Метафоры в политическом дискурсе

Metaphors in women’s magazines and political texts perform several main functions:

— Function of influence. Women’s magazines and political texts has a pervasive influence on audience. Impact is a key work in mass communication studies, because the aim of mass communication activities such as broadcasting is to attract and have an effect on large audience often internationally.

— Surveillance. It means collection and distribution of information concerning events in the environment, both outside and within a particular society. To some extent, it corresponds to what is popularly conceived as the handling of news.

— Correlation. It here includes interpretations of information about the environment and perception for conduct in reaction to these events. In part, this activity is popularity identified as editorial or propaganda.

— Transmission means the transmission of social heritage from one generation to another. Commonly it is identified as an educational activity.

— Entertainment in order to secure the attention of the largest possible group to sell this attention to advertisers. Entertainment serves to provide relaxation after daily routine and making the leisure time pleasant and enjoyable. It makes easier for people to cope with real life problems and for societies to avoid breakdown.

Metaphors in women’s magazines and political texts are used with the aim to attract reader’s attention and influence on reader’s mind.

In the first case the expressively coloured words are widely used in the content of metaphors, for example:

  • According to a new study, there are three component emotions that drive us to buy ethically friendly goods: contempt for the companies whose standards we disagree with, concern for victims of consumerism and celebration experienced through the joy we find in making ethically friendly choices (Psychologies, January 2015) and  Suzy Greaves, Psychologies editor, talks about the power of storytelling: ‘It is something that I am a great believer in,’ she says. ‘I know that the story we tell about ourselves and life can either sustain us or bring us down, create success and fulfilment or keep us mired in a victim-like state of paralysis (Psychologies, January 2015). In the basis of these two metaphorsvictims of consumerism and mired in a victim-like state of paralysis lies understanding of the word victim. Victim means “someone who has been attacked, robbed, or murdered; someone who suffers because of something bad that happens or because of an illness” (Longman dictionary of Contemporary English). Taking into account the meaning of consumerism as “the belief that it is good to buy and use a lot of goods and services – often used to show disapproval; actions to protect people from unfair prices, advertising that is not true etc.”, the metaphor means someone, who can’t resist to desire to buy anything. The meaning of metaphor mired in a victim-like state of paralysis is incapability to move or speak because of fear or strong shock.
  • No surprise that so many of us wonder how we’ll get through it, year after year. But it seems that there might be some benefits to accepting – or even embracing – a more traditional, ancient, winter state of mind (Psychologies, January 2015). In this sentence we observe using of the metaphor winter state of mind. Winter is a season, so this metaphor renders the meaning of such state of mind when the persons has winter mood.
  •  “We fall into the trap of thinking that if we’re not what“society” deems to be creative, then it’s aplace we can’t venture to,” she adds (Psychologies, January 2015). In the sentence we found the metaphor fall into the trap of thinking. The word trap relates to “a piece of equipment for catching animals; a clever trick that is used to catch someone or to make them do or say something that they did not intend to”. Thus, we can understand this metaphor as some unpleasant or difficult situation that is difficult to escape from thoughts.
  • Virginia, I have just one word for you, just one word. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. After decades of broken politics in Washington, 8 years of failed policies from George Bush, twenty-one months of campaigning, we are less then one day away from bringing about change in America (Manassas, Prince William County, Virginia, November 3, 2008).
  • These challenges are not all of government’s making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008).
  • Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008).
  • And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we’re wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008).
  • They are staggering, these numbers, and they help us understand the magnitude of this pandemic. But when repeated by themselves, statistics can also numb – they can hide the individual stories and tragedies and hopes of the Leos who live the daily drama of this disease (World AIDS Day Speech, 2006).
  • They are the stories that touch our souls – and that call us to action (World AIDS Day Speech, 2006).
  • And the Global Fund, with money from the United States and other countries, has done some heroic work to fight this disease. As I traveled throughout Africa this summer, I was proud of the tangible impact that all this money was having, often through coordinated efforts with the Centers for Disease Control, the State Department, foreign governments, and non-governmental organizations (World AIDS Day Speech, 2006).
  • I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war (Barack Obama’s 2002 Speech Against the Iraq War).
  • That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics (Barack Obama’s 2002 Speech Against the Iraq War).
  • You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than colour-coded warnings (Barack Obama’s 2002 Speech Against the Iraq War).
  • On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention (Keynote Address 2004).
  • I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents’ dreams live on in my precious daughters (Keynote Address 2004).
  • It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope! (Keynote Address 2004).
  • And one of the towns we went to was a place called Cairo, which, as many of you might know, achieved a certain notoriety during the late 60s and early 70s as having one of the worst racial climates in the country. You had an active white citizen’s council there, you had cross burnings, Jewish families were being harassed, you had segregated schools, race riots, you name it – it was going on in Cairo (John Lewis’s 65th Birthday Gala 2005).
  • I don’t know what’s going on so I looked behind me and there is this small woman, about 60 years old, a little over 5 feet, looks like she just came from church – she’s got on a big church hat (Manassas, Prince William County, Virginia, November 3, 2008).
  • How far we’ve come from the days when the son of sharecroppers would huddle by the radio as the crackle of Dr. King’s dreams filled his heart with hope (John Lewis’s 65th Birthday Gala 2005).
  • America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008).
  • I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008).
  • Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008).
  • But of all that I heard, I encountered few stories as heartbreaking as the one recently told by Laurie Goering, a Chicago Tribune reporter based in Johannesburg who had covered our trip for her newspaper (World AIDS Day Speech, 2006).
  • But we can, and I’m here, because people like John Lewis believed. Because people like John Lewis feared nothing and risked everything for those beliefs. Because they were willing to spend sleepless nights in lonely jail cells, endure the searing pain of billy clubs cracked against their bones, and face down death simply so that all of us could share equally in the joys of life (John Lewis’s 65th Birthday Gala 2005). The metaphor lonely jail cells is based on such phenomena as loneliess. It is a psychological phenomena. Loneliness is a universal human emotion, yet it is both complex and unique to each individual. Loneliness has no single common cause, so the preventions and treatments for this damaging state of mind vary dramatically. A lonely child who struggles to make friends at his school has different needs that an lonely elderly man whose wife has recently died. In order to understand loneliness, it is important to take a closer look at exactly what we mean by the term “»lonely” as well as the various causes, health consequences, symptoms and potential treatments for loneliness.

While common definitions of loneliness describe it as a state of solitude or being alone, loneliness is actually a state of mind. Loneliness causes people to feel empty, alone and unwanted. People who are lonely often crave human contact, but their state of mind makes it more difficult to form connections with other people.

Loneliness, according to many experts, is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, it is the perception of being alone and isolated that matters most. For example, college freshmen might feel lonely despite being surrounded by roommates and other peers. A soldier beginning his military career might feel lonely after being deployed to a foreign country, despite being constantly surrounded by other people.

According to research by John Cacioppo, a University of Chicago psychologist and one of the top loneliness experts, loneliness is strongly connected to genetics. Other contributing factors include situational variables, such as physical isolation, moving to a new location and divorce. The death of someone significant in a person’s life can also lead to feelings of loneliness. Loneliness can also be a symptom of a psychological disorder such as depression (Kendra Cherry, Loneliness: Causes, Effects and Treatments for Loneliness).

Loneliness can also be attributed to internal factors such as low self-esteem. People who lack confidence in themselves often believe that they are unworthy of the attention or regard of other people. This can lead to isolation and chronic loneliness.

The metaphor is used as intertextual element in the women magazines:

  • The fiercest dresses came courtesy of Givenchy – pure Game of Thrones glamour in studded leather inset with black lace, meanwhile, Grecian goddesses and tribal warriors stalked other runways in draped dresses, armoured belts and African inspired prints, perfect with lace-up leather sandals and an attitude (Marie Claire UK, February 2015). The metaphor Game of Thrones glamour is connected with the title of the novel “A Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin. A Game of Thrones is the first novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of high fantasy novels. It was first published on August 6, 1996.  As this novel belongs to fantasy genre it is full of such characters as kings, fantastic nations, dragons, and etc. So the metaphor Game of Thrones glamour means in some aspect fantastical appearance or beauty that is characterized by mystery, incredible courage and etc.
  • Natural texture and a touch of frizz are officially now a good thing. Natural (or natural-looking) hair – worn loose with plaits as seen at Jeremy Scott, or pinned into a romantic low bun like at Dolce & Gabbana — creates an ethereal beauty (Marie Claire UK, February 2015). The metaphor used in this sentence is romantic low bun like at Dolce & Gabbana. The metaphorical meaning is given to the sentence owning to the word romantic that belongs to the arts. In the late 18th century artists and intellectuals came increasingly to emphasize the role of the emotions in human life and, correspondingly, to play down the importance of reason (which had been regarded as supremely important by thinkers of the Enlightenment). Those involved in the new movement were known as Romantics (Encyclopaedia Britannica). In the metaphorical sense the word romantic acquires meaning of showing strong feelings of love; beautiful in a way that affects your emotions and makes you think of love or adventure. Another component of this metaphor is bun like at Dolce & Gabbana. As it is known all over the world Dolce & Gabbana is famous fashion trademark.  It’s not easy to circumscribe the Dolce & Gabbana universe within a definition.

A world made up of sensations, traditions, culture and a Mediterranean nature.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have made a trademark of their surnames which is known throughout the world, easily recognizable thanks to its glamour and great versatility. The Dolce & Gabbana woman is strong: she likes herself and knows she is liked. A woman who indifferently wears extremely sexy guipures or bras that can be seen under sheer clothes, contrasting them with the very masculine pinstripe suits complete with tie and white shirt or a men’s vest. She always wears very high heels which, in any case, give her both an extremely feminine and sexy way of walking and unmistakable posture (Who is Dolce & Gabbana?). Thus the expression bun like at Dolce & Gabbana means the mixture of features peculiar to the specified designers’ fashion.

The women’s magazines use metaphors related to model, or fashion industry:

Haute hippies are having a moment, dressed in a heady, patchouli-scented mix of ethnic prints, fringing and wafting broderie anglaise. When Tommy Hilfiger held a throwback fashion festival and Dries Van Noten staged a sit-in on his moss-covered catwalk, we knew the peace and love vibe had totally taken over (Marie Claire UK, February 2015). The word catwalk means “a narrow, elevated walk or platform, as one along the edge of a bridge or over the engine room of a ship; a narrow platform extending as from a stage, along which fashion models walk while displaying clothing”; “an elevated enclosed passage providing access fore and aft from the bridge of a merchant vessel; any similar elevated walkway; a narrow elevated stage on which models parade; a runway; the business of making clothes for fashion shows” (Your Dictionaries). The meaning of the metaphor is connected with the image of cat as tender and gracious animal which is capable to pass by the narrow structure for walk on that is high up inside or outside a building. The next component of this metaphor moss-covered that means the runway is covered with moss, which has the meaning of “a very small green plant that grows in a thick soft furry mass on wet soil, trees, or rocks” (Longman dictionary of Contemporary English). The moss belongs to the flora world that can’t exist in the conditions of in-house fashion shows. Therefore the metaphor means runway for models covered with artificially created flora plant that is similar to real moss by form and colour.

For the political discourse it is typical to use conceptual and evaluative metaphor more often, because they can influence on the readers’ mind, for example:

  • America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words (Obama Inaugural Address, January 2009).
  • With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come (Obama Inaugural Address, January 2009).
  • It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy (Election Night Victory Speech).
  • What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night (Election Night Victory Speech).

Also political discourse as opposed to women’s magazines more frequently used male lexical units, for example:

Let me start by noting, Virginia that this is our last rally. This is the last rally of a campaign that began nearly 2 years ago (Manassas, Prince William County, Virginia, November 3, 2008). Rally is “a large public meeting, especially one that is held outdoors to support a political idea, protest etc.; a car race on public roads” (Longman dictionary of Contemporary English). In “Encyclopaedia Britannica” rally is interpreted as “automobile competition over a specified public route with a driver and navigator attempting to keep to a predetermined schedule between checkpoints. The course is generally unknown to contestants until the start of the rally. Such competition began in 1907 with a Beijing-to-Paris event of about 12,000 km (7,500 miles). The Monte-Carlo Rally, with various starting points, began in 1911 and continued thereafter except for wartime interruptions. Rallies became very popular after World War II in Europe and elsewhere, and international competitions were instituted. Weekend rallies came to be common worldwide, ranging from those held by local clubs to events sponsored by larger organizations. The Dakar (Senegal) Rally, first held in 1978, covers up to 15,000 km (9,300 miles) and is considered among the most grueling rally events. (In 2009 the Dakar Rally was relocated to South America after its organizers, citing terrorist threats in Africa, cancelled the 2008 race.) The longest was the London-to-Sydney rally in 1977, about 31,107 km (19,329 miles)” (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

  • The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008). The world flag in the content of metaphor is fist of all associated with military service that is typical for males. A flag is understood as a piece of cloth, bunting, or similar material displaying the insignia of a community, an armed force, an office, or an individual. A flag is usually, but not always, oblong and is attached by one edge to a staff or halyard. The part nearest the staff is called the hoist; the outer part is called the fly. A flag’s length (also called the fly) usually exceeds its width (hoist). Flags of various forms and purpose are known as colours, standards, banners, ensigns, pendants (or pennants), pennons, guidons, and burgees (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

If to compare political speeches with women’s magazines articles, we can see that metaphors in political texts are used to show:

  • unity of the nation:  Instead, it is that American spirit – that American promise — that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008);
  • economic or political situation:  It’s not change when he offers four more years of Bush economic policies that have failed to create well-paying jobs, or insure our workers, or help Americans afford the skyrocketing cost of college – policies that have lowered the real incomes of the average American family, widened the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, and left our children with a mountain of debt (Final Primary Night. Presumptive Democratic Nominee Speech, June 3, 2008).
  • social problems: I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008).
  • Or: Now, Sam and I may not agree on every issue, but I could not be more impressed with his efforts on issues like AIDS, the crisis in the Congo, the genocide in Darfur and sexual trafficking – issues that touch some of the world’s most vulnerable people (World AIDS Day Speech, 2006).

Sex trafficking occurs when individuals are forced, coerced, or defrauded into performing commercial sex acts. Profits go to the traffickers, who usually have some form of hold over their victims, preventing them from seeking help or escaping. Victims of sex trafficking are mostly women and girls, but can be of either sex or any age. This activity is a form of slavery, and often crosses state or international lines.

Traffickers find their victims by picking up runaways, advertising for workers in poverty-stricken countries, and buying them from families or spouses. Captives are forced into prostitution or exhibitions such as pornography, stripping, or live sex shows. Traffickers use psychological intimidation and physical violence to control the victims. Often, victims cooperate because they fear harm will come to their families if they do not.

Young people are particularly vulnerable to sex trafficking. Runaway teens or children living on the streets often become desperate to find a means of support. Traffickers prey on them by promising food, shelter, and education. People from less-developed countries seeking work may end up enslaved by sex trafficking offenders, and forced into prostitution. Without any money or outside connections, they have no means of escape.

Victims of sex trafficking face many dangers. In addition to beatings or torture, they may be starved, forced to work to the point of exhaustion, or to take drugs to which they may become addicted. They may be malnourished and contract sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorreah, syphilis, HIV/AIDS, or other diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis. Victims may be killed by their captors. They are also likely to suffer from psychological problems such as depression, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic bonding, known as Stockholm syndrome (What Is Sex Trafficking?).

  • historical and political events: What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression (Barack Obama’s 2002 Speech Against the Iraq War). Great Depression is worldwide economic downturn that began in 1929 and lasted until about 1939. It was the longest and most severe depression ever experienced by the industrialized Western world, sparking fundamental changes in economic institutions, macroeconomic policy, and economic theory. Although it originated in the United States, the Great Depression caused drastic declines in output, severe unemployment, and acute deflation in almost every country of the world. Its social and cultural effects were no less staggering, especially in the United States, where the Great Depression represented the harshest adversity faced by Americans since the Civil War (Encyclopaedia Britannica). The timing and severity of the Great Depression varied substantially across countries. The Depression was particularly long and severe in the United States and Europe; it was milder inJapan and much of Latin America. Perhaps not surprisingly, the worst depression ever experienced by the world economy stemmed from a multitude of causes. Declines in consumer demand, financial panics, and misguided government policies caused economic output to fall in the United States, while the gold standard, which linked nearly all the countries of the world in a network of fixed currency exchange rates, played a key role in transmitting the American downturn to other countries. The recovery from the Great Depression was spurred largely by the abandonment of the gold standard and the ensuing monetary expansion. The economic impact of the Great Depression was enormous, including both extreme human suffering and profound changes in economic policy.

The Great Depression began in the United States as an ordinary recession in the summer of 1929. The downturn became markedly worse, however, in late 1929 and continued until early 1933. Real output and prices fell precipitously. Between the peak and the trough of the downturn, industrial production in the United States declined 47 percent and real gross domestic product (GDP) fell 30 percent. The wholesale price index declined 33 percent (such declines in the price level are referred to as deflation). Although there is some debate about the reliability of the statistics, it is widely agreed that the unemployment rate exceeded 20 percent at its highest point. The severity of the Great Depression in the United States becomes especially clear when it is compared with America’s next worst recession of the 20th century, that of 1981-1982, when the country’s real GDP declined just 2 percent and the unemployment rate peaked at less than 10 percent. Moreover, during the 1981–82 recession prices continued to rise, although the rate of price increase slowed substantially (a phenomenon known as disinflation).

In women’s magazines and political speeches the authors prefer using different stable expressions as metaphors, for example:

  • For the next five minutes she proceeds to do this. “Fired up?” and everyone says “fired up” and she says “ready to go” and they say “ready to go.” I’m standing there and I’m thinking I’m being outflanked by this woman. She’s stealing my thunder (Manassas, Prince William County, Virginia, November 3, 2008). Steal My Thunder is the generally accepted meaning is: when someone takes something or an idea that is yours and uses it as their own, often in a demeaning way. The history behind the saying goes way back to 1704 London when John Drury, a literary critic and part-time play write produced his play, “Appius & Virginia” and used a new method of replicating the sound of thunder.  The play was unsuccessfully and was closed down. A short time latter, Macbeth was produced and his new thunder method was used.

Drury was none to happy about this and in an 1893 publication called, “W.S. Walsh’s Curiosities”, Drury is quoted as having said, “Damn them! They will not let my play run but they steal my thunder!”

“Hey honey, I learned to ride a horse today!” (all proud, excited and giggly.

“Well, when I was only five I was riding, trotting and galloping….all bareback!”

She definitely could be said to be trying to steal my thunder

“Hey Gramps, I learned to ride the number 3 bus and transfer at First and Elm, buy tokens at the kiosk and get on bus 7 and ride all the way to school today!” (another all excited, giggly moment of self-pride)

“Well, when I was your age, I had to walk four miles…one way…in snowstorms and hail” (Steal My Thunder, December 12, 2011).

They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values (The American Promise. Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention, August 28, 2008). Trojan Horse is huge, hollow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks to gain entrance into Troy during the Trojan War. The horse was built by Epeius, master carpenter and pugilist. The Greeks, pretending to desert the war, sailed to the nearby island of Tenedos, leaving behind Sinon, who persuaded the Trojans that the horse was an offering to Athena that would make Troy impregnable. Despite the warnings of Laocoon and Cassandra, the horse was taken inside. That night warriors emerged from it and opened the city’s gates to the returned Greek army. The story is told at length in Book II of the Aeneid and is touched upon in the Odyssey. The term Trojan horse has come to refer to subversion introduced from the outside (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

The results show that in women’s magazines the evaluative metaphors are used more frequently in women’s magazines. Dead metaphors are typical for political texts. Conceptual metaphors are used in both types of texts. Extended metaphors are not typical for the specified types of texts.