Evaluation of Plant Metaphors in A Dream of Red Mansions
This work attempts to evaluate the plant metaphors used in A Dream of Red Mansions, aiming at: 1) Identifying the metaphorical expressions associated with plant used in the book; 2) finding out the correlation between plant metaphors and their evaluation; 3) exploring the experiential bases of the operational model of abstract reason in Chinese embodied in A Dream of Red Mansions, achieved via metaphor mapping the concrete concept – PLANT onto the abstract concept? How is it achieved? The results indicate that the cognitive approach to metaphor postulates that all conventional conceptual metaphors are grounded in our bodily and physical experience. Once a metaphorical mapping is set up, it will impose its structure on real life through the creation of new correspondences in experience. If the metaphor is the message, the conceptual metaphor provides a method of representation through which we may identify its salient features. As a result, the evaluation of the plant metaphors can contribute significantly to our understanding of the plant metaphors within Chinese culture.
Key words: Plant metaphors; Cognitive analysis; Experiential grounding
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