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What is a direct comparison between two things that are not like one another but considered essentially linked in some way?

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A metaphor is a direct comparison between two things that are not like one another but are considered essentially linked in some way. A familiar thing is compared to something unfamiliar to improve the understanding of a reader or listener. Metaphors are often used in highly descriptive or romantic writing.

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A commonly used metaphor compares "life" to a "journey." This is a clear association because they both have stops, starts, various paths and easy and hard sections. In addition, they vary in length. The topic of a metaphor is the "tenor," while the comparison is the "vehicle." Therefore, in "life is a journey," life is the tenor and journey is the vehicle.

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