What are the major metaphors in the poem "How Beastly the Bourgeois Is?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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A metaphor is a comparison made between two, typically, unlike things.

In D. H. Lawrence's poem, "How Beastly the Bourgeois Is," the poet makes many comparisons between the bourgeois and other things. (On a side note, a bourgeois is member of the middle class.)

In the poem itself, the metaphors which exist are as follows.

1.

Presentable, eminently presentable--
shall I make you a present of him?

Here, the male bourgeois is compared to a present which can be given to the reader.

2.

watch him go soggy, like a wet meringue.

Here, the man is compared to a meringue. While a simile (a comparison using "like" or "as") is used to solidify the metaphor, the comparison still exists. It is the explanation which takes away from the true existence of a metaphor.

3.

Nicely groomed, like a mushroom
standing there so sleek and erect and eyeable--
and like a fungus, living on the remains of a bygone life
sucking his life out of the dead leaves of greater life
   than his own.

Again, a simile begins the comparison, but once the initial simile is provided, the remainder of the stanza is metaphorical. Once determined to be a mushroom, the comparison is extended though the deepening description of the man to the mushroom.
This extended metaphor continues through the next two stanzas (where the man is continually compared to a mushroom--inside and out).

Sources:

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