Text Book and Metaphor

Much as I enjoy reading Text Book, I share the concern of some others that the wealth of stories are overwhelming the points the author is trying to illustrate. For example, there are multiple stories to illustrate the elements of a narrative, but very little discussion after the examples of how the elements were present. I understand why this choice is made by the authors—they intend for the students to use the written exercises to discover these points rather than having the points spelled out.

Despite this, I felt like a few more examples of how to analyze the reading examples for the elements being studied would have improved the quality and comprehensibility of Text Book. The number of exercises devoted to any one point make the book seem introductory in level, but the lack of worked through examples make me suspect it would be difficult for students new to these concepts to get much from the book.

The section that interested me most in Text Book thus far was the selection on metaphors and daily life. I agreed with the author that metaphors reinforce our perception of events, but I think some of these became circular questions—which came first, the cultural perception or the metaphor? To use the example the authors used, consider war and argument. The authors assert that war is being used as a metaphor for arguing, but to me it seems that war is just arguing writ large, that they are spaces on the same continuum.

Though I disagreed with the authors in places regarding their analysis of the relationship between metaphor and the shape it gives daily life, the text was successful at making me reflect again on the relationship language has to our perceived experience. For this reason alone I found Text Book both interesting and useful.