Metaphorically Speaking: Embodied Conceptualization and Emotion Language in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried

Parivash Esmaeili, Behnoush Akhavan, Fazel Asadi Amjad


Recent advances in the study of emotion in relation to cognition have heightened the need for scrutinizing the way emotion language interacts with cognitive processes such as metaphoric conceptualization. However, relatively few studies have paid attention to the interaction of emotion language with metaphors in a war narrative. We argue that (a) embodied conceptual metaphors merge with those events in O'Brien's narrative that generate anger, shame, and fear; (b) in the case of anger, the BODY AS CONTAINER metaphor is combined with HEAT in the form of PRESSURIZED CONTAINER; (c) the ontological and epistemic correspondences in the metaphoric mapping of shame reveal that the BODY AS CONTAINER metaphor governs the language about shame; (d) the SHAME AS A SOLID as an entailment of EMOTION AS BURDEN underlies the language of shame; (e) like anger, metaphors of fear are governed by patterns of force dynamics. The findings of this research can open new avenues for using autobiographical data in the study of emotion language.



Conceptual metaphor, Embodiment, Image schema, War narrative, Tim O'Brien

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