Main Article Content
Despite the fact that postpartum depression has been explicitly referred to in Elif Shafak’s novel Black Milk (2007), there are many implicit references to this negative mental state. This paper aims to examine the metaphorical representations which are used to conceptualize the experience of postpartum depression. The study attempts to understand how the experience of postpartum depression is metaphorically constructed and conveyed via the use of conceptual metaphors. This study differs from previous studies which examined Shafak’s Black Milk; the current study attempts a cognitive approach to its metaphorical language. The study applies insights from Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1980; 2003) to selected metaphors from Shafak’s novel Black Milk. The study is the first of its kind; it offers a stylistic examination of the metaphors of postpartum. The application of conceptual metaphor theory, in our opinion, serves as a useful tool that allows better understanding of how the abstract state of postpartum depression is understood and communicated through the course of the novel. The study also discusses the cross-domain mapping process to see how conceptual structures are selected from different source domains and mapped onto the target domain of postpartum depression to unveil the negative effects of this distressing experience.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Al-Jumaili, Yasir. 2018. “The Representation of Negative Mental States in the Poetry of John Keats: A Cognitive Approach to His Metaphors of Depression.” PhD diss., University of Sheffield.
Davison, Kenneth. 2006. ‘Historical Aspects of Mood Disorders.’ Psychiatry 5(4):115–18. https://doi.org/10.1383/psyt.2006.5.4.115.
Ervas, Francesca, Elisabetta Gola and Maria Grazia Rossi. 2017. Metaphor in Communication, Science and Education. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.
Gibbs, Raymond. 2005. “Cognitive Linguistics and Metaphor Research: Past Successes, Skeptical Questions, Future Challenges.” D.E.L.T.A. 22 (spe): 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-44502006000300003.
Górska,Elżbieta. 2019. Understanding Abstract Concepts Across Modes in Multimodal Discourse: A Cognitive Linguistic Approach. New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.
Goschler, Juliana. 2007. ‘Metaphors in Cognitive and Neurosciences: which impacts have metaphors on scientific theories and models?’ Metaphorik.de, 12, 1-20.
Khajeh, Zahra, Imran Ho-Abdullah, Tan Kim Hua. 2013. ‘Emotional Temperament in Food-Related Metaphors: Across-Cultural Account of the Conceptualizations Sadness.’ International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature 2 (6): 54-62. http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.2n.6p.54.
Kövecses, Zoltan. (2005). Metaphor in Culture: Universality and variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kövecses, Zoltan. 2017. ‘Conceptual Metaphor Theory’. In E. Semino, & Z. Demjén (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphor and Language (pp. 13-27). London: Routledge.
Lakoff, Georg and Mark 1999. Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books.
Lakoff, Georg and Mark Johnson 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lakoff, Georg and Mark. 2003. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Murray, Lynne and Peter J. Cooper. 1999. Postpartum Depression and Child Development. New York: Guilford Press.
Petruck, Miriam. 2018. MetaNet. Amesterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Pritzker, Sonya. 2003. ‘The role of metaphor in culture, consciousness, and medicine: a preliminary inquiry into the metaphors of depression in Chinese and western medical and common languages.’ Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine 4 (1): 11-28. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1461-1449(02)00013-0.
Searle, John. 1979. ‘Metaphor’. In Ortony. A. (ed.). Metaphor and Thought, first edition (pp.83-111). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Semino, Elena and Zsófia Demjén. 2017. The Routledge Handbook of Metaphor and Language. London: Taylor & Francis.
Semino, Elena. 2008. Metaphor in Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sfard, Anna. 1994. ‘Reification as the Birth of Metaphor’. For the Learning of Mathematics 14 (1): 44-55.
Shafak, Elif. 2007. Black Milk: On Motherhood and Writing. Translated by Hande Zapsu. New York: Penguin Group
Wikipedia contributors, "Postpartum depression," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Postpartum_depression&oldid=962373567 (accessed June 18, 2020).
Zlatev, Jordan, Mats Andrén, and Marlene Johansson Falck. 2009. Studies in Language and Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.