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overcame all impediments to scholarship. 5. The merchant has gone into bankruptcy. 6. A rupture of the friendly relations between England and America is feared. 7. This exercise is superfluous. 8. The people congregated for worship. 9. Thorough mastery of this point will expedite our future study. 10. He is the candidate for the office of governor. 11. She was astonished at the news. 12. He is a desultory reader. 13. The kettle boils. 14. He has read Homer and Virgil. 15. The harbor is crowded with masts. 16. The skies are painted with unnumbered sparks. 17. Their ranks are breaking like clouds before a Biscay gale. 18. “ Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll.
Leave thy low vaulted past,
Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea.” While in every figure two objects of thought are brought into the same conception, this fact alone does not make the thought figurative. The thought becomes figurative only when the imagination presents a relation between the two objects which the literal judgment contradicts. The imagination substitutes its own relations for the relations of the understanding. In the statement “ The kettle boils,” we have the two objects, kettle and water, the former suggesting the latter. The judgment pronounces this statement untrue — that the kettle does not boil; whereupon water is suggested and the judgment satisfied and the truth maintained. The imagination presents us with “ The morning of life”; but the judgment says that life has no morning; this belongs only to the day. “The buttercup catches the sun in his chalice.” The judgment is startled at such announcement, and goes into a dissertation on the absorption of certain rays of light and the reflection of others. But the imagination is delighted with the beautiful truth discerned in this action of the buttercup.
The imagination declares that “ His hands dangled a mile out of his sleeves”; whereupon the judgment is astonished at this bold disregard for truth. Note how, in the foregoing stanza from the “Chambered Nautilus,” the imagination assumes relations which lie outside those of the understanding. There is no antagonism in this, no opposition of truths; for the imaginative relation is simply a higher order of truth, and the judgment must yield supremacy when it comes to the limit of its own territory.
Thus a figure of thought is produced by the imagina. tion substituting objects out of the logical relations of the judgment. Figures must, therefore, divide themselves on the basis of the relation which the object presented by the imagination bears to the object held by the judgment. These relations are those of association, of comparison, and of contrast, giving rise to three classes of figures of the same name. To express an idea more effectively the imagination substitutes, against the truth required by the judgment, some more easily grasped or striking object which customarily forms a part of the same mental state with the object to be expressed. Such association is the ground on which the substitution is permitted, the purpose of it being more effective expression. Or, the imagination substitutes an object bearing an imagined resemblance, against the logical differences, to the object to be expressed, the judgment admitting the resemblance when the imagination points it out. This resemblance is the ground of the substitution, the purpose again being to present more clearly
Again, the imagination substitutes for the object to be expressed an object as if in unity with it, which the judgment holds to be in utter opposition. In the preceding, the judgment had not opposed the objects, had simply not noted their resemblance in the ordinary logical movement of thought, but sanctions it as soon as the imagination brings it to light. The most strained substitution and the boldest effort of the imagination is that in which the objects having irreconcilable differences are conceived as in unity, one being substituted for the other. This contrast, however, is the ground of the substitution, while the purpose is to charge the language with more power than accompanies literal speech. The ascending order of activity on the part of the imagination in making the foregoing substitutions is obvious. And this falls in fairly well with the ascending order of figures as to purpose — figures promoting clearness, elegance, and energy; the highest effort of the imagination producing energy, while the lowest, least diverging from the judgment, securing clearness.
Figures of Association. A figure of association is a figure of thought in which one idea is put in the form of another which is associated with it as a part of the same mental state. A
of ideas under their logical relations. When two ideas have been associated in the mind as purpose and means. substance and attribute, whole and part, in time and place, and as cause and effect, one of them, when mentioned, will suggest the other. When one says, “A sail ahead,” the idea sail calls up the idea ship, because the mind is accustomed to associate the sail with the ship. “The palace should not spurn the cottage.” In this the idea palace brings to mind the wealthy people who are commonly associated in the mind with palaces; the idea cottage, for the same reason, recalls the poor who inhabit them. When we say that he is a slave to the cup, the contents of the cup is readily supplied; and “ The pen is mightier than the sword” readily suggests intelligence, on the one hand, and the physical force of armies, on the other. In each case the imagination presents, against truth relations, the more definite, conspicuous, and impressive object, trusting the judgment to perceive the real intent through the substitution of the real object in thought.
For practical purposes, the relations under which objects are associated may be grouped into two: internal relations and relations of external accompaniment. The first gives rise to the figure named Synecdoche; the second to the figure named Metonymy.
Synecdoche. — This is a figure of association in which something more or something less is directly expressed than is intended to be conveyed. A Synecdoche expresses figuratively what differs “from the original meaning of the word in degree, and not in kind.”
This figure is based on the inner relations which constitute the object; namely, whole and part, and substance and attribute.
Most Synecdoches are based on the relation of whole and part, and usually the part is named to suggest the whole; as, A sail ahead! conveying the idea of a ship by the use of one of its parts. In this case there is given a part of an individual; sometimes an individual is named instead of a class; as, “ A Daniel, a second Daniel come to judgment!” conveying the idea of the class of wise interpreters of the law. Also, the species may be given for the genera; as, “Give us this day our daily bread,” that is, food. By naming a part for the whole, there is secured the gain that belongs to all concrete and specific expression. When it is said that the redcoats are fleeing, the expression is specific and striking, and the object more easily pictured than if it were said that the soldiers are fleeing. The part named may also be more suggestive from some relation it has to the end in view; as, All hands to the pump. — She gave her heart and hand. — “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings!”
Sometimes the whole is named to suggest the part; but this is a rare figure, being contrary to the principle of economy of attention, which requires the concrete and specific rather than the abstract and the general. It sometimes happens, however, that the mention of the whole gives emphasis to the part; as, “the Roman world” impresses the mind with its vastness and importance more than to say the Roman Empire. The