ENGB03 - Final Review

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Melba Cuddy- Keane

ENGB03 – Midterm Review Terms: Narrativity - The qualities distinguishing narratives from non-narratives - Examples of non narratives: charts, statistics, recipes - However, most of out communications contain some degree of narrativity - Degrees of Narrativity: o ―They are in the room‖ (description) o ―They come and go‖ (low narrativity) o ―In the room the women come and go talking of Michael Angelo‖ (medium) o Prufrock saying the above to ―you‖ (high) Narrative - According to James Phelan, ―Narrative can be understood as a rhetorical act: somebody telling somebody else on some occasion for some purpose that something has happened‖ - Narrative is: o What is being told o The act of telling o The act of receiving (listening, reading) o The storyworld in which all of this takes place - Used to communicate something that can‘t be explained in any other way Storyworld - The ―world‖ we enter when we enter a story - The storyworld vs. our world o Actual world (accepted ―facts‖)  Historical placement  Geographical location  Physical attributes, laws, principles o Possible world (product of mental activity)  Dreaming, imagining  Foretelling, promising  Storytelling - Examples of unusual storyworlds: Alice in Wonderland (the actual world is a possible world – a product of dreaming) and Waiting for Godot (the actual world conflicts with the possible worlds imagined by the characters) - The storyworld of Pride and Prejudice o Actual World:  200 years ago in an English country village  Social standings depend on degrees of difference in family and money  Correct social manners are precisely defined  Opportunities for women in the upper classes are (mainly) limited to marriage o Possible World:  A narrator promises intelligibility, knowability (we expect this is a world we will understand)  A narrator guides us in knowing what qualities we should laugh at and scorn, what to admire etc Character - A participant or an actor in a storyworld - Character variants: o People o Animals speaking as people o Animals acting as animals o Objects (The Titanic and the Iceberg) o Cyborgs, robots, living particles Flat Character (according to E.M Forester) - Constructed around a single idea or quality - Easily recognized when they come in - Easily remembered by the reader - Sometimes called ‗types‘ and ‗caricatures‘ - Are best when they are comical - Invite us to have one consistent, predictable response to them, often laughter with a satiric bite - Example 1: Comic flatness of Mrs. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice o The extremeness of her emotions (―You do not know how I suffer‖ etc) o Broken record, repetitiveness (―If only I could see one of my daughters happily settled‖) o Speaking loudly at the Netherfield ball about her expectations that Jane and Bingley will marry - Example 2: Comic flatness of Mr. Collins o His letter of introduction and the reactions to it o His preparation of compliments o His speaking to Mr. Darcy without an introduction Round Character (according to E.M Forester) - We do not remember them so easily - Gives is a slightly new pleasure each time they come in - Capable of surprising in a convincing way - Has facets like a human being - Invite us to feel for, project into, anticipate developments in and reflect on the meaning of their experience Character Functions 1) Mimetic - A plausible person, a unique individual - Lower in flat characters, higher in round - Ex: Low in Mr. Collins (he is highly exaggerated, but he represents narrow minded, self centered people, who seek to get ahead) 2) Thematic - The general concepts or ideas that the characters story involves - Specific in flat characters, broader in round - Ex: High in Mr. Collins (false values, worships rank and wealth for his own sake, without regard for the worthiness of the people in power) 3) Synthetic - Role the character plats as an object of ―counter‖ in a work of art (ie: to further the plot or contribute to an aesthetic pattern) - Both flat character and round - Ex: Medium in Mr. Collins (through Lady Catherine, he makes the plot link bringing Lizzie and Darcy together Focalization - Term comes from photography and film - The perspective from which a narrative situation is seen - The consciousness through which we ―see‖ the events - Reality is always perceived (―focalized‖) through a perceiver - Ex: Elizabeth does not suspect that Darcy likes her because she is too busy observing Mr. Bingley‘s attentions towards her sister (Like in ―Arjuna‘s penance, how the cat watches Arjuna while the mice watches the cat) - The agent that sees (the focalizer) must be given a status other than that of the agent that narrates (the narrator) - External focalization: perceiving through a narrator who is outside the narrative (the narrative is focalized through a non-dramatized narrator) - Internal focalization: perceiving through a character (the narrative is focalized through a character) - In Pride and Prejudice it can be argued that at times there is a double focalization: through the narrator and through Elizabeth at the same time. - We as readers are put into two positions. We are ―with‖ Elizabeth seeing and experiencing along with her. At the same time we are aware that there is another external view of Elizabeth. It may blend to the background at times, but our awareness of it reminds us that we should question whether or not Elizabeth perceptions are always right. We identify with her and judge at the same time. - In Ethan Frome, through the frame narrative, Ethan is focalized though the I-narrator, the unnamed engineer - In the inner narrative, the story is focalized primarily through Ethan, but it is the I- narrator focalizing his story though Ethan‘s focalization - The dual focalization (seeing through the narrator seeing through Ethan) suggests the closeness, perhaps even the mind blending, between the I-narrator and Ethan Frome Free Indirect Discourse (FID) - Double focalization is achieved through a technique called ―narrated monologue‖ or ―FID‖ (Free Indirect Discourse) - The thoughts or sensations of a character presented as they are actually occurring in the characters mind, but presented by a narrator describing that character in the third person (he or she) - A barely noticeable slip from focalization though the narrator, to focalization through the character - Example of FID in Ethan Frome: o Confused motions of rebellion stormed in him. He was too young, too strong, too full of the sap of living, to submit so easily to the destruction of his hopes. Must he wear out all his years at the side of a bitter querulous woman? Other possibilities had been in him, possibilities sacrificed, one by one, to Zeena‘s narrow-mindedness and ignorance. And what good had come of it? (53). Narrated Monologue - According to Dorrit Cohn, it ―the technique for rendering a characters thought in his own idiom while maintaining the third person reference and the basic tense of narration Embedded Text - A narrative that is inset in a larger narrative world - Example: Darcy‘s letter is an embedded text within the larger narrative of Pride and Prejudice Frame Narrative - A narrative in which another narrative is inset or enclosed - The scene of narration that provides the context in which another narrative is received and understood - Frame narratives are often at the beginning and the end, they can also sometimes be in the middle - Example 1: The scenes between the mariner and the wedding guest constitute a frame narrative. - Example 2: The scenes of the engineer describing his experiences in Starkfield constitute a frame narrative Narrator - The one who tells the story - Can be impersonal and anonymous (undramatized, like the narrator in Pride and Prejudice). Or they can be characters in the storyworld (dramatized, like the mariner and Wharton‘s engineer) Narratees - The one to whom the story is told - Can be specifically identndied, like the wedding guest, or they can be general
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