Monday, May 12, 2014

Death as Metaphor 10: Meaning from the Self via Object and Vice Versa.

We make meaning of the world around us as we try to address issues by being reflective of the target object or situation. We construct meaning. We transform symbols. We can have multiple-meanings of these symbols.

For instance, death may be a topic for discussion and a way to communicate to the dead, especially if they are buried in a cemetery. The graveyard or tombstone becomes symbols for the individuals who died and are now remembered as alive during a visit. Sometimes, the topic of death is reversed and the thought of the coming end draws on symbols that comment on the unknown.

To aid in meaning making, imagery is a technique used by writers to assist readers to visualize an image by describing a smell, sound, or feeling. In Charles Olson’s poem, “Pacific Lament” (http://www.writerlylife.com/2006/06/poem-of-the-week-40/), the ocean is used as a metaphor for the violent death of William that the speaker refers to in the poem. These images are what set the mood of a poem and writers utilize them in order to have readers share a deeper feeling with the events put forth.

Similarly, symbols are objects or images that represent, or stand for, other things. A symbol is created when people agree to its meaning such as the octagon used for the ‘Stop’ sign or the skull on bottles that mean poison.

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