It is difficult to imagine how “dull”, “poor” and meager our language would be if it did not have such bright figurative elements as paths, one of which is a metaphor. The definition of this concept in the most general form can be formulated as follows: metaphor is the portable meaning of a word, any use of words in an indirect meaning. If to formulate more figuratively, then the metaphor is a dialogue of meanings, as a result of which a new meaning is born. Trails are a universal phenomenon, they are found in all the languages of the world and at all times. Metaphorization is one of the main and inexhaustible sources of language development, thanks to which vivid images are created, since imagery lies at its base. The basic principle of creating a metaphor is a comparison, but not an ordinary one, but an analogy, that is, a comparison of objects that are fundamentally dissimilar, diverse.
To compare little comparable objects and meanings, while creating
vivid and capacious images enriching speech, one must have a special poetic gift. It is no coincidence that people capable of this are often called poets, even if they do not have a relationship to writing poetry. Indeed, one of the main functions performed by a metaphor is the making of speech of a figurative-expressive coloring, combined with affectivity, a pronounced emotional evaluation.
Another function of the metaphor is the nominative. It consists in replenishing the language with lexical and phraseological constructs. In the Russian language there are a lot of them, for example, the bend of a river, drumming rain, a mountain range and others.
Metaphor also performs a conceptual function. A conceptual metaphor is the use of portable meanings of words to express non-obvious meanings in scientific and socio-political speech, for example, the field of experiment, the foundation of the state, the range of concepts.
In addition to the basic functions, the metaphor performs many more: figurative-visual, representative, predictive, ornamental, etc.
It is accepted to distinguish two main
types of metaphors. The first – an erased metaphor – is so common and often used expression that its portable meaning is not caught. For example, winter came, it snows, it began to rain.
The second kind is a sharp metaphor, when obviously not comparable concepts are compared. This species is most often found in fiction and is a characteristic of the idiostyle of the writer.
Besides these two, there are other kinds of metaphors. For example, a metaphor-formula that is close in appearance to an erased metaphor, but it is so stereotyped that it is already problematic to use a phrase in its direct meaning, for example, a wheel of fortune.
The unfolded metaphor consists of a large text fragment, during which its metaphorical meaning unfolds. In fiction and poetry, very often a detailed metaphor is an entire finished work, a poem, a parable, a short story.
The role of the metaphor in everyday life
The image and emotional color of the metaphor are so deep that it is often used to influence the consciousness and subconsciousness of a person. In their practice, psychologists and psychotherapists often use metaphorical techniques to help them understand the intrapersonal problems, influencing the patient’s psyche. The role of metaphor in advertising is widely known. The visual, sound and olfactory images created with it, awaken the imagination, develop imagination, helping the consumer without a visible pressure from outside to make a certain choice. Such techniques are called manipulative. In this regard, we should also mention the role of metaphor in the political sphere, where the interest in the problem and ways of manipulating a person has increased, especially recently, and the metaphor here plays a very effective role.