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Conceptual Metaphors of Romantic Love in Western Comic and Japanese Manga

by Ellen Thießen (Author) Maria Schnyder (Author)

Term Paper (Advanced seminar) 2009 21 Pages

Communications - Broadcast and entertainment

Excerpt

Table of contents

1. INTRODUCTION

2. KÖVECSES’ CONCEPT OF ROMANTIC LOVE

3. METAPHORS OF ROMANTIC LOVE IN ASTERIX
3.1 LOVE IS UNITY
3.2 THE BODY IS THE CONTAINER FOR EMOTIONS
3.3 LOVE IS A HOT FLUID IN A CONTAINER
3.4 THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LOVE IMPAIR NORMAL FUNCTIONING
3.4.1 LOVE IS UNCONTROLLED POWER
3.4.2 LOVE IS UNCONTROLLED BODY LANGUAGE
3.4.3 LOVE IS INABILITY TO FUNCTION NORMALLY
3.4.4 LOVE IS MAGIC
3.5 LOVE IS A COMPETITION
3.6 LOVE IS HAPPINESS
3.7 LOVE IS KINDNESS

4. PREVIOUS STUDIES JAPANESE MANGA

5. METAPHORS OF ROMANTIC LOVE IN JAPANESE MANGA
5.1 THE BODY IS A CONTAINER FOR THE EMOTION
5.2. THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LOVE IMPAIR NORMAL FUNCTIONING
5.3. LOVE IS HAPPINESS
5.4. LOVE IS DESIRE
5.5. LOVE IS FLOWERS

6. CONCLUSION

7. REFERENCES

1. INTRODUCTION

According to Lakoff and Johnson (1980), metaphors involve a mapping of a tangible source domain on an intangible target domain and enable therefore the expression of concepts difficult to verbalise as such. ROMANTIC LOVE is one of these concepts. Indeed, “romantic love is commonly thought of as a mysterious emotion which it is notoriously difficult to pin down. […] Various authors in various disciplines have expressed the view that this is a concept that is difficult to grapple with and define“ (Kövecses, 1986). By analysing the conceptual metaphors used to describe ROMANTIC LOVE in conventionalised language, Kövesces succeeded to describe the constituents and structure of this concept.

According to Kövecses (2004) the conceptualisation of ROMANTIC LOVE (and EMOTION in general) on a generic level is to a considerable extent universally shared. The universal motivation that enables the metaphors to emerge in different cultures is the shared bodily experience. If metaphors tend to be universal or near-universal on a genericlevel, they tend to be different cross-linguistically on a specific level. Kövecses (2004:62) illustrates this theory with the following example: “The HAPPY IS UP metaphor is a generic-level metaphor. […] a specific-level version of the metaphor HAPPY IS UP in English is HAPPINESS IS BEING OFF THE GROUND. […] this specific metaphor does not exist in Chinese”. The causes of cross cultural metaphor variation on a specific level are mainly differential experience, cultural context, history and experiential focus (Kövecses, 2004:68-74).

Yeşim Aksan and Dilek Kantar’s (2008) research on the cross-cultural perspective of love metaphors in English and Turkish align with the theory of Kövecses (2004). The English and Turkish culture shares indeed the FORCE and PATH image schemas. However, the entailments of the metaphors reveal major differences in the conception of romantic love. The differential experience and cultural memory are reflected in the opposition of the active, goal- and success-oriented, and collaborative perspective of the English culture and the passive, non-goal- and not success- oriented, and solitary perspective of the Turkish culture. Furthermore, LOVE IS PAIN/SUFFERING is the prototypical love model in Turkish, probably motivated by the culture-specific myth of “Laila and Majnum” and the Sufi philosophy. Suffering for love is on the contrary a nonprototypical love model in English, mainly expressed by the conceptual metaphor of LOVE IS A DISEASE.

Kövecses research on the concept of ROMANTIC LOVE and the cultural variation of metaphor is based exclusively on verbal evidence. As Charles Forceville (2005:69) acknowledged, “in the interest of enriching insights into ideological conceptual metaphors, non-verbal and multimedial representations need to be investigated as well”; mostly in order to break “the vicious cycle of saying that verbal metaphoric expressions are evidence of conceptual metaphors, and then saying that we know that because we see conceptual metaphors expressed in language” (Cienki, 1998). The present paper aims to extend Kövecses research by analysing the visual expression of

ROMANTIC LOVE and its cross-cultural variation in comics. Indeed, as Forceville (2005:71) mentioned, “comics are a good source of pictorial data for such a project: unlike, for instance, realistic photographs and live-action films, which are more or less ‘naturally’ mirror real-life manifestations of emotions, comics and cartoons make use of stereotypical exaggerations and of a rudimentary ‘sign-system’ very much like a language”. To analyse pictorial metaphors, two categories of visual signs are considered: indexial signs and pictorial runes. Indexial signs are defined as symptoms that we often perceive in daily life as accompanying a certain emotion. These are metonymic rather than metaphorical: for example, blushing stands for ROMANTIC LOVE of the person metonymically. Pictorial runes are not based on observations of daily life but are part of the pictorial language to express a certain emotion: as example, Forceville analyses the representation of smoke as a pictorial rune for anger, based on the metaphor THE ANGRY PERSON IS A PRESSURIZED CONTAINER.

In a first part, our paper will show how Kövecses’ characterisation of the concept of ROMANTIC LOVE surfaces visually in the comic Asterix. The second part of this paper aims to explore this cross-cultural variation in the visual domain by comparing the results of the analysis of Asterix to Japanese Manga. Our research will be done on following data: three volumes of German translations of the French comic Asterix Asterix (Asterix als Legionär (Vol. 10), Asterix und Latraviata (Vol. 31), and Obelix auf Kreuzfahrt (Vol. 30)) and the Japanese manga I‘‘s (Vol. 7), Tsubasa (Vol. 13), Natsuki Takaya (Vol. 3). In all of these comics, romantic love plays an essential role. The traditional comic of Asterix and Obelix tells the story of two Galliards, who are always in war with other nations. In the chosen comics Obelix’ object of love is Falbala, a beautiful girl of the village, who is engaged with Tragicomix. These three comics are the only ones where she plays an essential role. I”s tells the story of Ichitas who is secretly in love with Iori, whose feelings aren’t revealed at that point of the story. In Natsuki Takaya, Yun Yun, Yuki and Kyo are popular teenage boys and the objects of love of a group of immature, childish girls. Shaolan and Sakura are the protagonists of Tsubasa: to live their love, they first have to travel across different dimension to collect the “feathers of memory”.

2. KÖVECSES’ CONCEPT OF ROMANTIC LOVE

Kövecses (1986: 61-105) identified LOVE IS A UNITY (OF TWO COMPLEMENTARY PARTS) as central metaphor of the concept of ROMANTIC LOVE. This metaphor is motivated by the supposed similarity between certain love experiences and the unity of two complementary physical, chemical, etc. parts. This implies that ideal love is mutual and equal in degree; concept that is represented as well by the LOVE IS A VALUABLE COMMODITY (IN AN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE) metaphor. The conception of love as UNITY OF TWO COMPLEMENTARY PARTS considers love as some kind of need. This idea is reflected in the metaphor THE OBJECT OF LOVE IS (APPETIZING) FOOD. Nevertheless, we eat appetizing food not only to satisfy a need, but we enjoy it, we like it. LIKING is therefore a related concept to ROMANTIC LOVE. LIKING is not the only emotional concept closely linked to the one of ROMANTIC LOVE. Kövecses describes that ROMANTIC LOVE presupposes, or takes as granted the presence of the concepts of AFFECTION, ENTHUSIASME, INTEREST, INTIMACY, and LIKING. Related on to the concept of ROMANTIC LOVE, but not considered to be inherent to it are DEVOTION and SACRIFICE, and in a looser way FRIENDSHIP, SEXUAL DESIRE, RESPECT, and KINDNESS. Kövecses also identifies a casual relationship between the concepts of LOVE and HAPPINESS.

THE BODY IS A CONTAINER FOR THE EMOTIONS metaphor allows the conceptualization of INTENSITY as AMOUNT, or QUANTITY (INSIDE A CONTAINER). In love, this means that the more fluid there is in the container, the more intense is love. A variation of the CONTAINER metaphor is LOVE IS IN THE HEART, where the heart is a container with blood as a fluid pumping through it; the heart can therefore be considered to be the seat of the emotion of love. The major way of conceptualizing love’s intensity is HEAT. HEAT manifests itself primarily in the LOVE IS FIRE metaphor. The entailments of this metaphor teach us the following thing of the concept of LOVE: since the thing burned is unable to function normally, a person in love is unable to function normally. Another entailment leads us to the concept of EMOTIONAL PAIN, considering that fire can burn us and cause pain. The physical experiences of getting burned by fire structures the emotional pain caused by love.

According to Kövecses (1986:87), following physiological effects are assumed by our folk model to accompany love: increased body heat, increased heart rate, blushing, and interference with accurate perception. Furthermore, the model shows that as love increases, its physiological effects increase and that there is a limit beyond which the physiological effects impair normal functioning, where the metonymic principle implies that the physiological effects of an emotion stand for the emotion.

The lover is considered to be a passive object that undergoes love. The emotion appears to be A NATURAL FORCE, A PHYSICAL FORCE (MAGNETIC, CHEMICAL, GRAVITATIONAL, etc.) or MAGIC. The lack of control of the lover is besides the earlier named metaphor LOVE IS INTERFERENCE WITH ACCURATE PERCEPTION represented by LOVE IS INSANITY and LOVE IS A RAPTURE.

The passivity of the lover in the ideal love model conflicts with different concepts of the typical love model. First of all, it is contradicted by the concept of LOVE IS A HIDDEN OBJECT. Within this concept, love is not coming along; instead we must go out and find it. The concepts of LOVE IS A GAME and LOVE IS WAR confirm the more active role of the lover. Furthermore, the lover doesn’t tolerate his lack of control over love, but fights it: LOVE IS AN OPPONENT. Considering that LOVE IS A CAPTIVE ANIMAL and a BEAST INSIDE A PERSON, and can therefore cause harm to others and to ourselves, to control the emotion of love is primordial.

3. METAPHORS OF ROMANTIC LOVE IN ASTERIX

In this chapter the different metaphors in Asterix will be pointed out, analyzed, also with regard to their creative illustrations, and compared with Kövecses’ data basis of conceptual metaphors of romantic love. First of all the LOVE IS UNITY metaphor will be observed, afterwards THE BODY IS A CONTAINER FOR THE EMOTIONS metaphor, the LOVE IS A HOT FLUID IN A CONTAINER metaphor and as well how the physiological effects of love impair normal functioning. Besides the LOVE IS A COMPETITION metaphor will be taken into account and finally the metaphors of LOVE IS KINDNESS and LOVE IS HAPPINESS.

3.1 LOVE IS UNITY

The central metaphor of the concept of romantic love, LOVE IS UNITY, implies that the lovers are two equal parts, which need each other and can’t live without each other. In “Asterix als Legionär” this metaphor can be found in two different pictures. Figure 1 and 2 is showing Falbala, who is shocked and crying because her fiancé Tragicomix is abducted, and figure 2 shows Obelix crying, because he noticed that Falbala has a fiancé. The grounded metaphor is THE PHYSICAL ABSENCE OF LOVE IS PAIN. The other part is needed to be a “whole”. The indexial signs are open mouth (1/1), wide-open eyes (1/2) and the hand in the face (1/3) for shock and anxiety; crying with the face lying in the hands (figure 2/1) and a sagged Obelix crying in the arms of Asterix (figure 3/1). The bold face and the jagged line in the text balloon as pictorial signals underline this. The bold face letters (figure 3/2) expresses the loudness of the spoken unhappiness. The jagged line (figure 1/4) also aims at the primary effect of expressing loudness and emphasis of Falbala’s disappointment, fear and pain.

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Fig. 1: Falbala. Signs of pain:

(1) open mouth, (2) wide-open eyes, (3) hand in the face, (4) jagged line (from Asterix als Legionär)

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Fig. 2: Falbala, Asterix, Obelix.

Signs of pain: (1) crying with the face in the hands (from Asterix als Legionär)

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Fig. 3: Obelix, Asterix, villager.

Signs of pain: (1) sagged Obelix crying in the arms of Asterix, (2) bold face letters (from Asterix als Legionär)

3.2 THE BODY IS THE CONTAINER FOR EMOTIONS

Furthermore Kövesces identified THE BODY IS A CONTAINER FOR THE EMOTIONS metaphor. A variation of the CONTAINER metaphor is the more basic LOVE IS IN THE HEART, where heart is the seat of the emotion of love. In Asterix we can also find the complementary metaphor UNHAPPY LOVE IS BROKEN HEART. In figure 4/1 and 5/1 Obelix is surrounded by hearts expressing his love as pictorial rune. The hearts are the container of his emotions. This container can be broken when the love is one-sided and thus unhappy (figure 6/1). The unhappy love is furthermore supported by Obelix’s facial expressions. His wide open eyes underline his shock and pain (figure 6/2).

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Fig. 4: Falbala, Asterix, Obelix. Signs of love: (1) hearts around Obelix (from Asterix als Legionär)

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Fig. 5: Asterix, Falbala, Obelix.Signs of love: (1) big heart (from Asterix als Legionär)

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Fig. 6: Asterix, Falbala, Obelix. Signs of unhappy love: (1) broken heart, (2) wide open eyes (from Asterix als Legionär)

3.3 LOVE IS A HOT FLUID IN A CONTAINER

As already mentioned, the major way of conceptualizing love’s intensity is HEAT. HEAT manifests itself primarily in the LOVE IS FIRE metaphor. We can also find this conceptual metaphor in Asterix. According to Kövecses (1986:87), physiological effects like increased body heat or blushing are connected to this LOVE IS FIRE metaphor. In figure 7/1, 8/1 and 9/1 we can see Asterix and Obelix with blushed faces. The wide open eyes (7/2 and 8/2) underline their overheated, congealed body state. In figure 9/2 there are also pictorial runes of smoke above Obelix’s head. It can’t be interpreted as a realistic source in the story and thus has to be the smoke of the already boiling hot fluid in the container, based on THE LOVING PERSON IS A PRESSURIZED CONTAINER metaphor.

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Fig. 7: Tragicomix, Falbala, Asterix. Signs of Love: (1) blushing, (2) wide open eyes (from Asterix als Legionär)

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Fig. 8: Tragicomix, Falbala, Obelix. Signs of love: (1) blushing, (2) wide open eyes (from Asterix als Legionär)

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Fig. 9: Falbala, Obelix. Signs of love:(1) blushing, (2) smoke (from Asterix und Latraviata)

3.4 THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LOVE IMPAIR NORMAL FUNCTIONING

3.4.1 LOVE IS UNCONTROLLED POWER

Furthermore as love increases, its physiological effects increase and these physiological effects impair normal functioning. This conceptual metaphor is illustrated in Asterix in a very creative way. LOVE IS UNCONTROLLED POWER: The strong Obelix loses control of his body and immense power. He is running against trees and so roots them out (figure 10/1) or he is kicking at a tree and so cuts the tree down (figure 11/1). The onomatopoeic use of “Kracks” (fig. 10/2 and 11/2) to visualize the uprooting of trees underlines the intensity of the uncontrolled power.

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Fig. 10: Obelix, Asterix, Falbala, Miraculix. Signs of love: (1) running against trees, (2) onomatopoeia “Kracks” (from Asterix als Legionär)

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Fig. 11: Asterix, Obelix. Signs of love: (1) disrooting trees, (2) onomatopoeia “Kracks” (from Asterix als Legionär)

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Details

Pages
21
Year
2009
ISBN (eBook)
9783656051947
ISBN (Book)
9783656051725
File size
9.3 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v181717
Institution / College
University of Groningen – Faculty of Arts
Grade
1,0
Tags
Metaphors Asterix Manga Conceptual Metaphors Kövecses Lakoff Forceville Romantic Love

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Title: Conceptual Metaphors of Romantic Love in Western Comic and Japanese Manga