Short Stories with Metaphors and Similes: Examples

Examples of Short Stories with Similes & Metaphors
Examples of Short Stories with Similes & Metaphors

Here are some short stories with similes and metaphors for teaching and study. Of course, many short stories have metaphors and similes, but the following short stories are well known with many of them commonly read by students, and they contain good examples of these figures of speech.

Short Stories with Similes and Metaphors

“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury

At 7 AM an automated house rings the alarm clock and prepares breakfast. It gives some practical reminders and says it’s time to go to school and work. Otherwise, the house is strangely silent. (Summary & Themes)

This story can be read in the preview of The Stories of Ray Bradbury. (93% in)

“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe

An unnamed narrator describes how he killed a man; he tries to convince his listener of his sanity and wisdom. He believed his boarder, an old man, watched him with an “Evil Eye.”

This is the second story in the preview of Great American Short Stories.

“Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield

A middle-aged woman takes a weekly Sunday walk. She likes to observe and listen to people, but she overhears something that upsets her.

Read “Miss Brill”

“A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

An extended family is headed to Florida for a vacation. The grandmother wants to go to Tennessee instead, so she talks about an escaped murderer—The Misfit—who is suspected to be on his way to Florida. Despite her efforts, her son Bailey is set on going to Florida.

This story can be read in the preview of A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories. (Kindle preview)

“This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen” by Tadeusz Borowski

In Auschwitz, the narrator works “the ramp”, separating incoming prisoners into two groups: those who will work at Auschwitz and those who will be sent to the gas chamber. (Summary)

Read here

“I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen

While a remarried mother of five irons, she thinks about how she raised her first child, Emily, and what she would do differently.

Some of this story can be read in the preview of Tell Me a Riddle, Requa I, and Other Works.

“Big Black Good Man” by Richard Wright

Jenson, an older man, is the night porter at a cheap hotel. It’s late when a very large black man, an American sailor, comes in looking for a room. Jenson wants to turn him away but he’s afraid to. He gives the man a room, and the man deposits a large sum of money in the safe.

“The Stone Boy” by Gina Berriault

Early one morning, nine-year-old Arnold goes out with his fifteen-year-old brother Eugie to pick peas. Arnold takes his gun with him to shoot ducks. As he passes through a fence, his gun gets stuck; he jerks it free, causing it to go off.

Short Stories with Metaphors and Similes, Cont’d

“Silent Snow, Secret Snow” by Conrad Aiken

Paul, twelve-years-old, becomes distracted by something that happened a few days before. While home, he heard the postman’s footsteps but they were muffled; Paul thought they were muffled by snow. When he looked out the window, there was no snow. He can’t stop thinking about this “secret snow”, increasing his alienation from the world.

“To Da-duh, in Memoriam” by Paule Marshall

The narrator, an adult, tells the story of when she was nine-years-old and went with her sister and mother to visit her grandmother, whom she had never met, in Barbados. The narrator and her grandmother are both strong-willed. They feel a competitive urge as they talk up where they come from—Barbados and New York.

“Brownies” by ZZ Packer

A Brownie troop of fourth grade African-American girls goes to a summer camp. They quickly develop a dislike for a troop of all white girls, and after one of them is heard using a racial slur, they decide to beat up all the white girls.

“The Wave” by Liam O’Flaherty

A two hundred foot high cliff has developed a cavern at its base from “battling” for thousands of years with the incoming waves. Waves continue to crash in, and high tide is approaching.

“The Country Husband” by John Cheever

Francis Weed, a middle-aged married man with four children, is in a plane that has to make an emergency crash landing. He’s effected by the experience, but his family doesn’t pay it much attention. Francis feels invigorated by this second chance. He becomes obsessed with Anne, the babysitter.

“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver

A woman and a blind man have kept in contact for ten years, mailing tapes to each other. His wife has recently died, so he’s going to visit her family. On the way, he’s going to spend a night at the woman’s place with her new husband. Her husband isn’t looking forward to the visit.

Read “Cathedral”

“The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury

A family lives in a futuristic house that automatically meets all their needs, including a nursery for the children that can create any scene they want. The parents are getting concerned about the nursery and are thinking about reducing their reliance on technology by taking a break from it and all the automation.

Read “The Veldt”

“The Storm” by Kate Chopin

While her husband is waiting out a storm at a local store, Calixta is at home. She goes to bring in her laundry from the front porch when she sees an old love, Alcee. She invites him inside.

Read here

I’ll keep adding short stories with metaphors and similes as I find them.