Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get

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Psych 20 Unit One- Introduction to Social Psychology

Assignment One: Metaphor for Life

“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.” –Forrest Gump (Please note: technically, this example represents a simile, not a metaphor!)

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?_____________________ Take a moment to discuss this question with a partner. Your answer should reveal your outlook on life; now take this a step further by writing a metaphor for life! For example: Life is…

  • A battle – Everything is a competition or a struggle.  We are always either winning or losing.  

  • A garden – Relationships are cultivated like flowers or vegetables.  We see things as growing, flowering or producing.  

  • A mission – We believe that we have the truth and we need to convince others that our point of view is right.  

  • A journey or an adventure – We travel from place to place meeting new people and exploring.  

  • A building – Starting with a solid foundation, then adding floors and rooms.  

  • A roller coasterLife consists of ups and downs, and we are along for the ride.  

  • A stained glass window – Full of light and colours.  

  • A mountain climb – Life consists of hierarchies.  We are always climbing the various ladders of life.  

  • A race – Always finding the fastest route, “keeping up with the Joneses”.  

  • A courtroom – Everything in life should be fair.  

  • Stepping stones – We barely get comfortable where we are before we are looking for a better job or a bigger house.  

  • A prison – Feeling like we do not have choices, like others have all the power.  

  • A classroom – There are always new lessons to learn.  

  • A battery – Every encounter seems to drain energy.  We need the weekends to recharge (Source: Mental Health Network).

How do these metaphors develop?  As children we begin to understand and organize the world.  If we think of the brain as a filing cabinet, then childhood is when we open the files and label them.  We often spend the rest of our lives putting new material in these old files.  If childhood was healthy, then we may have a pretty good filing system.  If it was a struggle, then we often see struggles for the rest of our life.  


Create your own life metaphor and express it in whatever medium you feel most comfortable. For example, you might write it on a poster board, design it using a computer program, or create a comic strip to explain it. Along with your metaphor, you must include a one or two paragraph summary which explains why you chose this statement as your perspective on life. Please note that your metaphor will be displayed, but you do not have to display your explanation.

Mark Breakdown:

The final product is neat, organized, and appealing: /5

Class time has been used efficiently: /5

The metaphor is original and the paragraph explains the meaning effectively : /10

Total Marks: /20

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