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In this lesson, students engage with one approach to metaphor and then apply that learning to metaphors in Great Gatsby. To start, students learn about I. A. Richards’s definition of metaphor as the link between tenor (topic) and vehicle (way of thinking about it). They then generate some metaphors by randomly combining tenors and vehicles in order to understand how the parts interrelate. Finally, the class interacts with the messier, more beautiful face of metaphor by working through, in groups, some key metaphors from the novel. Students identify the components of each metaphor (tenor, vehicle) and also consider what subtle information the metaphor gives us about character or setting. The lesson may be adapted to other novels; it works well with upper-level students.



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