When Tara Westover said that as an author she can hide behind words, I knew exactly what she meant. It’s easy to use figurative language to suggest an idea and then let the reader bring what they will to it. In this way, we as authors invite individual interpretations of universal themes.
It may seem like we are saying something particular, but in truth by using metaphors and other rhetorical devices we only offer a suggestion. Then the reader embellishes. We have hidden what we really think or how we really feel in this way, especially if we aren’t even sure ourselves.
I sat in on a discussion of Educated, Tara Westover’s memoir, at our local library and watched as various participants presented Tara’s work as evidence of various positions on the nature of evil, power, and denial of the past.
I love how powerful words are.