Metaphors: History as Roots Essay

Metaphors: History as Roots Essay

Length: 1141 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Metaphors, according to Professor George Lakoff, are a way to think and reason about life. They are not a unique way to speak about it, but a common way to talk about life experiences since they are a reflection of our thought processes (1986). This became immediately apparent to me when I began looking for metaphors commonly used. It took some time to find any because they were pervasive of my thought system that I did not even notice many phrases around me were metaphors. Those phrases were not “poetic or rhetorical” way of talking, but a normal usage for those around me to express their thoughts (Lakeoff, 1986, p.216). The metaphor that came up several times on my search was history as roots. This metaphor allows us to think about life in a certain way and it holds particular implications for our interpersonal communication.
While catching up on the world news, I came across a story about Shakila, a young Afghanistan girl. She was kidnapped at the young age of eight and held captive for two years (she managed to escape) as a form of repayment for the wrong her family elder committed. This tradition known as baad or baadi was a “deeply rooted cultural practice” in the country (Rubin, 2012, p. A1). This was an insightful way to talk about a long held tradition. How does this phrase make sense even when the article was not talking about growing plants or their root systems?
Metaphors create meaning by “mapping [an experience] from the source domain to the target domain” (Lakoff, 1986, p. 216). For the history as roots metaphor, the source domain is roots while the target domain is history. The knowledge we have about each domain and their corresponding elements allows us to assemble a metaphor.
Knowledge we have about root...

... middle of paper ...

...nding elements. Therefore, a rooted entity is not a spontaneous event, but one that has an extensive and sustained existence. Likewise, an entity that will be planted is one that will establish itself. This metaphor has the power to influence our thoughts because the phrase, deeply rooted, is not figure of speech, but a way of thinking about history as roots.

Works Cited

Brown, P. (2012, October 10). When the uprooted put down roots. The New York Times, p. A12.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2011, September 11). New study uncovers 'deep roots' of
homelessness. Retrieved February 22, 2012, from
Lakeoff, G. (1986). A figure of thought. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 1(3), 215-225
Rubin, A. J. (2012, February 16). A childhood lost to pay for the sins of others. The New York
Times, p. A1.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Metaphors: A Way to Think and Reason About Our Lives Essay

- According to Professor George Lakoff, metaphors are a way to think and reason about life. They are not a unique way to speak about it because they are a reflection of our thought process (1986). This became immediately apparent to me when I began looking for metaphors commonly used. It took some time to find any because they were pervasive of my thought system that I did not even notice many ordinary phrases around me were metaphors. Those phrases were not “poetic or rhetorical” way of talking, but an ordinary way to express my thoughts and speak about my view of the world....   [tags: Linguistics, Language]

Better Essays
1136 words (3.2 pages)

Organization as Metaphor: Using Morgan’s Metaphors as a Transitional Framework

- One of the greatest challenges for a new leader is earning the respect and cooperation of his or her subordinates, and using that respect to make the organization or work team more effective. In the assigned scenario, I am a newly promoted leader assigned to replace a highly respected and recently retired organization veteran of 23 years. My work team consists of five mid-level managers with between four and twelve years of experience in their positions, and they have all worked together for four years....   [tags: Management Techniques, Business Metaphors]

Better Essays
1462 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Roots And History Of Slavery

- Roots and History of Slavery The Slave trade has been around for a very long time. The real question is where did it start and how did it spread to become commonplace in the world. How did it become so commonplace. Throughout history, slavery has been a normal occurrence especially in massive empires that needed the labor. Where did it begin. Was it always like this or did someone come up with the idea. Throughout the early history of humanity there is no mention of slavery or bondage of any kind....   [tags: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, African slave trade]

Better Essays
1554 words (4.4 pages)

Metaphors And Metaphors Used Accurately By A Very Long Period Of Time And The Epic Of Gilgamesh

- Metaphors have been used in literature for a very long period of time, even before the era of Aristotle. A brief history of the earliest examples of metaphors dates back to The Odyssey by Homer and The Epic of Gilgamesh, in Ancient Mesopotamia, from ten thousand B.C. (Rankin). Metaphors are used in many different types of literature including poems, fiction pieces, nonfiction pieces, and plenty of others. My intention for this paper is to answer and help understand how metaphors work, their effect on the reader, why they are used by authors, and how metaphors are used correctly and effectively in writing....   [tags: Metaphor, Simile, Analogy, Literature]

Better Essays
2024 words (5.8 pages)

Essay on Control, Empowerment, and the Fake World: Converging Metaphors

- Control, Empowerment, and the Fake World: Converging Metaphors "Metaphors not only structure the way we think about school, they also help create the world of the school" (Cunningham, "Metaphors of Mind" handout). This quote speaks the truth. Metaphors are the tools we use both to structure thinking about our culture and to create culture at the same time. An excellent example of this dual and interconnected role of metaphor is Marshall's belief that "the dominan t metaphor in many schools is SCHOOL IS WORK" (Cunningham, "MOM" handout)....   [tags: Metaphors Education Educational Papers]

Free Essays
1971 words (5.6 pages)

Recovering History, Constructing Race: the Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans

- Recovering History, Constructing Race: the Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans Recovering Aztlan : Racial Formation Through a Shared History (1) Traditionally history of the Americas and American population has been taught in a direction heading west from Europe to the California frontier. In Recovering History, Constructing Race, Martha Mencahca locates the origins of the history of the Americas in a floral pattern where migration from Asia, Europe, and Africa both voluntary and forced converge magnetically in Mexico then spreads out again to the north and northeast....   [tags: American History Essays]

Better Essays
1672 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Metaphors in Philosophy

- This paper deals with the question of whether metaphors are sufficient for the fulfillment of philosophical tasks, and, if they are, which cognitive or methodological place metaphors can have within philosophical discourse. We can distinguish three attitudes toward metaphors. First is the general rejection of metaphors in philosophy. Second is the unrestricted affirmation of metaphors as ‘absolute’ and as compensating for metaphysics. This conception will be analyzed critically and shown to be self-contradictory....   [tags: Language Metaphor Papers]

Better Essays
4156 words (11.9 pages)

Australia's Aboriginal Roots Essay

- Australia's Aboriginal Roots Any educated American student knows that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and founded America. Only later do they learn that America already had an indigenous population that Columbus, by his own error, named Indians. Pre-existing populations were forced off of their lands and placed on reservations, effectively changing – and in many cases destroying – life and culture as they knew it. This kind of history is not exclusive only to America. Even fewer people know of the pending extinction of the indigenous culture in Australia – the Aborigines....   [tags: Australia History Essays]

Better Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Metaphors

- Metaphors With the possible exception of completely formal exercises in logic, philosophy is thoroughly metaphorical and largely conditional. Moreover, the purposes served by metaphors and conditionals in it are similar. Metaphors ask us to imagine the world in a new way, while conditionals may ask to imagine a new world. Yet some conditionals and metaphors are incompatible. There are limits to how metaphors can occur in conditionals, and how conditionals can themselves be metaphors. Specifically, only certain kinds of metaphors can be accommodated in the antecedents of conditionals, and even then only within a restricted class of conditionals....   [tags: Argumentative Philosophy Argument Papers]

Free Essays
4180 words (11.9 pages)


- METAPHORS I have usually found writing papers to be a stuggle, but this paper was different. At first I was intimidated by the fact that it had to be an analysis of ones own writing pertaining to a specific discourse, but then once I saw the opportunity for creativity, the paper seemed fun and interesting. It gave me an opportunity to focus on the things I like about writing, the things that to me make writing an art form containing beauty and freedom. Words are groups of mixed and matched letters which create sentences....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
1047 words (3 pages)