Currents

Water Metaphors in Readicide

In Chapter 3 of Gallagher’s Readicide, I’m struck by the numerous water metaphors he uses.  He believes that one of the main causes of readicide in school is the tsunami of  slice and dice curriculum guide approaches to teaching reading.  As an alternative, he believes that we should prove opportunities for students to engage in the flow of reading.  One way to encourage this flow is through a topic flood (81); that is, providing students with a packet of current events articles related to one of the main topics of the literary work.  In the previous chapter, he encouraged teachers to provide a book flood zone (52) of high-interest reading.  He even uses the metaphor of the pool springboard when discussing the values of connecting current events to selected texts, such as To Kill a Mockingbird (67).

While I haven’t seen him use the metaphors “drowning” and “life preserver” yet, these are implicit metaphors in his argument.    I’m curious why he would think that “flood” is a positive metaphor.  Obviously, he is thinking of positive reading as immersion, but flood has quite negative connotations and may work against his argument for some readers.  It also seems odd that the answer to a tsunami is a flood.  One is clearly connected to the ocean, and perhaps the other he is connecting to rivers and rain, which is related to flow more easily.