Edited By Josefa Ros Velasco
13 Metaphors of Depression in American Short Fiction (Ioana Unk (Independent Scholar, California))
13 Metaphors of Depression in American Short Fiction
Independent Scholar, California
Depression and Metaphor
Although the diagnostic manuals for mental illnesses provide numerous definitions and descriptions of symptoms, depression remains a personal experience, that is most likely to be depicted by depressed persons with less technical wording.
A sequence of metaphors—vines, trees, cliffs, etc.—is the only way to talk about the experience. It’s not an easy diagnostics because it depends on metaphors, and the metaphors one patient chooses are different from those selected by another patient. (Solomon 2015, 29)
We contend that an investigation of the use of conventional metaphors, as well as of the occurrence of new imaginative and creative metaphors, establishes a new understanding of depression, and, also, raises questions regarding a possible shift in perspective.
While the connection between emotions and meanings may not always be in sync, a constant reevaluation of the linguistic tools that we use to express how we feel may lead to new expressions, that is, new metaphors. “Old stories may in turn come to be understood in new ways and new metaphor themes may emerge to represent this different way of seeing and experiencing an aspect of self.” (Angus and Korman 2002, 154)
The Conceptual Metaphor Theory devised by Lakoff and Johnson (1980) revolutionized the classic understanding of metaphor, as defined by the comparison theory, and extended its usage from...
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