Metaphor – a definition

“The word metaphor derives from the Greek verb metapherein, meaning ‘to transfer.’ Simply stated, a metaphor serves to transfer the sense of one word to another. Many literary critics choose to explain metaphors in terms of the two words from and to which meaning is transferred: namely, the tenor and the vehicle. The tenor is the subject of comparison, what is to be compared, and the vehicle is the means of comparison, what the subject is compared to or with.” (emphasis in original, pp.99-100)

Ref: Edwin Barton and Glenda Hudson (c1997) A Contemporary Guide to Literary Terms with Strategies for Writing Essays about literature. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston and New York)


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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