Metonymy

Topics: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Fitzwilliam Darcy Pages: 2 (612 words) Published: September 27, 2012
Anisha Pal
Metonymy (Met- on- o- me)

Definition: A figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept. Metonyms can be either real of fictional concepts representing other concepts real or fictional, but they must serve as an effective or widely understood second name for what they represent. Example: Hollywood – U.S. Cinema

Scrooge – Wealth

Trope: The use of a word, phrase, or image in a way not intended by its normal signification. Metonymy is a trope because it substitutes an associated word for one that is meant. Example: “Top Brass” – Military Officers

The truck hit me from behind. (The truck hit my car from behind.) The press has made my life miserable. (Journalists)

Example #1
William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" (Act III, scene II, lines 74-77). The page number varies in different versions of the book.

Explanation: metonymically — "ear" represents "attention" (because we use ears to pay attention to someone's speech). When we hear the phrase "lending ear (attention)", we stretch the base meaning of "lend" (to let someone borrow an object) to include the "lending" of non-material things (attention).

Example #2
In Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, the main character Elizabeth's change of heart and love for her suitor, Mr. Darcy, is first revealed when she sees his house: “They gradually ascended for half-a-mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but...
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