AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 4, Number3. August  2020                                   Pp. 66-73

Metaphorical Language in Best-Selling Books: Byrne’s The Secret, the Power book as a Case Study

English Department, Faculty of Arts
Philadelphia University, Amman, Jordan


In this paper, an attempt is made to study the metaphorical language used in one of the best-selling books, The Secret, the Power by Rhonda Byrne (2010). A lot of literature has been made on analyzing metaphors in different genres, yet how metaphorical language is employed in best-selling books gained little attention from discourse analysts, so this study comes to fill this gap in the literature. The purpose of this paper is to focus on this crucial field of written discourse and best-selling books in particular. It will investigate the linguistic techniques which are employed in a way to persuade the audience to change their behavior or ideas and adopt new ones, especially the use of metaphorical expressions and storytelling. Metaphors will be analyzed according to Lakoff & Johnson’s (1980) perspective of metaphorical expressions and the “Speech Act Theory” proposed by Austin (1962) and Searle (1969). The paper concludes that metaphorical language is an integral part and pervasive in Byrne’s writing style. She uses metaphorical expressions to deliver her message indirectly to convince the audience to adopt her ideas to call them for action. The analysis shows that storytelling is also employed by the author as a rhetorical device to persuade the audience of her thoughts.

Cite as:

Amaireh, H. A. (2020). Metaphorical Language in Best-Selling Books: Byrne’s The Secret, the Power book as a Case Study. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 4 (3) 66-73.


Amaireh, H. (2013). A Rhetorical Analysis of the English Speeches of Queen Rania of Jordan. Ph.D. thesis. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University.

Andersen, C. (2008). The Obama Phenomenon: A comparative rhetorical analysis. MA. Thesis. Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.

Austin, J. (1962). How to do things with words. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Byrne, R. (2010). The Secret, the Power. London: Simon & Schuster.

Goatly, A. (2008). Corpus linguistics, systemic functional grammar and literary meaning: a critical analysis of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Ilha do Desterro: A Journal of English Language, Literatures in English and Cultural Studies, (46), 115-154.

Guanio-Uluru, L. (2015). Female Focalizers and Masculine Ideals: Gender as Performance in Twilight and the Hunger Games. Children’s Literature in Education47(3), 209-224.

Hnatkovska, O. (2018). The Syntax of Unreliable Narrators’ I-Utterances In Gone Girl By G. Flynn.  Linguaculture (1), 1-15.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. London: Prentice-Hall international.

Putri, A., & Budiarsa, M. (2018). The Analysis of Deixis in the Novel The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Humanis22(3), 697-703.

Searle, J. (1969). Speech Acts. London: Cambridge University Press.

Wales, K. (2001). A Dictionary of Stylistics (2nd ed.). London: Pearson Education limited.


https://www.thesecret.tv/about/rhonda-byrnes-biography/. Retrieved: June 3, 2019.


Dr. Hanan Ali Amaireh is an Assistant Professor. She has been teaching English Language and
Linguistics at the English Department, Faculty of Arts at Philadelphia University, Jordan since
2013. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, specializing in
Discourse Analysis. Her research interests include: Political discourse analysis, discourse and
gender, and discourse and media.