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 Ling 131: Language & Style

 Topic 8 - Discourse structure and point of view > Point of view in a more extended example > Task B answer

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Session Overview
Discourse structure and point of view
Discourse structure of 1st and 3rd person novels
Being the author!
Different kinds of point of view
Linguistic indicators of point of view
Ideological viewpoint
Point of view in a more extended example
Point of view checksheet
Topic 8 'tool' summary
Useful Links

Point of view in a Passage from Fanny and Annie by D. H. Lawrence

Our answer for task B (part a)

What can we learn in general terms from this exercise?

The most important things to notice in general descriptive terms are that:

  1. Although in critical terms Fanny is the main reflector/focaliser in this story (if you read the whole story you will feel that her point of view is represented in the narrative through most of the story), we can see that, as the story progresses, the viewpoint can still change from sentence to sentence, and even within sentences.

  2. Even if only one person's viewpoint is being represented, that viewpoint can have many different aspects (spatial, temporal, social, conceptual, attitudinal) at the same time. We have often found two or three aspects represented inside the same sentence or clause.

  3. There are a myriad of ways in which viewpoint can be represented linguistically. So our point of view checksheet is really just the beginning of the story.

  4. Some aspects of viewpoint are not linguistic - they can involve assumptions we take along to texts in relation to the situations described (for example we take along our schematic knowledge of where the choir and congregation sit in order to understand some of the spatial viewpoint aspects early in the passage. And so we infer viewpoint (and who/what the author wants us to sympathise with) on the basis of a combination of linguistic and non-linguistic factors.

  5. We have concentrated on viewpoint. But a complete stylistic analysis of the passage would need to examine other things too (for example Lawrence's style and the way in which he indicates the dialect of the woman when she speaks).

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