Pictorial Metaphor in Advertising by Charles Forceville

By Charles Forceville

During the last few many years, study on metaphor has centred nearly solely on its verbal and cognitive dimensions. In Pictorial Metaphor in ads, Charles Forceville argues that metaphor may also happen in photos and attracts on suitable reviews from numerous disciplines to suggest a version for the id, class, and research of 'pictorial metaphors'. through the use of insights taken from a number of linguistic, creative and cognitive views for instance, interplay and relevance thought, Forceville indicates not just how metaphor can ensue in photos, but in addition offers a framework in which those pictorial metaphors might be analyzed. The theoretical insights are utilized to thirty ads and billboards of British, French, German and Dutch starting place. except substantiating the declare that it is smart to speak about `pictorial metaphors', the specified analyses of the ads recommend how metaphor thought might be hired as a device in media reviews. Context in its numerous manifestations performs a key position within the analyses. moreover, the result of a small-scale scan make clear the place basic contract concerning the that means of a pictorial metaphor can coloration over into different extra idiosyncratic yet both legitimate interpretations. the ultimate bankruptcy sketches the ways that the insights received can be utilized for additional learn.

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Here Wollheim apparently is talking about the 40 Towards a theory of pictorial metaphor picture, or painting, as the first term of the metaphor, that is, the term to be metaphorized: Black’s primary subject. This ‘first term’ seems to refer to the painting or picture as the object metaphorized, as were ‘Juliet’ and ‘religion’ in the examples quoted earlier. The suspicion that this use of the expression ‘first term’ is not a mere slip of the pen gains plausibility in the context of Wollheim’s remark, in the second part of the just-quoted passage from page 305, that the property attributed from ‘body’ to ‘picture’ is ‘corporeality’.

However, one cannot simply reverse the two terms of a metaphor without completely changing it (see p. 12; Forceville 1995b). Taking Wollheim’s own example of Marx’s famous statement, it is immediately clear that claiming that RELIGION is OPIUM is entirely different from proposing that OPIUM is RELIGION, if only because the first metaphor is predicating something about religion and the second about opium. Thus, Wollheim here ignores the crucial fact that for anything to be called a metaphor, it must be assessed which of the terms is the primary subject and which is the secondary subject of the metaphor— this distribution in itself determining the direction of the metaphor’s featuretransfer.

Let us have a closer look at their notion of truth with reference to metaphor. In the first place Lakoff and Johnson argue that the ‘truth’ of many metaphors can only be judged in the context of the reality defined by those very metaphors. : 158). Giving the example of a president’s announcement that his administration has won a major energy battle, Lakoff and Johnson claim that if you see the energy crisis as a war, then you can judge the truth or falsity of an utterance based on this metaphor.

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