Why the Novel Matters

Then he goes on saying that like "a bottle or a jug, or a tin can, or a vessel of clayaE our body bleeds when it is cut. But the difference that sets it apart is the life in the skin, vein, bone or blood this is inside. But in case of other inanimate objects the entities inside are as dead as the outer. "And that's what you learn, when you're a novelistaE quips Lawrence to define the people in this field. So the superficial "logic" of this passage is conspicuously off: to refute the notion that the body is merely a vessel for the soul, he "proves" that skin and bone are just as "alive" as blood is. But the rhetorical play with figurative language is impressive. When Lawrence takes the cliched metaphor and undermines the validity of that metaphor by reducing it to simile ("True, if I cut it will bleed like a can of cherriesaE), he changes the terms of the trope so that the body is no longer a vessel for the soul but a vessel for the "bleedingaE (because the can of cherries literally and figuratively bleeds). When triumphantly he declares that the bones are just as alive as the blood, both o



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