really want to make the writing pop and draw the reader in, a vivid (and hopefully unique) comparison can do wonders.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    Thanks.

    ...Chandler meant a cold, wet toad.



    Look, all this shows is that some similes don't describe and don't do well with analysis. Didn't we already know that?
    Yes, and I think we've even had a 'bad simile' thread here. Chandler has been spoofed many times as have other noir icons. It's because he's so loved. And by the way, is it time for my close up?

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