A. Barton Hinkle on What Forrest Gump Teaches Us About Politics


Credit: Loren Javier / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

When Forrest Gump observed, "My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get," he was using a simile — something countless people do every day to illustrate a point. People used to understand how similes, analogies and other figures of speech work. But as A. Barton Hinkle observes, increasingly they don't — or, sometimes, pretend they don't in order to whip up outrage. For an example, look no further than the brouhaha surrounding Virginia conservative Ken Cuccinelli's recent comments on immigration.