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Figurative language in Obasan by Joy Kogawa In this short story, Joy Kogawa describes Japanese Canadians bitter experiences

during World War II in poetic expressions through a protagonists visit to her Obasan, which eans aunt in Japanese! "long the story, the narrator describes her #eelings and thoughts in poetic words! "s a conse$uence, Joy Kogawa uses #igurative language in order to help the readers evo%e the iserable i ages o# what Japanese Canadians had experienced during World War II! &he o ents a#ter her husbands death are a proo# o# the #act that the language o# grie# is silence! Obasan %eeps her lips un oved at her nieces $uestion, the only thing that oves inside her being the grie#! &he narrator li%ens this grie# with a tapewor , saying that grie# inside her body is #at and power#ul! In this etaphor, according to I! "! 'ichards ter inology, the tenor is grie#, whilst the vehicle is the tapewor ! &he ground, that is the co onality between the tenor and the vehicle, in this particular case, is exactly their power and the #act that they can both grow very big at ti es! "lso, (ust as the tapewor lives as a parasite, #eeding with nutrients inside us, grie# #eeds with every o ent o# relie# that tries to a%e its way down the road! " very beauti#ul, yet sad i age is that o# Obasan seen as a dwar# star! &his etaphor is based again on the characteristics that bring these two entities together! Obasan is the tenor, whereas the dwar# star is the vehicle! )he is the inverted sun that suc%s in the lives o# her daughters, which are the source o# her existence! &he ground o# this etaphor are Obasans daughters, who #eel a necessity o# leaving their other li%ened with the balls o# li$uid etal which are unpredictable in their sudden departures! &he narrator sees her aunt as a person trapped in the past, and every little ite that she has in her house is a proo# o# that! )he %eeps even the ost insigni#icant things, such as a daughters rubber ball, so that the narrator concludes that this house is now her blood and bones! &his beauti#ul etaphor has as tenor the house and the vehicle the blood and bones! O# course, in this case the ground o# the etaphor is harder to trace, but we can say that what the narrator eans is that all the things that her aunt %eeps in her house are part o# her body without which she wouldnt #eel co plete any ore! &he next paragraph continues with co paring Obasan with all old wo en in every ha let in the world! &he narrator thin%s her aunt is a co on French old lady in a southern village, as well as a *exican ountain village wo an! &he ground o# this co parison is the #act that Obasan, (ust li%e any other old wo an around the world, is the bearer o# loves %eys to un%nown doorways! Just as Obasan and her niece are get to the attic o# the house, the younger protagonist o# the story has a revelation o# the past! )he sees the old +cob,webs that were hanging in the dar% attic and she instantly thin%s o# the past! )he uses the webs as tenor and the past as vehicle, whilst the ground is the ability that both have o# waiting #or its victi s to adhere or depart! )o (ust li%e a #ly is trapped in a cobweb,

the e ories that re#use to be explained away beco e prisoners o# the past, with no chance o# escaping! &his way, the narrator gives the reader #ear#ul i ages! "nother #igure o# speech that she uses is the #oreshadowing- the aunts .#alters/ at the beginning o# the story so ehow a%e the reader expect the aunts .stu bles/ at the end, which causes the cli actic hold between the aunt and the narrator! Irony is also present in the sentence .&he other +grand#athers, boats are towed away and le#t to rot/ because, o# course, the purpose o# con#iscation is not the rot! 0owever, the idea is that the narrator e phasi1es the unreasonable in(ustice su##ered by the Japanese Canadians! "ll in all, the #igurative language used in Obasan help us co e to a conclusion2 the narrators con#licts inside hersel# and between generations co e #orth to the resolutions, reali1ing that see%ing the past is useless!

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