Many of the best-known analogies are familiar sayings that have entered common use, such as being "a fish out of water" or "quiet as a mouse." Analogies are excellent ways to create comparisons between objects that may not seem to be immediately related, such as the popular saying, "Life is like a box of chocolates." These analogies highlight similarities and can build critical thinking, since they challenge a reader or listener to find ties between two subjects.
Both similes and metaphors can be analogies, but it is important to note the difference between the two: similes are comparisons using "like" or "as," such as "stubborn as a mule" or "as big as a house," while metaphors are analogies that go beyond comparison; instead of being "like" something, metaphors state that the person, place or thing is so similar that it embodies something else. For example, saying, "Life is a journey" or, "The country is a melting pot" creates a closer relationship between the thing being compared than a simile.
There are many analogies from literature that can help readers understand characters. One of the best-known analogies occurs in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet": "That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet. / So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called."