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Literary Linguistics and Critical Appreciation - Stylistic analysis of a fragment from novel and an article - Defining style and stylistics

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Introduction

Mihnea Simandan - MA ELL (2nd year) Literary Linguistics and Critical Appreciation Stylistic analysis of a fragment from novel and an article Defining style and stylistics Style is the author's careful choice of words and arrangement of words, sentences, and paragraphs to produce a specific effect on the reader. Style allows the author to shape how the reader experiences the work. For example, one writer may use simple words and straightforward sentences, while another may use difficult vocabulary and elaborate sentence structures. Even if the themes of both works are similar, the differences in the authors' styles make the experiences of reading the two works distinct. An author's style evolves out of the chosen point-of-view technique. The omniscient point of view produces a relatively complex style; the first-person point of view results in a simple style if it is recorded as "spoken," more complex if written; and third-person point of view generates a style that typically is slightly elevated above the intelligence level of the focal character. Style can be broken down into three types: simple, complex, and mid-style. Sometimes authors carry a single style throughout an entire work. Other times, the style may vary within a novel. For example, if the novelist tells a story through the eyes of several different characters, the use of different styles may give each character a distinctive voice. A simple style uses common words and simple sentences, even if the situation described is complex. The effect of the simple style can be to present facts to the reader without appealing to the reader's emotions directly. Instead, the writer relies on the facts themselves to affect the reader. American author Ernest Hemingway is widely known for a spare, economical style that nevertheless provokes an emotional reaction. A complex style uses long, elaborate sentences that contain many ideas and descriptions. The writer uses lyrical passages to create the desired mood in the reader, whether it be one of joy, sadness, confusion, or any other emotion. ...read more.

Middle

But it is within the text that I could fully use the schema I have about the author and his place of origin. The text is cohesive because there are ties and connections that bind the sentences together. There are connections present in the text in the use of pronouns, which are used to maintain reference via anaphora to the same people and things: I - I - my. Almost all the sentences have reverence to the personal pronoun 'I', thus making the sentences cohesive. There are lexical connections such as Saturday night - that night - in the night or shadowy figure - a man - his back - his body. The more general connections are created by a number of terms which share a common element of meaning, like 'house': door - room - doorway - counterpane, or 'light': shadowy - dim - lamplight - half-light - darken. There are also connectors which mark the relationship of what follows to what went before: but, however. The verb tenses in the text are mainly in the past, due to fact that it is a story that narrates something that happened in the past, thus creating a connection between those events. The are a few interpolations of verbs in the present tense (e.g. 'I do not know what...'), the present perfect tense (e.g. 'Like a man who has been suddenly...') and future (e.g. 'Tomorrow, I will make up my mind...') caused by general truths, actions that continue their effect in the present, and, respectively, the use of reported speech. Analyzing all these cohesive links within the text gives us an insight into how the writer structured what he wanted to say. These links are one of the factors that counted in my judgement when I decided that the text is well-written in a complex style. But we have to remember that the text we are analyzing is a translation, and the conventions of cohesive structure might differ from one language to another, in our case from Japanese to English. ...read more.

Conclusion

In order to make his article more authoritative, the writer clusters quotes from different sources: experts like the head of the FBI's office in Bucharest, the Chief Inspector of Romanian's national police, and Romanian lawmakers and programmers; reports of the US-based Internet Fraud Complaint Centre, of the National White Collar Crime Centre, and of Romanian data securing companies. These quotes have the purpose of giving the article an official stance. They are artfully blended within the text of the article so as the reader might believe that officials also share the stated opinions. The writer uses three verifiable examples of frauds committed by Romanian hackers that stand to support the general concern regarding this topic. As Romanian I do not agree with the opinions expressed in the article. I do not question the few facts presented, but I am positively sure that the writer has no idea what Romanian culture, history and tradition really means. Regardless of my feelings, the article was masterfully written in a complex style, that definitely persuades the unadvised reader. Conclusions In this paper I have examined multiple motives for the stylistic choices in the two sample texts. Taken all together, these motives produce an effect far more impressive and moving than any description of the same scene or topic in ordinary, careless style. Since the scene in the novel occurs at the most important moment of the novel, and the topic of the article has a large interest, the impact of the two texts comes greatly into effect. The authors chose a complex style in the hope that they would keep the scene or the topic clearly in the readers' memory. Stylistic analysis is practiced as a part of understanding the possible meanings in a text. It is a useful discipline which encourages logical and creative thought and can be transferred to many other areas of academic study, such as discourse analysis or critical reading. The fact that stylistic analysis can be applied to a large variety of texts, as shown above, makes it a useful and important discipline. ...read more.

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