The following is an excerpt taken from a NY Times article dated 14 July 2014 by HELEN T. VERONGOS breaking the news of the Nobel prize-winning novelist Nadine Gordimer’s death (Note: the italics are mine).
“Ms. Gordimer did not originally choose apartheid as her subject as a young writer, she said, but she found it impossible to dig deeply into South African life without striking repression. And once the Afrikaner nationalists came to power there in 1948, the scaffolds of the apartheid system began to rise around her and could not be ignored.”
The digging metaphor is interesting because it takes the idiom “to strike gold” and substitutes “gold” with “repression”, taking us by surprise and making us think. While the construction metaphor paints a vivid picture of the author’s growing political awareness as a physical condition from which she cannot escape. And its visual impact remains with us long after we’ve read the phrase.
Below is the link to the article in full: