Студопедия — Plot. Types of Narration. Compositional speech forms.
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Plot. Types of Narration. Compositional speech forms.

1. Adverbial clause of place

Conjunctions: where, whence, wherever, everywhere

· He was where I had left him.

2. Adverbial clause of time

Conjunctions: as, as soon as, as long as, when, whenever, while, now that, till, until, after, before, since

Phrasal conjunctions: the time, the day, the moment the instant, next time, every time, each time, directly, immediately, instantly, once

· The moment I entered, she knocked at the door.

3. Adverbial clause of manner

Conjunctions: as, the way

· She looked the way I looked at her.

4. Adverbial clause of comparison

Conjunctions: as, like, as if, as though, than

Correlatives: as…as, so…as, as… as if

· She looked so happy as if she were in love.

5. Adverbial clause of condition

Conjunctions: if, unless, once, in case

Derivatives: provided that, providing that, suppose that, supposing that, considering that, given that, granted that, granting that, admitting that, presuming that, seeing that

· If he comes, I’ll speak to him.

· Had she come, I’d have been happy.

6. Adverbial clause of concession

Conjunctions: although, though, if, whether…or

Group conjunctions: even if, even though, even when

Correlated conjunction: though… yet

Correlative: however

Conjunctive pronouns/adverbs: whoever, whatever, whichever, whenever, wherever, as

Conjunctive phrases: no matter how, no matter what, for all that, despite that, in spite of the fact that, despite the fact

· He left though she wasn’t happy.

7. Adverbial clause of purpose

Conjunctions: that, so that, lest (-), so as, so, in order that, for fear that (-)

· He left so that she would be happy.

8. Adverbial clause of cause

Conjunctions: as, because, since, so that, lest (-), seeing that, considering, so

Conjunctive phrases: for the reason that, in view of the fact that, in so far as, by reason of

· I left because I wasn’t happy.

9. Adverbial clause of result

Conjunction: so that (that)


Lecture 4.

Plot. Types of Narration. Compositional speech forms.

4.1. Compositional-speech forms.

4.2. Plot.

4.2.1. The author’s narration.

4.2.2. The entrusted narration.

4.3. Narration of characters.

4.3.1. Dialogue.

4.3.2. Inner speech.

4.3.3 Represented speech.

4.1. Compositional-speech forms (term by prof. V.Vinogradov). The placement of concept signals in the work of fiction is very uneven. It strongly depends on the compositional speech forms as follows:

- Narrative proper (where the unfolding of the plot is concentrated);

- Description (supplies the details of the appearance of people and their things populating the book; also of location and time of action);

- Argumentation (offers causes and effects of the character’s behaviour, his or the author’s considerations about moral, ethical and other issues).

Narrative proper is dynamic; its object is to transmit to the reader an exact visual account of the represented events. Unlike narrative proper, two other compositional forms, description and argumentation are passive in nature and static.

The author expresses his/her position in a most explicit way in the argumentation form. As far as it is always a highly generalized presentation of the author’s position, argumentation is highly autonomous and can be attributed to several situations of similar kind. Therefore, cohesion needs to be strengthened in order to stick author’s words to the previous and succeeding contexts: "This story I am telling... These characters I create... This is a novel...".

As far as the argumentation can combine the facts from the described reality and the entire author’s previous experience, it always surpasses the scope of logical and causative relations, which is necessary to thinking over and elucidating the initial situation. The loss of contact with it is marked by the term standing for an extended argumentation: “digression”, or “lyrical digression”.

In XVIII century Laurence Sterne created his genius innovative novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent. (1759-67). Here among the other highly interesting narrative techniques, one can find the “Praise of Digressions”:

Digressions, incontestably, are the sun
shine; ---- they are the life, the soul of
reading; -- take them out of this book
for instance, -- you might as well take the
book along with them; -- one cold eternal
winter would reign in every page of it;
restore them to the writer; ---- he steps
forth like a bridegroom, -- bids All hail;
brings in variety, and forbids the appetite to fail.


Thus, the argumentation in the work of fiction is the megaphone of author’s ideas, them not image-shaped, but outwardly expressing his concept. This is an explanatory form of author’s speech. It in it, the authors comes into the direct contact with the reader, addressing him входит в непосредственный контакт с читате­лем, обращаясь к нему "dear reader", "you", «любезный читатель», «ты» или объединяясь с ним в «мы», "we".

Description can be considered a temporally indexed invariable background, which actualizes factual information of static character. Three types of description can be distinguished:

(1) the description of location;

(2) the description of character(s), either in groups or individually;

(3) The description of temporal situations.

Traditional forms of description include as follows: a portrait and a landscape. Portrait is one of the major means of individualizing a character. Apart from outer physical characteristics, it can convey information about his/her haircut, cloths, manners, accessories, i.e. thing reflective of one’s taste, predilections, and habits. Unlike the landscape, he portrait both defines one’s social status and relates to the temporal continuum of text as far as the costume refers to the epoch, time of the year and time of the day.

E.g 1. An extended portrait in 20th c. modernist literature:

“Mr Duffy abhorred anything which betokened physical or mental disorder. A medieval doctor would have called him saturnine. His face, which carried the entire tale of his years, was of the brown tint of Dublin streets. On his long and rather large head grew dry black hair, and a tawny moustache did not quite cover an unamiable mouth. His cheekbones also gave his face a harsh character; but there was no harshness in the eyes which, looking at the world from under their tawny eyebrows, gave the impression of a man ever alert to greet a redeeming instinct in others but often disappointed. He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glances. He had an odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself containing a subject in the third person and a predicate in the past tense. He never gave aims to beggars, and walked firmly, carrying a stout hazel ” (J. Joyce, “A Painful Case”).

E.g. 2. Portrait created by gradually accumulated traits:

"...а curly-headed rather sturdy girl with shining brown eyes halfway out of her head and a ruby-red dimpling smile lifted from a turn-of-the-century valentine" - "...the girl's eyes, keeping the merry red smile as if even these plain words are prelude to a joke" - "...her eyes shining steadily as lamps" (J. Updike “Rabbit Redux”).

Notes to be made about the portrait and its functions:

- A portrait can be a dynamic one, when it performs the function of actualizing the text’s coherence;

- Grammatically, a portrait basically contains nouns with adjective qualifiers;

- A portrait is nominative and always evaluative;

- Basic functions of portrait are as follows: individualizing, characteristic, actualizing the categories of coherence, modality and conceptuality.

- An additional function of a portrait is a semiotic one. It is developed in case of prevailing repetition of some bright detail: Sherlock Holmes’s pipe, Mr. Pickwick’s gaiters, Ostap Bender’s service cap, etc. Fiction illustrators play great role in developing the semiotic function of one’s portrait.

- Portraits of women are less represented in fiction than these of men.

Landscape is traditionally considered a static background of events. However, the image of nature, which the fictional landscape is, equally reflects dynamic natural processes: furies, earthquakes, typhoons, volcano eruptions, etc. In other words, in a landscape a peaceful “state of nature” can be opposed a violent “action of nature”.

The latter can be called a dynamic landscape. Itsignalizes the change of the plot, i.e. can be treated as an action switch. The rampage of nature, described in the dynamic landscape, inevitably precedes the substantial changes in the life of heroes. Thus, for instance, a thunderstorm precedes heroine’s drama in Charlotte Bronte’s “Jayne Eyre”.

A landscape has a semiotic function as well as the portrait. Unlike the analogical function of the portrait, which is developed as a sign of an extremely individualized object, the semiotic function of a landscape is based on the community of sensations different people experience when perceiving similar pictures of nature. In other words, there is a common core in our perception of natural objects. For instance, “rain”, “mist”, “blizzard” often become the announcers and symbols of troubles and unpleasant events, while “garden”, “grove” and “brook” purport positive associations.

One of the landscape’s major functions is the actualization of both temporal and spatial continuums of the book. The notion of spatial continuum is broader than this of the landscape. The surrounding space can be either open as during the landscape description, or closed as related to the interior. A definite type of landscape is an urban one.

Urban and natural landscapes are alienated from a person, devoid of his/her features and possess no characteristic functions. The interior on the contrary, is a highly notional form of description as far as the characters’ tastes, inclinations, worldview are concerned:

E.g. “The lofty walls of his uncarpeted room were free from pictures. He had himself bought every article of furniture in the room: a black iron bedstead, an iron wash-stand, four cane chairs, a clothes-rack, a coal-scuttle, a fender and irons, and a square table on which lay a double desk. A bookcase had been made in an alcove by means of shelves of white wood. The bed was clothed with white bedclothes and a black and scarlet rug covered the foot. A little hand- mirror hung above the wash-stand and during the day a white-shaded lamp stood as the sole ornament of the mantelpiece. The books on the white wooden shelves were arranged from below upwards according to bulk. A complete Wordsworth stood at one end of the lowest shelf and a copy of the Maynooth Catechism, sewn into the cloth cover of a notebook, stood at one end of the top shelf. Writing materials were always on the desk. In the desk lay a manuscript translation of Hauptmann's Michael Kramer, the stage directions of which were written in purple ink, and a little sheaf of papers held together by a brass pin. In these sheets a sentence was inscribed from time to time and, in an ironical moment, the headline of an advertisement for Bile Beans had been pasted on to the first sheet. On lifting the lid of the desk a faint fragrance escaped - the fragrance of new cedar-wood pencils or a bottle of gum or of an over-ripe apple which might have been left there and forgotten” (J. Joyce, “A Painful Case”).

Due to the category of anthropocentricity of work of fiction, landscapes carry definitely carry the features of their observers. By means of such phenomenon as authorization the description is being alienated from the author and attributed to the characters.

Grammatically and syntactically, authorisation is established with the help of modal adverbs such as "clearly", "of course", «безусловно», «наверно» and verbs of perception: notice, observe, seem, and see, etc.

As a rule, compositional forms intermingle even within the boundaries of a single paragraph. So we can speak of three kinds of informationally marked contexts:

a) Homogeneous (they only contain one type of information, and accordingly, one compositional form);

b) Relatively homogeneous (they are interspersed by signals of another, but not dominating kind of information);

c) Heterogeneous (they contain different kinds of information, as they are characterized by a high degree of authenticity of interspersed signals).

4.2. Plot. After we have got a general idea of the compositional speech forms in a work of fiction, we should deeper learn the peculiarities of narration. The narration takes the greatest part of author’s speech in any prosaic work of fiction. It is in the narration that the action side of the story is concentrated; here the main chains of its plot are spread.

Plot is the main story or scheme of a play, poem, short story, or novel. Any narrative is around interrelated incidents, or events that present and revolt around a conflict.

The plot unfolds according to a particular model, or plot structure. It consists of the following components:

- Exposition;

- Conflict;

- Complicating action;

- Climax;

- Falling action;

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