chapter  10
28 Pages

Metaphor Sets in The Turn of the Screw: What Conceptual Metaphors Reveal about Narrative Functions


Literary scholars of a more classical bent have critically questioned why cognitive stylistics is so much in the thrall of conceptual metaphors, the generative thought patterns that underlie metaphoric expressions with similar meanings or imagery.1 To these critics, bypassing a traditional stylistics through a generalising approach risks the neglect of aesthetics, context-specifi city and ultimately “literariness” (Downes 1993). Although it has been convincingly argued that a cognitive linguistic analysis can avoid reductionism (Danaher 2007), it has gone unnoticed that the defence of conceptual metaphor can be taken up from the opposite angle by asking what it contributes to genuinely narrative functions. Before entering into this agenda, it will be helpful to reiterate the general framework and possible criticisms it is faced with.