1. MiltonClemens
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    MiltonClemens Member

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    How do I use the word "metaphor" in a sentence?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MiltonClemens, Oct 17, 2009.

    I have been carving my commentary skills and found a rather confusing thing. I found out that using the word "metaphor" in a sentence is not easy.

    If I want to say that the Elixir of Life is metaphorically used in the novel "Frankenstein", and rephrase the sentence, should it be :

    The novel "Frankenstein" is a metaphor to the elixir of life

    or

    The novel "Frankenstein" is a metaphor of the elixir of life

    or

    The novel "Frankenstein" is a metaphor for the elixir of life
     
  2. Mister Micawber
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    Mister Micawber Member

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    Without having read the novel, I am confused as to which is the tenor (the thing that receives the attributes) and which is the vehicle (the thing that contributes its attributes).

    The novel is a metaphor for some 'elixir of life' (i.e. the novel represents the elixer)?
    The elixir is a metaphor within the novel?
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Using metaphor in that way is a little amateurish. It is better, and more correct, to say that Frankenstein metaphorically represents the elixir of life, though if you needed to shorten it for some reason you could get away with Frankenstein is a metaphor for the elixir of life.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The last is correctly formed, although I won't comment on the sentence itself.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    same here...
     
  6. MiltonClemens
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    MiltonClemens Member

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    What about say "moon" and "Samantha", is it :

    The moon is a metaphor of Samantha

    or

    Samantha is a metaphor of the moon

    or other?
     
  7. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    In general, you would say "Metaphor for", not "metaphor of", though as I said, its not a very good way to construct a sentence...

    And in terms of the order of the objects, it would be "X is a metaphor for Y", where X is what appears in the text and Y is what is really represented.
     

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