<1THE MOTIVE FOR METAPHOR>1
For the past twenty-five years I have been teaching and studying
English literature in a university. As in any other job, certain
questions stick in one's mind, not because people keep asking
them, but because they're the questions inspired by the very fact
of being in such a place. What good is the study of literature?
Does it help us to think more clearly, or feel more sensitively, or
live a better life than we could without it? What is the function
of the teacher and scholar, or of the person who calls himself, as
I do, a literary critic? What difference does the study of litera-
ture make in our social or political or religious attitude? In my
early days I thought very little about such questions, not because
I had any of the answers, but because I assumed that anybody
who asked them was naive. I think now that the simplest ques-
tions are not only the hardest to answer, but the most important
to ask, so I'm Going to raise them and try to suggest what my . . .