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The Motive for Metaphor

Northrop Frye The Educated Imagination
by

David Zeleninar

on 3 September 2010

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Transcript of The Motive for Metaphor

The Motive for Metaphor The Motive for Metaphor is the first and "introductory" chapter of "The Educated Imagination" by Northrop Frye. The name of this chapter is taken from Wallace Stevens's poem. 3 levels of Englsih

The author describes English (or mother tongue in gerenal) as a "most practical language in the world" because nothing else can compare to it's usefulness.

He also describes the 3 levels of English, first one being language of "self-expression", where the most important thing is difference between me and everything else. Then there is language of "practical sense" and last one is the language of imagination. Uninhabited island In your mind, you could divide the world into two parts, one objective, intelectual and one emotional, human world. If you were shipwrecked on uninhabited island, you would realise that even though the world around you may have shape or meaning, it feels lonely and frightening because there is no emotional contact. If you built a shelter or planted a garden you would not only be separating yourself from nature, but constructing a human world and separating it from the rest of the world. Imagination
Imagination is what makes our minds truly human. People have a desire to bring social human beings into excistence, building a civilisation. Even though many animals have this desire too, but only man can compare what he does with what he can imagine being done. Imagination is "the power of constructing possible models of human experience". Science and Imagination The main difference between Science and Imagination is that while one starts with the world as it is, the other one starts with the world as we want it to have. The fact that they start on opposite ends, even if they do meet in the middle, makes for one important difference between them. Unlike science, literature doesn't evolve or improve. "Literature belongs to the world man constructs, not the world he sees". The novelist is concerned with telling stories, not working out arguments. Herman Northrop Frye was a Canadian literary critic and literary theorist, considered one of the most influential of the 20th century. Frye's contributions to cultural and social criticism spanned a long career during which he earned widespread recognition and received many honours.
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