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A Study of Plants in A Dream of Red Mansions from Perspective of Multimodal Metaphor

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DOI: 10.25236/ichess.2023.029


Yujue Gao, Rongjuan Duan

Corresponding Author

Rongjuan Duan


Multimodal metaphor develops fast based on conceptual metaphor theory, and it is deeply rooted in humans’ thoughts and actions. Besides, multiple modalities play great roles in representing metaphor domains, mapping between domains and constructing metaphorical meanings. A Dream of Red Mansions is named as a “Metaphor Kingdom” because of its abundant metaphors, providing rich materials for the study of multimodal metaphors. This paper collects 38 descriptions of plants in A Dream of Red Mansions as source domains, and then concludes the classifications of target domains and analyses multimodal metaphor process through deconstruction, code and recombination by using multimodal metaphor blending theory. It is found that multimodal metaphor target domains can be mainly classified in four types: personality metaphors, destiny metaphors, emotion metaphors and relationship metaphors. This study is of great significance to not only promote “Redology” and A Dream of Red Mansions to the world, but also create a new method to interpret plant metaphors.


Multimodal Metaphor, Dream of Red Mansions, Plants