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Submerged metaphor

 

Techniques > Use of language > Metaphor > Submerged metaphor

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

A Submerged metaphor is one in which the metaphoric vehicle is indicated by one part of it.

Typically, the element selected to be the metaphor has particular significance for the intended meaning.

Example

Her thoughts were on the wing. [wing > bird > flight]

He legged it. [Leg > human > run]

A photon struck him; bolts were for greater men. [photon > light > small idea; bolt > lightning > big ideas]

Discussion

Our memories work largely by association, such that when we are told about a small part of something, we automatically think of the larger whole. This allows the first step of understanding of this metaphor. We then have to take the second step of linking the metaphor to the subject. This is eased when the vehicle hints at the meaning intended.

See also

Synechdochic metaphor

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