A Cognitive Approach to the Metaphors of Postpartum Depression in Elif Shafak’s Black Milk

Main Article Content

Yasir A. Al-Jumaili
Shaymaa F. Hasan
Safeen N. Arif

Abstract

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.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Al-Jumaili, Y. A., Hasan, S. F. and Arif, S. N. . (2021) “A Cognitive Approach to the Metaphors of Postpartum Depression in Elif Shafak’s Black Milk”, Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(1), pp. 35-44. doi: 10.14500/kujhss.v4n1y2021.pp35-44.
Section
Articles
Author Biographies

Yasir A. Al-Jumaili, Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Yasir Al-Jumaili, is an academic staff at the Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. He holds a BA in English Language and Literature, University of Baghdad (2000) and an MA in English Medieval Literature from, University of Baghdad (2004). He got his Ph.D. in Romantic Poetry/Cognitive study, The University of Sheffield, UK (2018). His research interests lie at the interface between language and literature, such as disciplines of stylistics, cognitive poetics, and discourse analysis. He is particularly interested in Cognitive metaphor theories. His research and teaching are closely related. The modules that he contributes to undergraduate level include: Romantic and Victorian Poetry, Renaissance Poetry and Metaphysical Poetry. He also contributes to postgraduate courses where he teaches Romantic Poetry and Literary Theory and Criticism.

Shaymaa F. Hasan, Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Shaymaa F. Hasan, is an academic staff at the Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. She Joined Koya University in September 2005 as a lecturer in English Short Story and Novel.  She holds a BA in English Language and Literature, University of Baghdad (2001) and an MA in American Short Story (2004), University of Baghdad, Iraq. She got she's Ph.D. in Modern English and American Novel (2013), Koya University, Kurdistan. She’s research and teaching interests are in English and American Novel, Short Story, Renaissance Drama, Modern Drama and Feminism. She teaches Renaissance and English Novel for Undergraduates. She teaches Modern Drama for Post Graduates. 

Safeen N. Arif, Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Saffeen N. Arif, is an academic staff at the Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. He has been teaching at Koya since 2012. He had a teaching experience in both the University of Anbar, College of Arts, Department of English (2006) and the University of Baghdad, College of Languages, Department of English (2011). He obtained his BA degree in English from the University of Baghdad, College of Languages, Department of English (2000), his MA in English literature from the same university and college (2004), and his Ph.D. degree in English and American literature from the same university, College of Arts, Department of English (2010). He has published several papers in local and international journals. He took part in a conference in Turkey (2017) and in the Fulbright Visiting Scholar in USA. (2014)

References

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.