- Embodied identity in werewolf films of the 1980s
- Image & Narrative
- Volume | Issue number
- 15 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
The Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) fathered by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson claims that human beings do not just use metaphor in language, but actually think metaphorically. An important tenet in the theory is that ABSTRACT concepts are systematically understood in terms of CONCRETE phenomena. These latter are characterized by being accessed via sensory perception and bodily movement. For this reason, CMT is also known as a theory of "embodied cognition." In order to further investigate the ramifications of the theory and its consequences, it is crucial that conceptual metaphors are examined not just in purely verbal discourses, but also in multimodal ones, such as films. In this paper, we argue that the genre of werewolf films, a highly "embodied" film genre, draws systematically on a conceptual metaphor that can be verbalized as DEVIANT IDENTITY IS TRANSFORMED BODY. We discuss five specimens of the genre, showing that each film emphasizes different aspects of the "deviant identity." The findings will benefit both (werewolf) film theory and conceptual metaphor theory.
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