Essay on Metaphors We Live By written by Lakoff and Johnson

Essay on Metaphors We Live By written by Lakoff and Johnson

Length: 857 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Metaphors We Live By written by Lakoff and Johnson

The road goes ever on and on. Down from the door from where it began. Now far ahead the road has gone and I must follow it if I can. Pursuing it on weary feet until I joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet and whether then I cannot say.

J.R.R. Tolkien

I recently read the book Metaphors We Live By written by Lakoff and Johnson. I had always thought that metaphors, when used to illustrate logical, objective arguments, poetical flourishes, the icing on the cake, the supporting cast but never the star. I'm now convinced otherwise.

Lakoff and Johnson propose that the language we use affects the way we think and the way we think affects the language we use. I am reminded of the old saying: "As a man thinkith, so is he.S To illustrate, the metaphor of argument as war is used. If I think of argument as war then my instincts will be directed towards winning that war. Kill or be killed. I defend my claims against others and attack the opponent's weak points trying to shoot down any counter-arguments hurled at me. The adrenaline is pumping. The objective is no longer expression, but survival. Signs consistent with the metaphor will be recognized and others will be ignored.

My higher education has been built upon the metaphor of school as war. I write papers to defend a position. To win my diploma, I have to defeat my opposition; the professors. If I survive, I can leave this institution with the victorious banner of my diploma, supposedly strong enough win the battle on the outside. I have been trained to recognize those signs that enhance my success and encouraged to disregard others which could provide an alternate metaphor; such as school as practice o...

... middle of paper ...

...hings we cannot change but have to accept, all build our experiences. This umwelt of our existence structures our experiences and is what we use to create metaphors. "The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another.S (Lakoff and Johnson, P. 5) To find meaning in our experiences we construct metaphors. These allow us to explain the past and to predict the future. Religion is a system of metaphors which helps us to create meaning out of life. To believe in a certain religion requires us to adopt it's metaphors.

While thinking about metaphors, a poem came to mind. It's the one at the beginning of this paper. The poem portrays life as a journey. The road we tread stretches out before us. Around every bend lies a new experience. The adventure is overcoming any obstacles we encounter. Ah, but that is when the fun begins.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Metaphors and Conceptual Systems Essay

- Studying language reveals one aspect of culture which is organized systematically. The relationship between categories, cognition, language, culture, and truth can be analytically examined in Metaphors We Live By. George Lakoff and Mark Johnson argue that dictionary definitions do not adequately describe concepts, especially ambiguous concepts. Rather, we use concepts from a source domain (which are more basic and empirically real) to make sense of concepts within the target domain (which are less tangible and clearly defined ex: emotions, time, and morality)....   [tags: Language]

Better Essays
2033 words (5.8 pages)

Why Must We Dream in Metaphors? Essay

- Why Must We Dream in Metaphors. The poet Willis Barnstone begins a poem with this line: "Why must I always see the death in things?" My poem would begin, "Why must I always see the metaphor in things?" If I have any intellectual strength it is in seeing connections between unlikely ideas, theories, and concepts. I sit in classes, in front of the television, in front of books and my brain constantly tries to see how what I donít understand relates to, is like, compares to things I already know about....   [tags: Poetry Poem Poet Metaphor Papers]

Free Essays
1742 words (5 pages)

Essay Metaphors We Live By

- Metaphors We Live By In the book Metaphors We Live By, authors George Lakoff and Mark Johnson address the traditional philosophic view denouncing metaphor's influence on our world and our selves (ix). Using linguistic and sociological evidence, Lakoff and Johnson claim that figurative language performs essential functions beyond those found in poetry, cliché, and elaborate turns of phrase. Metaphor permeates our daily experiences - not only through systems of language, but also in terms of the way we think and act....   [tags: George Lakoff Mark Johnson Language Essays]

Free Essays
1212 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Metaphors We Live By

- Metaphors We Live By In Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson give the following definition: “The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another” (5). An obvious focal point of Metaphors We Live By, and the idea this essay will attempt to further explicate, is the notion that the title implies: we live by certain dominant metaphors. Some of the most universal concepts in our species, culture, and language are not only talked about, but also thought about, in metaphorical terms....   [tags: George Lakoff Mark Johnson Love Essays]

Better Essays
967 words (2.8 pages)

Metaphor And The Meaning Of Metaphors Essay

- As we live our lives, day to day, a small portion of the population realizes all the metaphorical concepts and ideas that exist in a regular day. In contradiction to the unaware society, there are two men who are passionate about reaching out to every mind out to educate them about metaphors, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. They composed a piece that reveals the importance of metaphors and how the world revolves around this literary device. Metaphors pertain to everyone in a specific way that relates to their life and their experiences throughout their lives....   [tags: Conceptual metaphor, Metaphor, Snow, North Dakota]

Better Essays
1055 words (3 pages)

Essay About Metaphors

- The Metaphorical Side of Music (Core Essay #2) The very essence of our language and way of expressing the extent to which something is intended to mean revolves around metaphor. Metaphors truly speak volumes. The nature of our speech is highly metaphorical so without metaphor, it would be significantly more difficult to view concepts through the viewpoint of others, to understand, and to compare. Behind every metaphor is a hidden meaning. It is exactly this that shows the beauty of metaphor and that makes it so universal....   [tags: Conceptual metaphor, Metaphor, Analogy, Simile]

Better Essays
1149 words (3.3 pages)

An Analysis of Johnson & Johnson Essay

- Johnson & Johnson researches, develops, manufactures, and sells products in health care. The company was founded by three brothers, Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson, and Edward Mead Johnson, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1886 (J&J website). Alex Gorsky is currently the chairman and chief executive officer of the company. Johnson & Johnson is known for providing a competitive pricing strategy. In the United States, Johnson and Johnson strives to keep their net price increases for health care products within the Consumer Price Index....   [tags: Johnson & Johnson Case Study]

Better Essays
2815 words (8 pages)

Moral Politics : George Lakoff Essay example

- Moral Politics When people see things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad (Lao Tzu). There exists a division of moral and political models for reasoning about politics which George Lakoff tries to highlight using analytic techniques from cognitive linguistic to establish. The main argument of Lakoff was that the division between the liberals and conservatives is based on how they conceptualize the world which could be termed metaphorical thought for the benefit of this paper....   [tags: Liberalism, Conservatism, Political spectrum]

Better Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

Johnson & Johnson : Consumer Products Essay

- Johnson&Johnson has been a consumer products manufacturer since 1886 and it is divided into three divisions which includes medical devices, pharmaceutical products, and consumer healthcare products. They create products in order to help and care people around the world and assist doctors and nurses to provide the best care for patients. Johnson&Johnson creates consumer products such as Neutrogena, Aveeno, and over the counter medications such as Tylenol and Motrin. They also create medical devices for surgeries and other specialties such as wound closure in order to enhance patient care and bring greater precision in surgery....   [tags: Health care, Medicine, Johnson & Johnson]

Better Essays
1604 words (4.6 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)