Metaphor as Technology



Assignment 1

Read through the account of a woman's possession, "A True and most dreadfull Discourse." Write a paragraph describing in your own words what is wrong with Margaret Cooper. Analyze the metaphors at work in your paragraph: strange actions or behavior = ____________ what? Circle the words in your paragraph that rely upon that metaphor or model for thinking about strangeness. Now, print out a copy of the "Discourse." Look in it for the words you circled in your paragraph. Are they there? If not, what words are used in this sixteenth-century text to explain Margaret's behavior? Circle them. What metaphor or model do they rely upon for thinking about strange behavior? What's the difference between these two sets of metaphors? What different actions would you take?


Assignment 2

In The Three Faces of Eve, Eve, played by Joanne Woodward, is described as having an illness known as Multiple Personality Disorder. If she had been ill in Early Modern England (1500-1700), she would have been described as possessed by the devil. Read the account of a woman's possession, "A True and most dreadfull Discourse." What's the difference between thinking about a person's unusual behavior as a disease (strange actions = illness) and thinking about it as a spiritual problem (strange actions = possession)? Write about the consequences of each metaphorical equation: do we treat Eve differently than we do Margaret Cooper? do we hold them accountable in different ways? Would Ian Hacking say that the writer of "A True and Most Dreadfull Discourse" is wrong and the writer of The Three Faces of Eve is right about what truly afflicts these women? If not, why not?