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The Use Of Metaphors Essay

2531 words - 10 pages

A metaphor is an influential feature of language. The use of metaphors is apparent in the world as it is used in contexts ranging from everyday conversations to literature to its application to scientific theories. However, achieving a standard understanding of a metaphor's theory or meaning, is difficult. This is because metaphors seems to straddle so many important boundaries: between language and thought, between understanding an individual word and understanding the relation between words, and between rational communication and mere causal association. Thus, many metaphors are open to a whole range of different interpretations, some of which may vary tremendously from one another. In A Better Way to Think About Business, Solomon makes an attempt to refute the many metaphors associated with business, and conclude by classifying them as measly myths. Theses metaphors include: "It's a jungle out there!," "Business is war," "Business is an efficient money-making machine," and, "Business is a game." Solomon does not only view these metaphors as being negative representations of business, but he also believes they are being wrongly associated with business in general. This paper will challenge Solomon's interpretations by elucidating alternative analyses of these selected metaphors.
In regards to Darwinian concepts of "survival of the fittest" and "it's a jungle out there," Solomon interprets these metaphors as illustrating business as being competitive, and not always fair. He refute these metaphors by stating that business "is (or should be) anything but uncivilized and devoid of rules or fairness," and that "competition [should take] place not in a jungle but in a well-ordered society that it both serves and depends upon" (Solomon, 1999, p.13). I, however, disagree with Solomon's initial evaluation of these metaphors' meaning. I believe a jungle essentially paints a valid representation of business, and business practices. Within a jungle, ecosystems can be found. In the forest floor, termites, bacteria and fungi help return nutrients to the soil. In the canopy, a belt of tree crowns is supported by enormous rainforest tree trunks. It is in these trunks that the most productive and diverse habitat on Earth, where many of the world's species spend their lives among its branches. Emergents also offer nesting sites, a favourite of jungle eagles. An ecosystem can generally be divided into three categories: producers, consumers, and decomposers. All three of these roles play an important part in the ecosystem. The producers are the green plants which uses the soil and sun to produce their own food. Consumers are animals that get their energy from producers, or from other organisms that eat the producers. The decomposers are plants or animals that break down dead plants and animals into organic materials, which go back into the soil. This is where we started when the producers initially took up nutrients from the soil. A jungle is place of constant...

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