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With one extract of your choice, examine how the author uses aspects of real everyday talk in their dialogue.

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Introduction

With one extract of your choice, examine how the author uses aspects of real everyday talk in their dialogue. This extract of Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding takes place at a party, which in the story, Bridget had been informed was a 'Tarts and Vicars' party. This shows that the conversation is very much public as there are a number of other people around, including the 3 people in the conversation, Bridget, her Aunt Una and Uncle Geoff. The relationship between the speakers is familial yet distant. The language used is very much formal language, despite the informal setting, portraying the upper-middle class the characters are from. This style of language, in this situation particularly, can also show unease, as Bridget has been ridiculed and it is Una's fault. This mirrors everyday talk very well, as people often use a more formal tone when faced with a difficult situation such as this. Una has the most turns in the extract, and also appears to have the power, as she sets the agenda at the beginning of the extract with the line 'Bridget!! ...read more.

Middle

The style of the language in the extract is very much colloquial and light hearted, while still using Standard English 'Didn't you telephone Bridget?'. The line 'Super to see you' is jovial, portraying characteristics yet the connotations around the word 'super' are still of a very upper class sociolect. Geoffrey also uses a number of rhetorical questions, such as 'That's not a very good excuse, is it?' and 'How are we going to get you married off at this rate?' The latter of these two examples is intended as a rhetorical question, yet Bridget answers, albeit to herself. Bridget is quite blunt in this extract, adding to her emotions and character to show her awkwardness. The use of the fillers 'you see' and 'oh dear' by Una when explaining the situation to Bridget emphasise again her squirming nature. The pace of this extract is quite fast, as the majority of sentences are short and snappy. However, the longer turn by Una towards the end of the extract is quite a complex sentence, as she is trying to excuse the fact that the party theme changed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Uncle Geoffrey I drunk, as the paralinguistic features tell us, and his sing-songy tone 'How's-my-little-Bridget?' implies he may be talking to a young girl, when in fact Bridget is not, or that he still views his niece as a child. The conversation flows quite well, although when Geoffrey replies to his wife 'Yup, yup.....' he flouts Grice's maxim of relevance in an attempt to be humorous. It could also be seen that when Una says 'Oh dear, didn't Geoff call you?' that she is going against Leech's tact maxim as It is clear to her that he can't have been in contact with Bridget. In conclusion, Fielding has portrayed a very realistic approach to dialogue in attempting to make it mirror real everyday talk. However, as this speech is all pre-determined as it is written in a book, then it is all for a reason, in this case showing Bridget, the main character up in an embarrassing situation. Fielding has clearly addressed all aspects of 'real' talk in her dialogue to make it seem more realistic and therefore having a stronger impact on the reader. ...read more.

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