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  1. Charted his moods like a cartographer —Pat Conroy

    Conroy’s simile from The Great Santini refers to the main character’s understanding of and adjustment to his father’s temperament.

  2. Families are a kind of closed system; like locked trunks, they are hard to penetrate from the outside —Daphne Merkin
  3. Families are like wine. You get the old vintage that goes right off: goes weak as coloured water or old scent —Julia O’Faolain
  4. A family, if it is large and well-connected, is like a religion —Paul Theroux

    In the novel, Picture Palace, from which this is taken, the author follows up the simile with the following explanation: “It serves the same purpose, to bewitch the believer with joy and offer him salvation; it consoles, it enchants, it purifies.”

  5. Getting to know someone is like opening a safe: you have to learn the unique combination of numbers —Delmore Schwartz

    Schwartz followed this entry into his journal with “No, this is not really true.”

  6. Her life was hung upon this relationship, like the cloth of a tent that would collapse into loose folds without the central post that supported it —Tennessee Williams
  7. Human relations just aren’t fixed in their orbits like the planets; they’re more like galaxies, changing all the time, exploding into light for years, then dying away —May Sarton
  8. The idea of a step-father is like a substitute host on a talk show —Bobbie Ann Mason
  9. In the beginning of a relationship, if you’re lucky enough to find wit at the right moments, it’s like getting a cab in the rain —Steve Post, WNYC/FM, December 22, 1986
  10. (There were Ben and his father, eye to eye, as) intimate as lovers —Pat Conroy
  11. I was there for you, like an Eye-Beam … any other beam would do —John Updike
  12. Know each other’s thoughts. Without words, as if traveling on connected bloodstreams —Mary Hedin
  13. Know each other, crack and flaw, like two irregular stones that fit together —Adrienne Rich
  14. Like the slowly tumbling arabesque of little cloud shapes drifting across the sand cliffs on a summer wind, neither [of two close sisters] was anything without the other —Wilbur Daniel Steele
  15. Never got on … like a couple of dogs not liking each other’s smells —Frank Swinnerton
  16. Relationship … as fragile as spindly bridges —David Leavitt, New York Times Book Review, 1986

    See Also: FRAGILITY

  17. The relationship bumps along like a car with three tires —Ira Wood
  18. Relationship … like two engines running at variance —D. H. Lawrence
  19. The relationship waxed, billowed like scenery on the breeze —John Ashberry
  20. Spread herself out like a cloak for the king to walk on —Suzi Gablik, New York Times Book Review, 1986

    The simile is used to explain the relationship between the author of My Life with Chagall and the artist.

  21. The string between you wore out … like old elastic —Tess Slesinger
  22. The sweet sorrow of loving a parent is as pure as the taste of a sourball when you are five —Norman Mailer
  23. Their (a mother and daughter) connection had built-in tension and resiliency. Like the coiled telephone cord through which they communicated —Ellen Goodman
  24. There was room for improvement [in relationship between two men] … a sort of gap, like the Grand Canyon —J. F. Powers
  25. Torn between them [warring parents] like a plot of land they both wanted to lay claim to —Ann Jasperson
  26. Treated her like a twenty-carat diamond —Rita Mae Brown
  27. Understand one another like thieves at a fair —Anatole France
  28. (After half an hour … ) we were as familiar with one another as if we had unbosomed our whole life histories —Erich Maria Remarque
References in classic literature ?
Wopsle struck in upon that; as one who knew all about relationships, having professional occasion to bear in mind what female relations a man might not marry; and expounded the ties between me and Joe.
Now, Madame Danglars feared Eugenie's sagacity and the influence of Mademoiselle d'Armilly; she had frequently observed the contemptuous expression with which her daughter looked upon Debray, -- an expression which seemed to imply that she understood all her mother's amorous and pecuniary relationships with the intimate secretary; moreover, she saw that Eugenie detested Debray, -- not only because he was a source of dissension and scandal under the paternal roof, but because she had at once classed him in that catalogue of bipeds whom Plato endeavors to withdraw from the appellation of men, and whom Diogenes designated as animals upon two legs without feathers.
A never troubles himself to master the relationships of the characters, on which perhaps all the interest of the story depends: he 'skips' over all the descriptions of scenery, and every passage that looks rather dull: he doesn't half attend to the passages he does read: he goes on reading merely from want of resolution to find another occupation--for hours after he ought to have put the book aside: and reaches the 'FINIS' in a state of utter weariness and depression
All that was healthy and natural, all that clung to happy relationships and the simple joys of simple men, shrunk from them in dismay; and yet a fearful attraction was in them, and, like the fruit on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they were terrible with the possibilities of the Unknown.
She realised with a great sense of comfort who easily she could talk to Hewet, those thorns or ragged corners which tear the surface of some relationships being smoothed away.
I heard of the difference of sexes, and the birth and growth of children, how the father doted on the smiles of the infant, and the lively sallies of the older child, how all the life and cares of the mother were wrapped up in the precious charge, how the mind of youth expanded and gained knowledge, of brother, sister, and all the various relationships which bind one human being to another in mutual bonds.
I had two sisters and one brother, that lived in the same house with me; but the early separation of us from our mother had well nigh blotted the fact of our relationship from our memories.
And what possible claim could the Miss Dashwoods, who were related to him only by half blood, which she considered as no relationship at all, have on his generosity to so large an amount.
In noveldom woman still sets the moral standard, and to her the males, who are in full revolt against the acceptance of the infatuation of a pair of lovers as the highest manifestation of the social instinct, and against the restriction of the affections within the narrow circle of blood relationship, and of the political sympathies within frontiers, are to her what she calls heartless brutes.
Ages of close relationship and intermarrying had resulted in the race of red men, of which Dejah Thoris was a fair and beautiful daughter.
The two species that had resulted from the evolution of man were sliding down towards, or had already arrived at, an altogether new relationship.
It may be easily imagined how the relationship between Aramis and a seamstress who called the queen her sister amuse the young men; but Aramis, after having blushed two or three times up to the whites of his eyes at the gross pleasantry of Porthos, begged his friends not to revert to the subject again, declaring that if a single word more was said to him about it, he would never again implore his cousins to interfere in such affairs.

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