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The purpose of this assignment is to assess your understanding of the literary device called “Point of View” (The perspective from which a story is narrated.)
 Reading : A Chapter 7 Style and point of view.  Page 26 & B Chapter 7 Approaches to point of view. Page 77

Answer the following questions. 
I. Read the topic entitled “Point of View” in Unit 7 (Week 9) and read the attached short story entitled “Cat in the Rain” by Ernest Hemingway, then answer the following questions. (3 Points) 
1- Was the short story told in the First, Second, or Third Person? 
2- What pronouns does the narrator use to refer to the characters?
3- Is the narrator’s point of view reliable or unreliable? Explain.
II. Imagine that the short story was told from a different point of view, then answer the following questions. (2 Points)
1- What would change in the story? Would the readers gain new knowledge from the new point of view? Explain. 
2- Would the readers feel differently about one or more of the characters if the story was told from a different point of view? Why or why not?

ENG 380 Stylistics

Assignment 2 (5 points)

CRN:

Name:

Student ID:

Level:

Purpose:

The purpose of this assignment is to assess your understanding of the literary device called “Point of View” (The perspective from which a story is narrated.).

Answer the following questions. (5 Points)

I.

Read the topic entitled “Point of View” in Unit 7 (Week 9) and read the attached short story entitled “Cat in the Rain” by Ernest Hemingway, then answer the following questions.

(3 Points)

1- Was the short story told in the First, Second, or Third Person?

2- What pronouns does the narrator use to refer to the characters?

3- Is the narrator’s point of view reliable or unreliable? Explain.

II.

Imagine that the short story was told from a different point of view, then answer the following questions.

(2 Points)

1- What would change in the story? Would the readers gain new knowledge from the new point of view? Explain.

2- Would the readers feel differently about one or more of the characters if the story was told from a different point of view? Why or why not?

Answer

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With My Best Wishes

1

Ernest Hemingway – ‘Cat in the Rain’

There were only two Americans stopping at the hotel. They did not know any of the people they passed on
the stairs on their way to and from their room. Their room was on the second floor facing the sea. It also faced
the public garden and the war monument. There were big palms and green benches in the public garden.

In the good weather there was always an artist with his easel. Artists liked the way the palms grew and the
bright colors of the hotels facing the gardens and the sea.

Italians came from a long way off to look up at the war monument. It was made of bronze and glistened in
the rain. It was raining. The rain dripped from the palm trees. Water stood in pools on the gravel paths. The sea
broke in a long line in the rain and slipped back down the beach to come up and break again in a long line in the
rain. The motor cars were gone from the square by the war monument. Across the square in the doorway of the
café a waiter stood looking out at the empty square.

The American wife stood at the window looking out. Outside right under their window a cat was crouched
under one of the dripping green tables. The cat was trying to make herself so compact that she would not be
dripped on.

‘I’m going down and get that kitty,’ the American wife said.

‘I’ll do it,’ her husband offered from the bed.

‘No, I’ll get it. The poor kitty out trying to keep dry under a table.’

The husband went on reading, lying propped up with the two pillows at the foot of the bed.

‘Don’t get wet,’ he said.

The wife went downstairs and the hotel owner stood up and bowed to her as she passed the office. His desk
was at the far end of the office. He was an old man and very tall.

‘Il piove,1’the wife said. She liked the hotel-keeper.

‘Si, Si, Signora, brutto tempo2. It is very bad weather.’

He stood behind his desk in the far end of the dim room. The wife liked him. She liked the deadly serious
way he received any complaints. She liked his dignity. She liked the way he wanted to serve her. She liked the
way he felt about being a hotel-keeper. She liked his old, heavy face and big hands.

Liking him she opened the door and looked out. It was raining harder. A man in a rubber cape was crossing
the empty square to the café. The cat would be around to the right. Perhaps she could go along under the eaves.
As she stood in the doorway an umbrella opened behind her. It was the maid who looked after their room.

‘You must not get wet,’ she smiled, speaking Italian. Of course, the hotel-keeper had sent her.

With the maid holding the umbrella over her, she walked along the gravel path until she was under their
window. The table was there, washed bright green in the rain, but the cat was gone. She was suddenly
disappointed. The maid looked up at her.

‘Ha perduto qualque cosa, Signora?’3

‘There was a cat,’ said the American girl.

‘A cat?’

‘Si, il gatto.’

‘A cat?’ the maid laughed. ‘A cat in the rain?’

‘Yes, –’ she said, ‘under the table.’ Then, ‘Oh, I wanted it so much. I wanted a kitty.’

When she talked English the maid’s face tightened.

‘Come, Signora,’ she said. ‘We must get back inside. You will be wet.’

‘I suppose so,’ said the American girl.

1 ‘It’s raining.’
2 ‘Yes, yes Madam. Awful weather.’
3 ‘Have you lost something, Madam?’

They went back along the gravel path and passed in the door. The maid stayed outside to close the umbrella.
As the American girl passed the office, the padrone bowed from his desk. Something felt very small and tight
inside the girl. The padrone made her feel very small and at the same time really important. She had a
momentary feeling of being of supreme importance. She went on up the stairs. She opened the door of the room.
George was on the bed, reading.

‘Did you get the cat?’ he asked, putting the book down.

‘It was gone.’

‘Wonder where it went to,’ he said, resting his eyes from reading.

She sat down on the bed.

‘I wanted it so much,’ she said. ‘I don’t know why I wanted it so much. I wanted that poor kitty. It isn’t any
fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain.’

George was reading again.

She went over and sat in front of the mirror of the dressing table looking at herself with the hand glass. She
studied her profile, first one side and then the other. Then she studied the back of her head and her neck.

‘Don’t you think it would be a good idea if I let my hair grow out?’ she asked, looking at her profile again.

George looked up and saw the back of her neck, clipped close like a boy’s.

‘I like it the way it is.’

‘I get so tired of it,’ she said. ‘I get so tired of looking like a boy.’

George shifted his position in the bed. He hadn’t looked away from her since she started to speak.

‘You look pretty darn nice,’ he said.

She laid the mirror down on the dresser and went over to the window and looked out. It was getting dark.

‘I want to pull my hair back tight and smooth and make a big knot at the back that I can feel,’ she said. ‘I
want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her.’

‘Yeah?’ George said from the bed.

‘And I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles. And I want it to be spring and I want to
brush my hair out in front of a mirror and I want a kitty and I want some new clothes.’

‘Oh, shut up and get something to read,’ George said. He was reading again.

His wife was looking out of the window. It was quite dark now and still raining in the palm trees.

‘Anyway, I want a cat,’ she said, ‘I want a cat. I want a cat now. If I can’t have long hair or any fun, I can
have a cat.’

George was not listening. He was reading his book. His wife looked out of the window where the light had
come on in the square.

Someone knocked at the door.

‘Avanti,’ George said. He looked up from his book.

In the doorway stood the maid. She held a big tortoiseshell cat pressed tight against her and swung down
against her body.

‘Excuse me,’ she said, ‘the padrone asked me to bring this for the Signora.’

dpsl dpsl

STYLISTICS

Routledge English Language Introductions cover core areas of language study and are
one-stop resources for students.

Assuming no prior knowledge, books in the series offer an accessible overview of
the subject, with activities, study questions, sample analyses, commentaries and key
readings – all in the same volume. The innovative and flexible ‘two-dimensional’
structure is built around four sections – introduction, development, exploration and
extension – which offer self-contained stages for study. Each topic can be read across
these sections, enabling the reader to build gradually on the knowledge gained.

Stylistics :

❏ provides a comprehensive overview of the methods and theories of stylistics:
from metre to metaphor, dialogue to discourse

❏ enables students to uncover the layers, patterns and levels that constitute
stylistic description

❏ helps the reader to develop a set of stylistic tools of their own, which can be
applied to any text

❏ is written in a clear and entertaining style with lively examples from authors as
diverse as Shakespeare and Irvine Welsh

❏ provides classic readings by key names in the field, such as Roger Fowler, Mick
Short, Walter Nash and Marie Louise Pratt.

Written by an experienced teacher and researcher, this accessible textbook is an
essential resource for all students of English language, linguistics and literature.

Paul Simpson is a Reader in English Language at Queen’s University, Belfast. He
edits the journal Language and Literature and is the author of On the Discourse of
Satire (2004). His other books for Routledge include Language, Ideology and Point of
View (1993) and Language through Literature (1997).

Series Editor: Peter Stockwell
Series Consultant: Ronald Carter

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ROUTLEDGE ENGLISH LANGUAGE INTRODUCTIONS

SERIES EDITOR: PETER STOCKWELL

Peter Stockwell is Senior Lecturer in the School of English Studies at the University
of Nottingham, UK, where his interests include sociolinguistics, stylistics and
cognitive poetics. His recent publications include Cognitive Poetics: An Introduction
(Routledge 2002), The Poetics of Science Fiction, Investigating English Language (with
Howard Jackson), and Contextualized Stylistics (edited with Tony Bex and Michael
Burke)

SERIES CONSULTANT: RONALD CARTER

Ronald Carter is Professor of Modern English Language in the School of English
Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is the co-series editor of the
forthcoming Routledge Applied Linguistics series, series editor of Interface, and was
co-founder of the Routledge Intertext series.

OTHER TITLES IN THE SERIES:

Sociolinguistics

Peter Stockwell

Pragmatics and Discourse

Joan Cutting

Grammar and Vocabulary

Howard Jackson

Psycholinguistics

John Field

World Englishes

Jennifer Jenkins

Practical Phonetics and Phonology

Beverley Collins & Inger Mees

FORTHCOMING:

Child Language

Jean Stilwell Peccei

Language in Theory

Mark Robson & Peter Stockwell

STYLISTICS

A resource book for students

PAUL SIMPSON

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First published 2004
by Routledge
11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE

Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada
by Routledge
29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group

© 2004 Paul Simpson

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or
reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical,
or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including
photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or
retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
A catalog record for this book has been requested

ISBN 0–415–28104–0 (hbk)
ISBN 0–415–28105–9 (pbk)

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2004.

ISBN 0-203-49658-2 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN 0-203-57093-6 (Adobe eReader Format)

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

The Routledge English Language Introductions are ‘flexi-texts’ that you can use to
suit your own style of study. The books are divided into four sections:

A Introduction – sets out the key concepts for the area of study. The units of this
section take you step-by-step through the foundational terms and ideas, carefully
providing you with an initial toolkit for your own study. By the end of the section,
you will have a good overview of the whole field.

B Development – adds to your knowledge and builds on the key ideas already intro-
duced. Units in this section might also draw together several areas of interest. By the
end of this section, you will already have a good and fairly detailed grasp of the field,
and will be ready to undertake your own exploration and thinking.

C Exploration – provides examples of language data and guides you through your
own investigation of the field. The units in this section will be more open-ended and
exploratory, and you will be encouraged to try out your ideas and think for your-
self, using your newly acquired knowledge.

D Extension – offers you the chance to compare your expertise with key readings in
the area. These are taken from the work of important writers, and are provided with
guidance and questions for your further thought.

You can read this book like a traditional text-book, ‘vertically’ straight through from
beginning to end. This will take you comprehensively through the broad field of
study. However, the Routledge English Language Introductions have been carefully
designed so that you can read them in another dimension, ‘horizontally’ across the
numbered units. For example, Units A1, A2, A3 and so on correspond with Units
B1, B2, B3, and with Units C1, C2, C3 and D1, D2, D3, and so on. Reading A5, B5,
C5, D5 will take you rapidly from the key concepts of a specific area to a level of
expertise in that precise area, all with a very close focus. You can match your way of
reading with the best way that you work.

The index at the end, together with the suggestions for further reading, will help to
keep you orientated. Each textbook has a supporting website with extra commen-
tary, suggestions, additional material and support for teachers and students.

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STYLISTICS

In this book, the twelve numbered units in section A introduce you to key concepts
in stylistics. These introductions are compact and are ordered in a linear way, so if
you read progressively through this section you can assemble a composite picture of
the core issues in both stylistic theory and practice. Then, or alternatively, you can
use the numbered units of section A to follow a particular strand through the book.
The units which comprise section B develop the topic introduced in the equivalent
numbered unit in section A. In this book in the Routledge English Language
Introductions (RELI) series, B units are either illustrative expansions of the model
introduced in A or surveys of important research developments in the relevant area
of stylistics. For example, unit A3 sets out a compact model for the study of grammar
and style. In B3 you will find some applications of this grammatical model to a variety
of texts. In unit A6, the concept of transitivity is developed but the corresponding
unit in Section B is in this case a survey of the uses stylisticians have made of this
model over the years.

Of course, the most productive way of learning about stylistics is simply to do it.
The units that make up section C provide the opportunity to try out and apply what
you have learned from A and B. For example, following from A3 and B3, unit C3
offers a practical activity involving the exploration of patterns of grammar in a short
poem. Similarly, following from A6 and B6, unit C6 offers a chance to investigate
the concept of transitivity in different kinds of texts. Finally, section D allows you to
read what other scholars have written on the relevant subject over the years and to
this effect, it offers a wide-ranging selection of readings by some of the best known
stylisticians in the world.

This then is the basic blueprint for the better part of the book. There are some minor
exceptions: for example, the reading in unit D5, because of its broad subject matter,
covers strand 7 also. As strand 8 includes a detailed workshop programme which
goes right down to the micro-analytic features of textual patterning, the space for
the reading has been vacated to carry extra practical material. Whatever its narrower
variations in structure, the core organising principle of this book is that in every
strand a key topic in stylistics is introduced, defined and then elaborated progres-
sively over the remainder of the strand.

vi H O W T O U S E T H I S B O O K

CONTENTS

Contents cross-referenced x
List of illustrations xii
Acknowledgements xiii

A Introduction: key concepts in stylistics 1
1 What is stylistics? 2
2 Stylistics and levels of language 5
3 Grammar and style 9
4 Rhythm and metre 14
5 Narrative stylistics 18
6 Style as choice 22
7 Style and point of view 26
8 Representing speech and thought 30
9 Dialogue and discourse 34

10 Cognitive stylistics 38
11 Metaphor and metonymy 41
12 Stylistics and verbal humour 45

B Development: doing stylistics 49
1 Developments in stylistics 50
2 Levels of language at work: an example from poetry 53
3 Sentence styles: development and illustration 59
4 Interpreting patterns of sound 66
5 Developments in structural narratology 70
6 Style and transitivity 74
7 Approaches to point of view 77
8 Techniques of speech and thought presentation 80
9 Dialogue in drama 85

10 Developments in cognitive stylistics 89
11 Styles of metaphor 92

C Exploration: investigating style 97
1 Is there a ‘literary language’? 98
2 Style, register and dialect 102
3 Grammar and genre: a short study in Imagism 108
4 Styles in a single poem: an exploration 112
5 A sociolinguistic model of narrative 114

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6 Transitivity, characterisation and literary genre 119
7 Exploring point of view in narrative fiction 123
8 A workshop on speech and thought presentation 130
9 Exploring dialogue 136

10 Cognitive stylistics at work 139
11 Exploring metaphors in different kinds of texts 142

D Extension: readings in stylistics 147
How to use these readings 148

1 Language and literature (Roger Fowler and F. W. Bateson) 148
2 Style and verbal play (Katie Wales) 158
3 Teaching grammar and style (Ronald Carter) 161
4 Sound, style and onomatopoeia (Derek Attridge) 168
5 Style variation in narrative (Mick Short) 176
6 Transitivity at work: a feminist-stylistic application (Deirdre Burton) 185
7 Point of view 195
8 Speech and thought presentation 195
9 Literature as discourse: the literary speech situation (Mary Louise Pratt) 196

10 Cognitive stylistics: the poetry of Emily Dickinson (Margaret Freeman) 201
11 Cognitive stylistics and the theory of metaphor (Peter Stockwell) 211
12 Style and verbal humour (Walter Nash) 217

Further reading 225
References 233
Primary sources 241
Glossarial index 243

viii C O N T E N T S

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C O N T E N T S C R O S S – R E F E R E N C E D

1 What is stylistics?

2

Developments in stylistics

50

2 Stylistics and levels of language

5

Levels of language at work:
an example from poetry
53

3 Grammar and style

9

Sentence styles: development
and illustration
59

4 Rhythm and metre

14

Interpreting patterns of sound

66

5 Narrative stylistics

18

Developments in structural
narratology
70

6 Style as choice

22

Style and transitivity

74

7 Style and point of view

26

Approaches to point of view

77

8 Representing speech and thought

30

Techniques of speech and
thought presentation
80

9 Dialogue and discourse

34

Dialogue in drama

85

10 Cognitive stylistics

38

Developments in cognitive
stylistics
89

11 Metaphor and metonymy

41

Styles of metaphor

92

12

References

Index

Further
Reading

Primary
Sources

Stylistics and verbal humour

45

INTRODUCTION DEVELOPMENTUNITS

11

111

11

111

C O N T E N T S C R O S S – R E F E R E N C E D

1Is there a ‘literary language’?

98

Language and literature
(Roger Fowler and F. W. Bateson)
148

2Style, register and dialect

102

Style and verbal play
(Katie Wales)
158

3Grammar and genre: a short
study in Imagism
108

Teaching grammar and style
(Ronald Carter)
161

4Styles in a single poem: an
exploration
112

Sound, style and onomatopoeia
(Derek Attridge)
168

5A sociolinguistic model of
narrative
114

Style variation in narrative
(Mick Short)
176

6Transitivity, characterisation
and literary genre
119

Transitivity at work
(Deirdre Burton)
185

7Exploring point of view in
narrative fiction
123

Point of view

195

8A workshop on speech and
thought presentation
130

Speech and thought presentation

195

9Exploring dialogue

136

Literature as discourse
(Mary Louise Pratt)
196

10Cognitive stylistics at work

139

Cognitive stylistics
(Margaret Freeman)
201

11Exploring metaphors in
different kinds of texts
142

Cognitive stylistics and the theory
of metaphor (Peter Stockwell)
211

12

References

Index

Further
Reading

Primary
Sources

Style and verbal humour
(Walter Nash)
218

EXPLORATION EXTENSION UNITS

ILLUSTRATIONS

Figures
A5.1 A model of narrative structure 20
A6.1 A model of transitivity 26
A9.1 Dialogue in plays 34
C8.1 Template for charting narrative organisation in Old Man and

the Sea extract 133
D5.1 Extract from Marabou Stork Nightmares 177
D6.1 Subdivision of material processes in Burton’s study 186

Tables
A6.1 Relational processes grid 25
B5.1 Propp’s model and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 73
C2.1 Standard and non-standard accents and dialects 103
C2.2 Register and dialect in narrative 107
C5.1 Labov’s model of natural narrative 115

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Sonia Zyngier and Greg Watson for their helpful comments
on an earlier proposal for this book, and Fran Brearton and Michael Longley for
their help during the book’s later stages. As ever, special thanks go to Janice Hoadley
for her patience and perseverance, on both the family and academic fronts. I am also
grateful to my friends and colleagues in the Poetics and Linguistics Association for
their support over the years, and to my students, well, everywhere I suppose, for their
participation in the various seminars and tutorials that helped shape parts of section
C of the book. I am especially indebted to Derek Attridge, Mary Louise Pratt, Katie
Wales, Mick Short, Margaret Freeman and Bill Nash for kindly allowing me to repro-
duce some of their work in section D.

My thanks are due to Routledge’s steadfast team of Louisa Semlyen, Christy
Kirkpatrick and Kate Parker, and to series consultant Ron Carter for his friendship
and support for the best part of a quarter of a century. Finally, a huge debt of grat-
itude goes to series editor Peter Stockwell, not least for his uncanny knack of weeding
out superfluous blarney which helped keep the length of the book within the bounds
of decency. Any waffle, nonsense or unnecessary digression that may remain is of
course entirely the fault of the author.

Derek Attridge, ‘Fff! Oo!; Nonlexical Onomatopoeia’ from Peculiar Language:
Literature as Difference from the Renaissance to James Joyce Methuen, 1988.
Reproduced by permission of Taylor and Francis Books Ltd (Methuen).

D. Burton, extract from ‘Through Glass Darkly, Through Dark Glasses’ from
Language and Literature by Ronald Carter, published by Unwin Hyman/Routledge
1982. Reproduced by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Ronald Carter, ‘What is Stylistics and Why Can We Teach it in Different Ways?’
from Reading, Analysing and Teaching Literature edited by Mike Short, Longman
1989. Reproduced by permission of Ronald Carter.

e e cummings, ‘love is more thicker than forget’ is reprinted from Complete Poems
1904–1962, edited by George J. Firmage, by permission of W. W. Norton
& Company. Copyright © 1991 by the Trustees for the e e cummings Trust and
George James Firmage.

Roger Fowler, extracts from The Languages of Literature published by Routledge &
Kegan Paul Ltd, 1971. Reproduced by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Ralph W. Franklin, ed., text reprinted from The Poems of Emily Dickinson, by permis-
sion of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College, Cambridge, Mass.:

11

111

11

111

The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 1998 by the President
and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979 by the President
and Fellows of Harvard College.

Ralph W. Franklin, ed., poetry text reprinted from The Manuscript Books of Emily
Dickinson: A Facsimile Edition, by permission of the publishers and the Trustees
of Amherst College, Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University
Press, Copyright © 1981 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Margaret Freeman, reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Ltd from ‘Grounded
spaces: deictic -self anaphors in the poetry of Emily Dickinson’, Copyright (© Sage
Publications Ltd, 1997).

Ernest Hemingway, extract from The Old Man and the Sea published by Jonathan
Cape. Used by permission of The Random House Group Limited (UK). Reprinted
with permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing
Group (US). Copyright 1952 by Ernest Hemingway. Copyright renewed © 1980
by Mary Hemingway.

Michael Longley, ‘The Comber’ from The Weather in Japan published by Jonathan
Cape. Used by permission of the Random House Group Limited

Roger McGough, ‘40 – Love’ from After the Mersey Sound by Roger McGough.
Reprinted by permission of PFD on behalf of Roger McGough © Roger McGough.

Edwin Morgan, ‘Off Course’ from Collected Poems by Edwin Morgan. Reproduced
by permission of Carcanet Press Limited.

Walter Nash, extracts from The Language of Humour by Longman, 1985. Reproduced
by permission of Pearson Education Limited.

Dorothy Parker, ‘One Perfect Rose’ from The Portable Dorothy Parker edited by
Brendan Gill. Used by permission of Duckworth Publishers (UK) and Viking
Penguin, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc. (US). Copyright 1926, renewed ©
1954 by Dorothy Parker.

Ezra Pound, ‘In a Station of the Metro’ from Collected Shorter Poems, reproduced by
permission of Faber and Faber (UK). From Personae, copyright © 1926 by Ezra
Pound, reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp (US).

Mary Louise Pratt, extracts from Toward a Speech Theory of Literary Discourse,
Indiana University Press, 1977. Reproduced by permission of Indiana University
Press.

Mick Short, ‘Graphological Deviation, Style Variation and Point of View in Marabou
Stork Nightmares by Irvine Welsh’. Reproduced by permission of Mick Short and
Journal of Literary Studies/Tydskrif vir Literatuurwetenskap.

Peter Stockwell, ‘The Inflexibility of Invariance’, reprinted by permission of Sage
Publications Ltd Copyright (© Sage Publications Ltd, 1999).

Kate Wales, ‘Zodiac Mindwarp meets the Horseflies’ reprinted from English Today,
29, January 1992. Reprinted by permission of Cambridge University Press.

Irvine Welsh, extract from Marabou Stork Nightmares, published by Jonathan Cape.
Used by permission of The Random House Group Limited (UK) and W. W.
Norton & Company, Inc. (US). Copyright © 1995 by Irvine Welsh.

Irvine Welsh, extract from Trainspotting published by Secker & Warburg. Used by
permission of The Random House Group Limited.

xiv A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S

SECTION A

INTRODUCTION

KEY CONCEPTS IN
STYLISTICS

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WHAT IS STYLISTICS?

Some years ago, the well-known linguist Jean-Jacques Lecercle published a short but
damning critique of the aims, methods and rationale of contemporary stylistics. His
attack on the discipline, and by implication the entire endeavour of the present book,
was uncompromising. According to Lecercle, nobody has ever really known what the
term ‘stylistics’ means, and in any case, hardly anyone seems to care (Lecercle 1993:
14). Stylistics is ‘ailing’; it is ‘on the wane’; and its heyday, alongside that of struc-
turalism, has faded to but a distant memory. More alarming again, few university
students are ‘eager to declare an intention to do research in stylistics’. By this account,
the death knell of stylistics had been sounded and it looked as though the end of the
twentieth century would be accompanied by the inevitable passing of that faltering,
moribund discipline. And no one, it seemed, would lament its demise.

Modern stylistics
As it happened, things didn’t quite turn out in the way Lecercle envisaged. Stylistics
in the early twenty-first century is very much alive and well. It is taught and researched
in university departments of language, literature and linguistics the world over. The
high academic profile stylistics enjoys is mirrored in the number of its dedicated
book-length publications, research journals, international conferences and symposia,
and scholarly associations. Far from moribund, modern stylistics is positively flour-
ishing, witnessed in a proliferation of sub-disciplines where stylistic methods are
enriched and enabled by theories of discourse, culture and society. For example, fem-
inist stylistics, cognitive stylistics and discourse stylistics, to name just three, are estab-
lished branches of contemporary stylistics which have been sustained by insights from,
respectively, feminist theory, cognitive psychology and discourse analysis. Stylistics
has also become a much valued method in language teaching and in language learn-
ing, and stylistics in this ‘pedagogical’ guise, with its close attention to the broad
resources of the system of language, enjoys particular pride of place in the linguistic
armoury of learners of second languages. Moreover, stylistics often forms a core
component of many creative writing courses, an application not surprising given
the discipline’s emphasis on techniques of creativity and invention in language.

So much then for the current ‘health’ of stylistics and the prominence it enjoys
in modern scholarship. It is now time to say a little more about what exactly stylistics
is and what it is for. Stylistics is a method of textual interpretation in which primacy
of place is assigned to language. The reason why language is so important to stylis-
ticians is because the various forms, patterns and levels that constitute linguistic
structure are an important index of the function of the text. The text’s functional
significance as discourse acts in turn as a gateway to its interpretation. While linguistic
features do not of themselves constitute a text’s ‘meaning’, an account of linguistic
features nonetheless serves to ground a stylistic interpretation and to help explain
why, for the analyst, certain types of meaning are possible. The preferred object of
study in stylistics is literature, whether that be institutionally sanctioned ‘Literature’
as high art or more popular ‘noncanonical’ forms of writing. The traditional connec-
tion between stylistics and literature brings with it two important caveats, though.

2 I N T R O D U C T I O N

A1

The first is that creativity and innovation in language use should not be seen as the
exclusive preserve of literary writing. Many forms of discourse (advertising, jour-
nalism, popular music – even casual conversation) often display a high degree of
stylistic dexterity, such that it would be wrong to view dexterity in language use as
exclusive to canonical literature. The second caveat is that the techniques of stylistic
analysis are as much about deriving insights about linguistic structure and function
as they are about understanding literary texts. Thus, the question ‘What can stylistics
tell us about literature?’ is always paralleled by an equally important question ‘What
can stylistics tell us about language?’.

In spite of its clearly defined remit, methods and object of study, there remain a
number of myths about contemporary stylistics. Most of the time, confusion about
the compass of stylistics is a result of confusion about the compass of language. For
instance, there appears to be a belief in many literary critical circles that a stylisti-
cian is simply a dull old grammarian who spends rather too much time on such
trivial pursuits as counting the nouns and verbs in literary texts. Once counted, those
nouns and verbs form the basis of the stylistician’s ‘insight’, although this stylistic
insight ultimately proves no more far-reaching than an insight reached by simply
intuiting from the text. This is an erroneous perception of the stylistic method and
it is one which stems from a limited understanding of how language analysis works.
True, nouns and verbs should not be overlooked, nor indeed should ‘counting’ when
it takes the form of directed and focussed quantification. But the purview of modern
language and linguistics is much broader than that and, in response, the methods of
stylistics follow suit. It is the full gamut of the system of language that makes all
aspects of a writer’s craft relevant in stylistic analysis. Moreover, stylistics is inter-
ested in language as a function of texts in context, and it acknowledges that utterances
(literary or otherwise) are produced in a time, a place, and in a cultural and cogni-
tive context. These ‘extra-linguistic’ parameters are inextricably tied up with the way
a text ‘means’. The more complete and context-sensitive the description of language,
then the fuller the stylistic analysis that accrues.

The purpose of stylistics
Why should we do stylistics? To do stylistics is to explore language, and, more specif-
ically, to explore creativity in language use. Doing stylistics thereby enriches our ways
of thinking about language and, as observed, exploring language offers a substantial
purchase on our understanding of (literary) texts. With the full array of language
models at our disposal, an inherently illuminating method of analytic inquiry presents
itself. This method of inquiry has an important reflexive capacity insofar as it can
shed light on the very language system it derives from; it tells us about the ‘rules’
of language because it often explores texts where those rules are bent, distended or
stretched to breaking point. Interest in language is always at the fore in contempo-
rary stylistic analysis which is why you should never undertake to do stylistics unless
you are interested in language.

Synthesising more formally some of the observations made above, it might be
worth thinking of the practice of stylistics as conforming to the following three basic
principles, cast mnemonically as three ‘Rs’. The three Rs stipulate that:

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W H A T I S S T Y L I S T I C S ? 3

❏ stylistic analysis should be rigorous
❏ stylistic analysis should be retrievable
❏ stylistic analysis should be replicable.

To argue that the stylistic method be rigorous means that it should be based on an
explicit framework of analysis. Stylistic analysis is not the end-product of a disor-
ganised sequence of ad hoc and impressionistic comments, but is instead underpinned
by structured models of language and discourse that explain how we process and
understand various patterns in language. To argue that stylistic method be retriev-
able means that the analysis is organised through explicit terms and criteria, the
meanings of which are agreed upon by other students of stylistics. Although precise
definitions for some aspects of language have proved difficult to pin down exactly,
there is a consensus of agreement about what most terms in stylistics mean (see
A2 below). That consensus enables other stylisticians to follow the pathway adopted
in an analysis, to test the categories used and to see how the analysis reached its
conclusion; to retrieve, in other words, the stylistic method.

To say that a stylistic analysis seeks to be replicable does not mean that we should
all try to copy each others’ work. It simply means that the methods should be suffi-
ciently transparent as to allow other stylisticians to verify them, either by testing them
on the same text or by applying them beyond that text. The conclusions reached are
principled if the pathway followed by the analysis is accessible and replicable. To this
extent, it has become an important axiom of stylistics that it seeks to distance itself
from work that proceeds solely from untested or untestable intuition.

A seemingly innocuous piece of anecdotal evidence might help underscore this
point. I once …

Unit 7, Sections A and B :
Style and point of view
Approaches to point of view

Section A:
Style and point of view

Style and Perspective
Point of view is the perspective through which a story is told.
A useful technique to explore the narrative is to film it! Camera angle and viewing position
There are textual clues to help decide where to locate the camera

Style and Perspective
Narrative modes:
1st person: “ I” Participating character/ internal/ same level of the story
2nd person: “you” addressing another character/reader – not comon
3rd person: “He-she-they” detached/invisible character/external/outside the story
Omniscient “knows-all”: has access to feeling and thoughts as well as the events.
Restricted omniscient: detached and reluctant about feelings and thoughts and has access to event only. (index of characterization)

Iain Banks’s novel The Crow Road
Core distinction in point of view theory:
Who tells: detached, omniscient narrator
Who sees: McHoan (the character in the story and reflector of fiction)
audience sees what McHoan sees as his perspective unfolds

Iain Banks’s novel The Crow Road
Dynamic of point of view in a narrative
Heterodiegetic: the narrator is ‘different’ from the exegesis that comprises the story
Homodiegetic: the narrator is internal to the narrative, on the same plane of exegesis as the story
Brings audience psychologically closer to the main character
Alternatively, narrative loses the ironic space between the narrator and character

Iain Banks’s novel The Crow Road
Stylistic cues of viewing position
Deixis:
Situates speaker in physical space (camera)
the reflector of fiction forms a deictic centre, an ‘origo’, around which objects are positioned relative to their relative proximity or distance to the reflector.
Zoomed: move toward
went back instead of came back: move away
Locative expressions
Grammatical units telling location, direction and physical setting
Adjuncts: ‘just upstream’, ‘from falls to bridge’, ‘into the cutting’, etc.

Iain Banks’s novel The Crow Road
Point of view device: Attenuated focalization
Point of view is limited due to a blocked or distanced perspective = blurry vision
Marked by nouns with generalized/unspecific references
‘thing’, ‘shape’, ‘stuff’
Cues that narrative is temporarily restricted to the visual range of a particular character
McHoan’s character first saw ‘a grey shape’ which was later identified as an owl

Section B:
Approaches to point of view

The ‘Fowler-Uspensky Model’
This model has proved significant in shaping much stylistic work on point of view because it helps sort out different components in narrative organisation.
Point of view rests on four planes (levels) :
ideological
temporal
spatial
psychological

The Ideological Plane
Ideology: A person’s beliefs or values system
Ideological plane examines how a text mediates the character’s, narrator’s or author’s ideological beliefs.
Author’s beliefs and values system shape the ideologies articulated in their work.
Characters serve as vehicles for ideologies which may or may not accord (be in agreement with) with those of the author.
The more the different value systems articulated in a work compete with one another, the richer and more interesting becomes the work itself.
a novel ‘gives an interpretation of the world it represents’ (Fowler)

The Ideological Plane
The domain of ideology is so broad that just about any aspect of narrative can be brought within its compass. “bucket category”
Techniques:
Narrative voice: author, narrator, character, persona
Emblem (symbol)
Theme
Motif (reoccurring idea in artistic works)
Characterisation
The ideological point of view needs to be treated with some caution because it is simply too wide to have much explanatory power.

The Temporal Plane
“The way relationships of time are signalled in narrative” (Simpson 2004).
Stylistic Techniques:
Repetition
Analepsis (flashback)
Prolepsis (prevision or flashforward)
Duration (impression of acceleration/deceleration of events)
Temporal point of view basically covers any kind of manipulation of time sequence in narrative.
An analysis under the umbrella term ‘temporal point of view’ is to do with temporal organisation as it relates to narrative structure.

The Spatial Plane
Spatial point of view is the narrative Camera angle
What visual perspective is mediated through the text?
Techniques:
Deixis
Locative Expressions

The Psychological Plane
“References to the reflector’s senses, thoughts and feelings” (Simpson 2004).
Uspensky classifies such cases where ‘the authorial point of view relies on an individual (a character) consciousness (or perception)’ as point of view on the psychological plane.
spatial viewpoint is really one dimension of the broader technique of psychological point of view.
Psychological point of view interplay with spatial representations. See the following example:

The Psychological Plane

The Psychological Plane
The spatial perspective dovetails (merge) into psychological perspective.
Rose Garmony is clearly the reflector of fiction.
deictic markers: “looked down at the group”, “bringing” instead of taking
‘What could they ever hope . . .’ marks a further shift into the conscious thought processes of Rose Garmony
Shifting from a spatial perspective into the cognitive field of a character is an extremely common progression in prose fiction.

Final notes about examining the planes
Ideological: too broad and must be treated with caution.
Temporal: is more about narrative structure than perspective and must be treated with caution.
Spatial: one dimension of the broader psychological level.
Psychological: an extremely rich site for stylistic analysis and creativity.

References
Simpson, P. (2004). Stylistics: A Resource Book for Students (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415644969 (print edition).

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