The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

What metaphors are used in The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman?

Asked by
Last updated by Cat
1 Answers
Log in to answer

n Chapter 2, a young Hmong man's story of fish soup is used as a metaphor for the way the Hmong see the world. The man was supposed to give a five-minute oral report in French. Instead, he spoke for 45 minutes about Fish Soup, explaining how to make the soup you first have to go fishing, find the proper hook, and so on. He added anecdotes of his own fishing experience and descriptions of how to clean, cut up, and cook various kinds of fish. The French professor noted that the story reflected "the essence of the Hmong" (12), as they believe that "the world is full of things that may not seem to be connected but actually are; that no event occurs in isolation; [and] that you can miss a lot by sticking to the point" (13). For this reason, Fadiman begins the tragic story of Lia Lee by recounting the history of the Hmong people.