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Name Surname Subject Date House as a Metaphor in Literature In many literary works, the human house and living in it evolve as focal human experiences. In other words, it often appears that the metaphor of the house takes the major position in man’s thinking and speech…
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Download file to see previous pages The goal of this essay is to explore the meanings of metaphors of house and used by a range of prominent American authors. William Faulkner, known for his sophisticated method of encoding his intended meaning in specific imagery and metaphors, is particularly keen on using house metaphors. Their meanings differ from one work to another, yet some tendencies may be distinguished. Analysis of the house metaphor in Absalom! Absalom!, William Faulkner’s most famous novel, provides insight into how the author perceives the house metaphorically. In Absalom! Absalom!, the image of a haunted house is clearly metaphorical. It is the dark pretentious house of the novel’s protagonist Sutpen that works as a metaphor of the “dark” South – obsessed with racial inequality and accumulation of wealth in dynasty. Thomas Sutpen, who was once born in poverty, comes to a town in Mississippi to purchase land, build a house on it, and start his dynasty. The overall sad story of Sutpen’s house is a metaphor for the South. Just as Sutpen and his son Henry despise black people and repudiate them, the white-dominated South does. Just as Thomas and Henry Sutpen lose their lives as obvious pay for their hatred and desire of “purity”, with their grandiose house set ruins by fire, the South, which hosted the oppressors and the oppressed, gets burnt down for inhumane treatment of its black children. Similarly to how Sutpen’s son Charles, who was born out of wedlock from a mother who had a small proportion of black blood, is murdered at the gates of the mansion, hundreds of black people are made to work to death or lynched on the basis of their skin colour difference. It is this injustice in combination with lack of humanity and excessive self-pride that have led the South to its destruction in the war and has literally set it ablaze. The house and its conceited owner Sutpen together with his “dynasty” are doomed to fall due to their inherent flaws, as the place where slavery blooms (i.e., the house) and as the source of inequality and racial hatred (i.e., Thomas Sutpen).Thus, house stands for a part of American land, the South, and has a range of negative connotations as a place of racial inequality, injustice, gloom, and decay. It also evolves as a symbol of doomed Southern worldview: anti-slavery, inhumane aims are doomed for ruination. In Tony Morrison’s novel Beloved, house evolves as a metaphor of environment that is supposed to be nurturing and liberating. It also comes as a metaphor of an unfulfilled dream of being free from slavery and safe. In addition, house represents a place where people summon their strength and create their strategies. Also, the house may stand for a hero/heroine’s soul and body, more likely to represent the inner state of the protagonist, though. It is also a symbol of freedom and safety. In the paragraphs to follow, these claims will be explained and supported by the evidence from the novel. In Beloved, home becomes the focus of quest by the novel’s protagonist young black woman Sethe. Sethe, as her life chronologically unfolds in the novel, finds herself constantly swaying back and forth between slavery, humiliation, danger, which may be referred to as her house of jeopardy; and freedom, safety, and dignified/happy living in a black community, which is perceived as her home. Sweet Home, the house of Mr and Mrs Garner, is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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