Home  »  A Dictionary of Similes  »  Joseph Conrad

Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.

Joseph Conrad

Arid as the sands of Sahara, without restful shade, without refreshing water.

He moved automatically, like a prisoner captured by the evil power of a masquerading skeleton out of the grave.

Bitter, like a day of mourning.

More bitter than the sea.

Black as Tophet.

Hopelessly blank, like the face of a blind man.

Blaze like a box of matches.

Blue like the sea of a dream.

The masthead light … blurred like a last star ready to dissolve.

Breathed out, hard and still, as a statue might whisper.

Light burst on me as if a window of my memory had been suddenly flung open on a street in the city.

Captured the eyes as a sharp cry secures attention.

Darted … like an arrow aflame.

Darted like a skimming bird.

Dead as Julius Cæsar.

Disappeared … like a man overtaken by an avalanche.

Dry as a cinder.

Enduring as eternity.

Exulting like a conqueror.

Those dry eyes of his shining more like poisoned stones than living tissue.

Expectant yellow eyes, like a cat watching the preparation of a saucer of milk.

Face like an ancient lemon.

Faded … like the mist of a breath on a mirror.

Fascinate—as a snake would a bird.

Final as going to Heaven.

Glare like the eye of an enemy.

Glow … like a pool of flaming blood.

Gulped as … swallowing sobs.

Hairy as a mastodon.

The sea hissed like twenty thousand kettles!

Immaterial as a ghost.

Immobility lay on his limbs like a leaden garment.

As impossible for him to take flight of fancy as it would be for a watchmaker to put together a chronometer with nothing except a two-pound hammer and a whip-saw in the way of tools.

Incredible as the fulfilment of an amazing and startling dream in which he could take the world in his arms—all the suffering world.

Indistinct, like a vapor exhaled by the earth.

Lonely as a crow in a strange country.

There is nothing so lonely in the world as the girl who has got to look after herself.

Lost himself in thought as though he had fallen out of the world.

Tumultuous and very loud … like the roll of an immense and remote drum beating the charge of the gale.

Lying low, like a malignant little animal under a hedge.

Lurked as comfortably as a shy bird in its native thicket.

Meaningless, like the head of a corpse.

Swell menacingly like the first whisper of a rising wind.

Poor and naked as a fakir.

Names like jewels flashing the night of time.

Passive—like dead bodies, with open, fixed eyes.

Her dress was as plain as an umbrella cover.

He was plunged in rushing water like a diver holding on to a stake planted in the bed of a swollen river.

Poignant and silent like the terrible questioning of one’s conscience.

The howl pursued me like a vengeance.

Quietness like the serene glow of a halo.

Recoiled as … he had seen a snake in his path.

Reeling as a clubbed man reels before he collapses.

He could have reproduced like an echo.

About as rigid as a concertina.

Ruddy like a winter apple.

Shattered as if a shell had exploded inside.

Sloping like a roof.

Sluggish … like a greasy bog.

Solid like a principle.

Solitary … like a lighthouse keeper above the sea.

Solitary … like a swallow left behind at the migrating season of his tribe.

Staggered away as a defeated man staggers away from the field of battle.

Stealthily like rocks that tear a ship’s life out under the smooth sea.

Still like leaves forged of heavy metal.

Stirring like the sight of glorious triumph.

As straightforward as a tile falling on your head.

Struggled instinctively like an animal under a net.

Swayed at the top like a tree.

Thrilled like a revelation.

Tight as a bottle.

Together unavoidably, like two ships becalmed near each other.

Tortuous—like byways of despair.

Uneasy like a baffled thief.

Unexpected as seeing a vision.

Unintentional as the birth of a thought in the head.

Vague like a suggestion of solid darkness.

Vast as all space.

Wandered up and down there like an early Christian refugee in the catacombs.

He was trying to see, with that watchful manner of a seaman who stares into the wind’s eye, as if into the eye of an adversary.

Whirling like dust.

Withered like a plucked flower ready to be flung on some rotting heap of rubbish.