The Bet

The Bet Metaphors and Similes

Metaphor #1

"He was a skeleton with the skin drawn tight over his bones, with long curls like a woman's" (14)

This simile compares the lawyer's hair after years of imprisonment to that of a woman's; it also emphasizes his thinness by metaphorically calling him a skeleton.

Simile #1

"It is all worthless, fleeting illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage" (16)

In this simile, the lawyer compares people and their lives to mirages: there is no truth to them, and that is why the lawyer is running away on principle.

Simile #2

"You would marvel if, owing to strange events of some sorts, frogs and lizards suddenly grew on apple and orange trees instead of fruit, or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse" (16)

The lawyer uses this simile in his letter to help illustrate how far removed from reality he believes people are: in his eyes, other people act in systematically insane, irrational ways.

Simile #3

"while I shall look at him with envy like a beggar" (12)

Here, the banker worries that when he has to pay the lawyer it will bankrupt him, leaving him as poor as a pauper.

Simile #4

"Beauties as ethereal as clouds, created by the magic of your poets and geniuses, have visited me at night" (15)

This simile compares the visions of women in the lawyer's head to beautiful things from the clouds–like angels.