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Motorcycles As Literary Metaphor

Motorcycles As Literary Metaphor

Source: NPR Motorcycles provide an open road for literature — literally and figuratively. They're sometimes the dramatic device writers use to talk about many things: adventure, rebellion, even inner peace. But motorcycles aren't just a metaphor at Bartel's Harley-Davidson shop in Marina Del Rey, Calif. They're loud and shiny and very real.

This is where we find Jeff Bragg, who claims he has been riding since he was 3. He reads an excerpt from Hunter S. Thompson's book Hell's Angels:
    "Tense for the action, long hair in the wind, beards and bandannas flapping, earrings, armpits, chains, whips, swastikas and stripped-down Harleys flashing chrome as traffic on 101 moves over, nervous, to let the formation pass like a burst of dirty thunder."
In literature, motorcycles — and the people who ride them — often represent an outlaw spirit, danger and sex. For motorcyclist Allie MacKenzie, that's a no-brainer.
    "Who in their right mind can pass up a bad boy on a bike?" MacKenzie rides a Harley Sportster Forty-Eight. At Bartel's, she picks a passage from the book Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley: "I was panting, and he was cursing. It was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to me. If he would have asked me to, I would have jumped on the back of his bike and ridden to the ends of the Earth with him."

FYI: Metaphor vs. Simile

A metaphor is a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect that, usually, provides clarity; thus, the implied conceptual relationship rhetorically highlights the, at times difficult to conceive, similarities between two ideas. While a simile compares two items, a metaphor directly equates them, and does not use "like" or "as" as does a simile.

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