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Structure and Meaning in Literary Discourse - Essay Example

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In the essay “Structure and Meaning in Literary Discourse” the author looks at A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens who offers one of the best illustrations of the use of repeated coordinating structure through the implementation of these narrative techniques…
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Structure and Meaning in Literary Discourse
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Structure and Meaning in Literary Dis linguistics Thesis ment: In order to build coherence and cohesion in literary dis a superiornarrative strategy makes use of several techniques such as anachrony, collocation, cataphora, repetition and substitution, and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens offers one of the best illustrations of the use of repeated coordinating structure through the implementation of these narrative techniques.
Linguistic and Literary Issue 1: In the linguistic analysis of literary texts, it becomes evident that coherence and cohesion are part of the linguistic system which are "expressed through the stratal organisation of language" at the levels of the semantic system, lexico-grammatical system and phonological and orthographic system. (Taboada, 159)
Linguistic and Literary Issue 2: Anachrony, in the form of 'flashback' or analepsis and 'flash-forward' or prolepsis, is a modern narrative technique making use of the discrepancy between the chronological order of events and the order of their presentation and "the way the revelatory analepsis is used ensures not only the structural but also the thematic unity of the narrative" in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. (Maglavera, 131)
Linguistic and Literary Issue 3: The grammatical system presents the grammatical cohesion which is divided into "the reference [incorporating anaphora and cataphora], substitution, ellipsis and conjunction types," whereas lexical cohesion is broken down into "relations of repetition, synonymity, collocation, and other semantic relationships." (Taboada, 160)
Linguistic and Literary Issue 4: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens presents a compelling illustration of the use of repeated coordinating structure through the narrative techniques such as anachrony, collocation, cataphora, repetition and substitution which ultimately bring about coherence and cohesion in the literary discourse.
Linguistic and Literary Issues in A Tale of Two Cities:
As stated above, the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens presents one of the most effective illustrations of a superior narrative strategy which makes use of the narrative techniques such as anachrony, collocation, cataphora, repetition and substitution. First of all, the temporal relationships between narrative and story or the relations of temporal ordering, through the use of revelatory analepsis, ensure structural as well as thematic unity of the narrative. It is most revealing to realise that "in A Tale of Two Cities most analepses refer to the thick mystery surrounding Dr. Manette's past life, the years of his imprisonment in France and the reasons for this." (Maglavera, 121) To comprehend the expert use of the other linguistic techniques of narration such as collocation, cataphora, repetition and substitution in the novel A Tale of Two Cities, it is important to consider the use of repeated coordinating structure of the novel. The introductory passage of the novel, at its best, reveals this repeated coordinating structure. Significantly, the various categories of coordinating structure in the introductory sentences of the novel "restate previously stated ideas in a new way." (Donnelly and Donnelly, 82) Here, the subordinating sentences expand or analyse the various ideas which were already stated at a lower level. Thus, the introductory sentences of the novel are meaningfully connected and the concepts in the subordinating sentences are reanalysed in more detailed, more specific and less abstract language. "Such sentences," Donnelly and Donnelly observe, "explain, define, or give examples of the ideas already mentioned at a higher level and treated in a more general manner."(Donnelly and Donnelly, 82) In short, the stylistic techniques such as anachrony, collocation, cataphora, repetition and substitution offer great coherence and cohesion in the narrative strategy of the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
Works Cited

Donnelly, Colleen and Colleen Elaine Donnelly. Linguistics for Writers. SUNY Press. 1994. P 82.
Maglavera, Soultana. Time Patterns in Later Dickens: a study of the thematic implications of the temporal organization of Bleak house, Hard times, Little Dorrit, A tale of two cities, Great expectations and Our mutual friend. Rodopi. 1994. P 121-131.
Taboada, Mara Teresa. Building Coherence and Cohesion: Task-oriented Dialogue in English and Spanish. John Benjamin's Publishing Company. 2004. P 159-160. Read More
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