What does that mean? 你真的瞭解這個慣用語嗎?
Imagery buries itself in language and takes on new meaning. The transplanted and transformed sets of words are called “figures of speech.” For a figure of speech to be effective, however, a writer must first understand the original meaning of the phrase. The following sentence contains a common figure of speech. Its original meaning is explained.

“The war hardened those who survived it, with any actual hero an accidental one and The Grim Reaper seemingly everywhere, grimly harvesting his exhausted crop of souls.”

The Grim Reaper image of death dates from the bubonic plague of the 14th century that killed millions of people around the world. In dealing with such an enormous loss of human life, some artists turned death into a sinister, skeletal presence in a loose-fitting robe that employed a scythe as a weapon to end the lives of human beings. It was a more gruesome representation of the macabre than was practiced by, say, the Norse culture, which portrayed death as beautiful women. Some other cultures speak of angels appearing to call home the souls of people.

It is not surprising that the writer of this passage called upon the image of The Grim Reaper to illustrate the wholesale death of the battlefield. After awhile, war carnage becomes impersonal to those who are in close proximity to it and The Grim Reaper is anything but personal. Also, it is appropriate to use this image because war is fought with weapons and the scythe is a wicked one and can be utilized to “grimly harvest” victims in bunches, just as modern weapons of war do. The Grim Reaper is cliché, of course; an original allusion or image would have been better yet.

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