Figurative Language And Allegory In 'The Running Man'

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The Running Man communicates a diverse range of issues in our contemporary world, in particular the highly pressing issues of rumours/assumptions, fear and hope. This is achieved through a plethora of eloquent and engaging techniques, such as the use of figurative language, motif and emotive themes.

For example, silkworms serve as a heavily symbolic concept throughout the novel. They are utilised as either a motif or metaphor depending on the context. Dormant and silent, silkworms bear an uncanny resemblance to Tom Leyton, whom of which actively shuns the outside world in favour of the cocoon-like confinement that is his home. Like the silkworms, he too emerges as a so-called ‘free butterfly’, thanks to the influence of Joseph Davidson. In addition, the life span of a moth is relatively short – no more than a week or two at most. However, they are liberating times, symbolic of freedom and profound joy, and as such are worth every living moment.
Thus, the use of silkworms as a motif/metaphor within the text actively engages the audience in a highly thoughtful and articulate manner.
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He represents a metaphorical outlook on life. He appears to possess an eternal struggle and continues to attempt to run away from his inner demons. Getting no further, nor closer to them, his feat is inherently fruitless. This is evidenced within the text, whereby Tom Leyton says, ”I’m just saying that maybe your Running Man is like that … running from something … some hell … that he carries around inside him … a hell that he can never escape … no matter how far or fast he runs.”

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