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Metaphor Analysis Example Two




In the following quotation, we have several metaphors--see which you can identify, then scroll down the page to see my analysis:

"A rising market is particularly susceptible to shocks and margin increases are one of the time bombs that could unleash a wicked correction."



























Perhaps the easiest metaphor to pick out is this one:

margin increases are one of the time bombs

Which we can restate as MARGIN INCREASES are TIME BOMBS. Even if you don't know what margin increases are, the metaphor gives you some information: presumably margin increases do a lot of damage in a sudden fashion (like a bomb) but that they don't do this right away (thus they are like time bombs), though eventually they do go off.

You might also have identified this one:

A rising market

Given that markets can't "rise," we've clearly got a metaphor here; the question is, what is it? That is, what thing or things rise that are being used for comparison here? Perhaps the best we can do is state it in very general (and very abstract!) terms: the MARKET is a BODY in SPACE. If we mean by space not "outer space" but just the 3-dimensional world in which we live, then it makes sense to talk of it rising and falling, since almost any object in our world (a rock, a person) can theoretically rise--and fall.

That's a tricky one. Here's another metaphor along the same lines:

market is particularly susceptible to shocks

Thinking literally, the stock market is not something that can be physically "shocked" in any sense. So we know this is a metaphor. Again, though, what kind of metaphor is it? What is the stock market being compared to? Well, as with the previous example, we don't have a lot to go on, and so we are stuck with a very general idea. If we ask, what kinds of things can be "shocked," the answer pretty much comes out to be: anything that physically exists. So we conclude the MARKET is a PHYSICAL OBJECT, a metaphor that has a lot in common with the idea that the MARKET is a BODY in SPACE, because in both cases, we're taking something that you cannnot see, hear, smell, or touch (the market) and talking about it almost as though you could.

There are other metaphors in above quotation--but these will do for now.