Metaphors for War

Topics: Simile, Metaphor, Analogy Pages: 5 (641 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The use of metaphors are an important factor

with any piece of literature. Metaphors add color to

creative writings, also establishing depth. A story

without metaphors is lifeless, unable to compose

another way to view it. The term for a metaphor is a

figure of speech in which term is transferred to

something it does not literally apply to, this helps the

brain create a mental picture which the person might

easily understand what the character is feeling.

When a person finally makes the connection

between the metaphor and the idea, the story takes

a deeper meaning.

In the story by E.M. Remarque, 'All Quiet on the

Western Front', you see a vast quantity of

metaphors to connect the characters thoughts

together. While reading this book, you may decide

to ignore the metaphors, by not truly understanding

the meaning they portray. In this, you fail to grasp

the emotions that the author relates to you in the

tale of the soldiers of the book. If you take the time

to appreciate what the author writes by using

metaphors the story will be more enjoyable.

Understanding metaphors is not always easy,

many people get similes and metaphors mixed up.

A simile is nothing more then a baby metaphor.

You must be able to pick out a metaphor in the

story, no matter how minuscule. For even though it

may appear small, it might be a lead to another far

bigger metaphor. Through this, the intended

meaning will appear.

When Paul the main character, refers to the

front as a whirlpool, this is quite a large metaphor,

with a deeply rooted meaning. "To me the front is a

mysterious whirlpool. Though I am in still water far

away from its centre, I feel the whirl of the vortex

sucking me slowly, irresistibly, inescapably into

itself" (Ch.4,Pg55) This is saying that though he is

not even close to the front, he still feels the effects

from his position. It creates the mental picture that

Paul is a boat in a large ocean, and far in the

distance the whirlpool is barely seen on the horizon.

Though slowly, maybe without him even realizing it,

he is being pulled towards the whirlpool. This is an

example of a metaphor and the mental images it

creates to help people understand the book.

The author also has a cage represent the front,

"The front is a cage in which we must await fearfully

whatever may happen. We lie under the network or

arching shells and live in the suspense of

uncertainty. Over us, Chance hovers. If a shot

comes, we can duck, that is all: we neither know nor

can determine where it will fall" (Ch.6,Pg101). This

is saying that the front is no different from a prison,

not really protecting the soldiers from the danger.

Also that it is nothing more the a cage of chance,

you may live you may die, you have to choice, only

chance. Humans may believe in chance but not

depend on it. With this metaphor, it describes the

how harsh the front can be, creating a image of a

bird in a cage. With these metaphors the front

begins to take shape and become more real to the


Metaphors help the reader produce a sense of

realism, which having the absence of metaphors,

you lose. If a someone's writing wants to be the

best, it must have a good usage of metaphors,

strategic placed, but if you abuse the function of a

metaphor, it horribly disfigures the work of the

author. People must realize to look past the shell of

the metaphor discovering its deeper meaning, like

the human, you must see past the way they look

and find what they truly are, only then will you be

able to understand them truly.
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