We use metaphors in our speeches surely more often than we realize.
The word “metaphor” itself might be considered a metaphor, since it comes from ancient Greek and means “To transfer”, “To carry across”, which is transferring a meaning from one image or concept to another one.
Many people, after the dramatic episode of the cruise ship which sank against the rocks of an Italian small island one week ago, interpreted it as a metaphor of the present economic and social situation of Italy and maybe of the whole Europe.
The images of the metallic whales aground have been displayed by wold media and there are those who have managed to find all possible coincidences in a slightly morbid way (the Costa cruise boat sank in 2012 and Titanic sank in 1912. It was on Friday the 13th of January and Italians and many other western people consider Friday 13 as a particularly ill-omened date. One of the passengers is the great-grandchild of two people who actually were on Titanic. Someone claims that Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On - the theme song from the film Titanic was playing at the moment of the collision against the rocks…) Also this reaction to find always coincidences in certain events, without paying attention to the huger lack of coincidences might be considered another metaphor.
I think, personally, that all these enormous floating holiday villages, are metaphors in all ways, not necessarily when one of them is on the news for a tragic accident – luckily they are usually safe and accidents are very rare.
I have taken a few cruises (never for my own choice, it was to keep company and for other reasons) so I can base my impression on a direct experience.
I know I sound once again like a contrarian or even like a snobbish person, but I consider cruises boats like a melancholy metaphor of mass tourism, where people are treated a little like big children, pampered in a kind of superficially flashy luxurious environment, which is basically a fake, like the Princesses’ castles of theme parks. All rituals are reiterated, repeated exactly the same in every cruise and proposed with false enthusiasm and in some cases nearly compulsory.
But the spirit of travelling, in its individual essence is lost for me.
I don’t want to allow my polemic side to overwhelm the lucidity of my judgement and I know the majority of people who have already taken a cruise boat will totally disagree with me.
Luckily we can still choose what we feel like doing in our free time as entertainment.
I speak only for myself and I take the whole responsibility for my point of view with all its limits.
I took this photo in Venice when suddenly the big metallic whale, the floating hotel covered with lights appeared at sunset parading mightily over the heart of the lagoon, among the historical enchanting buildings.
So the passengers could say they had seen Venice too….from the decks.
I felt suddenly and probably irrationally sad.