Life Is A River Extended Metaphor Essay

Comparing Metaphors in Norman Maclean's, A River Runs Through It and Henry David Thoreau's, Walden

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Comparing Metaphors in Norman Maclean's, A River Runs Through It and Henry David Thoreau's, Walden

In Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, the author recounts the story of his early life growing up in Montana. The narrative revolves around his family and the art of fly fishing. Through the novel, Maclean begins to understand the wisdom of his father, the fierce independence and downfall of his brother, and the divinity and beauty of nature. A similar theme regarding divinity in nature is found in Henry David Thoreau's Walden. Building his own cabin and supplying his own food, Thoreau spends two years living alone beside Walden Pond. Thoreau recognizes nature as the "highest reality"(265) and the intrinsic work of "the Builder of…show more content…

Thoreau reflects similar ideas in his description of Walden Pond, which serves as a kind of mirror for Thoreau's life. He determines the depth of Walden in several places and relates this to a man's character. He proposes that one could "draw lines through the aggregate of a man's particular daily behaviors and waves of life into his coves and inlets, and where they intersect will be the height or depth of his character"(319). Thoreau goes as far to say that one can approximate a person's depth of character by simply examining his surroundings. He states that a man with "mountainous circumstances . . . suggests a corresponding depth in him"(320) while "a low and smooth shore proves him shallow"(320). In addition, Thoreau describes "the life in us like the water in the river"(350). He expounds on this idea of water flowing down a river just as men's lives progress and flow. When the water runs its course and life comes to an end, Thoreau implies that a mark and memory remain as "far the inland bank which the stream anciently washed"(350). Maclean's concluding remarks are strikingly similar and exemplify Thoreau's belief. In the end, Maclean has outlived his family and friends but believes he can still hear their voices through the river. He writes, "Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's greatest flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time . . . . Under the rocks are the words, and some of the

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I have amassed a collection of life metaphors. Some were personally authored by me, and some I obtained from the net and other sources. The comparisons of life to things and objects are very intersting to note and if you have other ideas please free to add one. Thanks. Have fun reading!

Life is like a seed. It will never grow unless planted and nourished.

Life is like a river. With all its bends and rapid falls, one must follow the right path or else you'll lost your way to the sea.

Life is like a box of chocolates. You'll never know what you're going to get.

Life is like a bagel. It's delicious when it's fresh and warm, but often it's just hard. The hole is the middle is its great mystery, and yet it wouldn't be a bagel without it.

Life is like eating grapefruit. First you have to break through the skin; then it takes a couple of bites to get used to the taste, and just as you begin to enjoy it, it squirts you in the eye.

Life is like a banana. You start out green and get soft and mushy with age. Some people want to be one of the bunch while others want to be top banana. You have to take care not to slip on externals. And, finally, you you have to strip off the outer coating to get at the meat.

Life is like cooking. It all depends on what you add and how you mix it. Sometimes you follow the recipe and at other times, you're creative.

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle, but you don't have the picture on the front of the box to know what it's supposed to look like. Sometimes, you're not even sure if you've got all the pieces.

Life is like a maze in which you try to avoid the exit.

Life is like riding an elevator. It has a lot of ups and downs and someone is always pushing your buttons. Sometimes you get the shaft, but what really bothers you are the jerks.

Life is like a room full of open doors that close as you get older.

Life is like a puppy dog always searching for a street full of fire hydrants.

Life is like a poker game. You deal or are dealt to. It includes skill and luck. You bet, check, bluff, and raise. You learn from those you play with. Sometimes you win with a pair or lose with a full house. But whatever happens, it's best to keep on shuffling along.

Life is like a novel. You are the author and everyday is a new page.

Life is like photography. We develop from negatives.

Life is like money. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.

Life is like an onion. You peel off layer after layer and sometimes you weep.

Life is like a whisper. If you only try and stop wailing you'll suddenly realize that it is there.

Life is like a pencil. You can be sharpened, you can correct mistakes, and you can leave a mark.

These last two are not really metaphors but kinda love including them in the list. I figured I don't have anywhere to post them but here. They are just spurt of the moment ideas...

Life is crazy, but only for those who have no plans for it.

Life is unfair if you don't have the wisdom to understand it.

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