Life is a Highway

Nothing vexes an English minor more than trying to remember definitions. One sticky problem for me was trying to remember the difference between similes and metaphors. A simile stresses a real or imagined similarity (root words?) between one idea and another, while a metaphor ignores any similarities and plunges right into an equation or substitution. Since these definitions don’t actually make any sense, I had to use examples from real life. In my case, the examples I chose were lyrics from Tom Cochrane’s song Life is a Highway.

Life’s like a road that we’re traveling on
It’s one day in and the next day gone

Ah, see? Life is like a road, making this construct a simile.

Life is a Highway!
I wanna drive it all night long!

In this sentence, life is not like anything; it is something! A highway! Looks like we’ve found ourselves a metaphor.

And this helps the construction of Mr. Cochrane’s song. His simile, which is a mere suggestion, is the first line of his song, and not until after the evidence given in his first verse does he assert in his chorus that life is a highway. Of course, the song’s title does sort of give the game away, but hey, he’s Canadian.

Next week, we’ll study enjambment with the Four Non Blondes.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.