ФЕДЕРАЛЬНОЕ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЕ КАЗЕННОЕ ОБЩЕОБРАЗОВАТЕЛЬНОЕ УЧРЕЖДЕНИЕ
«НОВОЧЕРКАССКОЕ СУВОРОВСКОЕ ВОЕННОЕ УЧИЛИЩЕ МИНИСТЕРСТВА ВНУТРЕННИХ ДЕЛ РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ»
(ФГКОУ НСВУ МВД России)
Цикл гуманитарных и математических дисциплин
Introduction to the Interpretation of Fiction
для обучающихся 1, 2 и 3 курсов.
Introduction to the interpretation of fiction: Учебно-методическое пособие. ФГКОУ НСВУ МВД России, 2016 г.
Предлагаемое пособие адресовано обучающимся ФГКОУ НСВУ МВД России 1, 2 и 3 курсов и предназначено для самостоятельного изучения теоретического материала и формирования необходимых практических умений по интерпретации иноязычного художественного текста. Пособие также снабжено рядом заданий для самостоятельной работы обучающихся.
Методическое пособие обсуждено и одобрено на заседании цикла гуманитарных и математических дисциплин
Notes on stylistic devices………………………………………………………..7
Phonetic stylistic devices………………………………………………………...7
Lexical stylistic devices……………………………………………………….....8
Syntactical stylistic devices……………………………………………………...9
Lexico-Syntactical stylistic devices……………………………………………11
Useful phrases for interpretation……………………………………………….12
Example of interpretation of fiction……………………………………………13
Учебное пособие «Introduction to the Interpretation of Fiction» предназначено для обучающихся 1, 2 и 3 курсов ФГКОУ НСВУ МВД России.
Интерпретация художественного текста описывает реализацию системы языка в определенных речевых сферах, т.е. целые развернутые тексты на английском языке. Интерпретация текста обращается в первую очередь к истолкованию общего смысла произведения через анализ его фонетических, грамматических, лексических и стилистических особенностей.
Учитывая то, что наибольшие трудности вызывает интерпретация литературно-художественного текста, основное внимание уделяется структуре и методике анализа художественных произведений.
Содержание данного методического пособия представлено одним модулем, состоящим из трех частей (теоретической, практической и контролирующей). Целью данного модуля является формирование умений самостоятельной интерпретации художественного текста, а также повышение культурного и информационного уровня обучающихся.
Теоретическая часть содержит информационный материал, необходимые понятия, которые необходимы для освоения начального представления о таком сложном понятии как интерпретация художественного текста.
Практическая часть содержит ряд упражнений.
Контролирующая часть содержит тестовые задания для самоконтроля.
Пособие снабжено списком рекомендуемой литературы для самостоятельного изучения обучающимися.
We read fiction to experience new ideas and feelings this or that text inspires within us. Of course, each of us has different expectations from fiction. As well as it causes different feelings and emotions.
So far the aim of interpretation is to reveal the hidden meaning and try and guess author’s thoughts and feelings.
In this way interpretation (according to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus) is an explanation or opinion of what something means.
For instance: we don’t read fiction just to get the information. Stories have deep, unstated meaning. We respond to both – the story and an underlying message.
Interpretation is always subjective as it is you who experience everything while reading fiction. It will always be based on your beliefs, values, interests and desires. Thus, interpretation is a very creative and interesting task.
But bear in mind one important thing!
The biggest mistake you can make is simply retell the plot of the text. It is not what you are expected to do while writing an interpretation.
So, here is the scheme that will help you not to miss any significant part of your future interpretation:
Give a few words about the author (name, country of birth, main works)
Set the scene (give a short summary of the text).
Speak about the main characters.
Mention the main idea (the author’s message).
Define the form of speech and the mood of the text.
Give an analysis of the text (content, expressive means, stylistic devices).
Now, let’s talk about the plan of your work in more detail. Well, start by reading the given text. You must do it carefully, minding the overriding points of the novel/short story/poem/etc. They will help you to build the shell of a plan for your future analysis. Have you understood everything? If your answer is positive then try to create in your mind the whole picture, highlighting the main characters of the story. But do not forget about the minor ones! They deserve your attention too! After it, put down a simple scheme where you mention the main idea of the text which is a core meaning of the text or an extract. You should try to realise what is writer’s intention and what the story is really about. It may take you a several times of careful reading before you really grasp the idea. Worry you not skill comes with time and training. Also, bear in mind that an idea should represent the entire piece of the text.
One of the most important things is to respect every reader’s personal idea, even if it differs from yours, as interpretation of fiction is subjective.
In general, you can divide your analysis into three parts. Devote the first one to the introduction, in which you present the brief information about the author of the text and tell the setting in a nutshell. Then speak about the central characters, paying your attention to the traits which seem the most revealing to you, they should give a clear understanding of a person. After it is done, state the relationships between the main characters, mind the details.
Now it is the high time to formulate the main idea! You have already thought it over, haven’t you? Good lad, now tie it up with the beginning of your analysis.
After you completed all the mentioned steps, give a few sentences about the form of speech (first/third person narration). Tell whether it has a description, a dialogue, or perhaps an inner monologue. Then define the mood of the text, which indicates the author’s emotional attitude as represented in the story. It may be: lyrical, ironic, romantic, gloomy, etc.
Look at you! You’ve almost finished with your analysis. Now, every text must have a conclusion. So must yours. Sum up everything you have come to during your hard work. Perhaps you have learnt something new? Or found out something interesting? What would you do if you were the character of the story? Share your thoughts and emotions with everyone! After all, that’s one of the aims of the analysis of fiction.
Notes on stylistic devices
A stylistic device – is the replacement of the existing names approved by long usage and fixed in dictionaries by new, occasional, individual ones, prompted by the speaker’s subjective view and rating of things.
There are four main groups of stylistic devices:
Phonetic stylistic devices
1.Alliteration (аллитерация) – is the repetition of similar consonant sounds in close succession, particularly at the beginning of successive words.
Deep into the darkness peering, long and stood there wondering fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before. (E.A. Poe)
2. Assonance (гармония, созвучие) – a phonetic stylistic device; it is the agreement of vowel sounds (sometimes combined with likeness in consonants).
… and the Raven never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting …
3. Onomatopoeia (звукоподражание) – is a combination of speech-sounds which aims at imitating sounds produced in nature;
by things (machines or tools, etc.)
by people (sighing, laughter, patter of feet, etc.)
There are two varieties of onomatopoeia: direct and indirect.
Direct: ding-dong, buzz, bang, cuckoo, mew, ping-pong, etc.
Indirect: …and the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain …
4.Rhyme (рифма) – is the repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combination of words.
might – right
Lexical stylistic devices
1.Metaphor (метафора) – is a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect that, usually, provides clarity; thus, the implied conceptual relationship rhetorically highlights the, at times difficult to conceive, similarities between two ideas.
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances[...]
—William Shakespeare, As You Like It.
2. Metonymy (метонимия) – is the substitution of one word for another with which it is associated.
The hall applauded; the marble spoke; the kettle is boiling.
3. Synecdoche (синекдоха) – is a form of metonymy: using the name of a part to denote a whole or vice versa.
The phrase “gray beard” refers to an old man.
4.Epithet (эпитет) –is a descriptive literary device that describes a place, a thing or a person in such a way that it helps in making the characteristics of a person, thing or place more prominent than they actually are.
Heart-burning smile; wild winds; fantastic terrors; voiceless sands; deep feelings; sleepless bay.
5. Oxymoron (оксю́морон) – is a combination of two words in which their meaning clash, being opposite in sense.
Sweet sorrow; pleasantly ugly face; deafening silence; horribly beautiful.
6.Zeugma (зе́вгма) – is a literary term for using one word to modify two other words, in two different ways.
She broke his car and his heart.
‘…and covered themselves with dust and glory’.-Mark Twain
7.Allusion (аллюзия) – is reference to a famous historical, literary, mythological, biblical or everyday life character or event, commonly known. As a rule no indication of the source is given.
It’s his Achilles heel.
8.Antonomasia (антономазия) – is intended to point out the leading, most characteristic features of a person or of event. It categorizes the person and simultaneously indicates both the general and the particular.
“The Iron Lady” or the “The Leaderene” for Margaret Thatcher.“The Dark Knight” or “The Caped Crusader” for Batman (also referred as “The Dynamic Duo” when paired with fictional sidekick, Robin). “The Smoke” for London.
Syntactical stylistic devices
1.Repetition (повтор) – is used when the speaker is under the stress of strong emotions. It shows the state of mind of the speaker.
‘Stop!’-she cried. ‘Don’t tell me! I don’t want to hear; I don’t want to hear what you’ve come for. I don’t want to hear.’
2. Anaphora (ана́фора) – is the repetition of the same word at the beginning of two or more phrases
Ignorant of how Soams watched her, ignorant of her reckless desperation, ignorant of all this.
3.Epiphora (эпифора) – is the repetition at the end of a phrase.
I am exactly the man to be placed in a superior position in such a case as that. I am above the rest of mankind, in such a case as that. I can act with philosophy in such a case as that.
4.Anadiplosis (подхват) – the last word or phrase of one part of the utterance is repeated at the beginning of the next part.
This compositional pattern is also called chain-repetition:
A smile would come into Mr.Pickwick’s face: the smile extended into a laugh: the laugh into a roar, and the roar became general.
5. Chiasmus(хиазм) – is based on the repetition of a syntactical pattern, but it has a cross order of words and phases.
1. In peace sons bury their fathers,
But in war fathers bury their sons.
2. Down dropped the breeze,
The sails dropped down.
6.Parallel construction (параллельныеконструкции) – may be encountered not so much in the sentence as in the macro-structures. The necessary condition in parallel construction is identical, or similar, syntactical structure in two or more sentences or parts of a sentence in close succession.
‘There were real silver spoons to stir the tea with, and real china cups to drink tea out of, and plates of the same to hold the cakes and toast in.’
7.Asyndeton (бессоюзие) – is a deliberate omission of connectives between parts of sentences where they are generally expected to be according to the norms of the language.
Soams turned away; he had an utter disinclination to talk.
8.Polysyndeton (многосоюзие) – is the stylistic device of connecting sentences or phrases or words by using connectives before each component.
Should you ask me, whence these stories?
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the odours of the forest,
With the dew, and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams…
9. Inversion (инверсия) – aims at making one of the members of the sentence more conspicuous, more important, more emphatic.
‘Talent Mr.Micawber has; capital Mr.Micawber has not.’
10. Reported speech (косвеннаяречь) – is a representation of the actual saying by a second person as if it had been spoken (represented in the author’s words).
Over and over he was asking himself: would she forgive him?
Lexico-syntactical stylistic devices
1.Simile (сравнение) – is a figure of speech in which the subject is compared to another subject. By means of the comparison the objects are characterized.
The formal elements of a simile are like, as, as if, as though, such as, seem, etc.
She seemed nothing more than a doll.
Faithful as a dog; to work as a horse; stubborn as a mule.
2.Climax (кульминация) – is the arrangement of sentences which secures a gradual increase in significance, importance or emotional tension in the utterance. The gradual increase in significance may be maintained in three ways: logical, emotional and quantitative. Emotional climax is mainly found in sentences.
It was a lovely city, a beautiful city, a fair city, a veritable gem of a city.
3.Antithesis (противопоставление) – is a stylistic opposition, setting thing one against the other. In order to characterize a thing or phenomenon from a specific point of view, it may be necessary to find points of sharp contrast.
A saint abroad, and a devil at home.
4.Litotes (литота) – is a peculiar use of negative construction: the negation plus noun or adjective establish a positive feature in a person or thing. It is a deliberate understatement used to produce a stylistic effect. Litotes is not a pure negation, but a negation that includes affirmation.
It is not bad. (Is a good thing)
He is no coward. (He is a brave man)
5. Euphemism (эвфемизм) – is a word or a phrase used to replace an unpleasant word or expression.
to die=to pass away, to be no more, to depart, to join the majority, to be gone; to kick the bucket, to give up the ghost, to go west.
6. Hyperbole (гипербола) – is a deliberate overstatement or exaggeration of a phenomenon or an object.
He was so tall that I could not see his face.
7.Periphrasis (перифраз) – as stylistic device is a new, genuine nomination of an object. Stylistic periphrasis can be divided into logical and figurative.
Logical: instruments of destruction (pistols), the most pardonable of human weaknesses (love).
Figurative periphrasis is based either on metaphor or on metonymy.
To tie the knot (to marry), the punctual servant of all work (the sun).
8. Understatement (преуменьшение) – is a figure of speech which intentionally understates something or implies that it is less in significance, size, than it really is.
He was a pretty good football player. Sally is rather clever.
Useful phrases for interpretation.
The following set phrases will help you to build up your vocabulary and make your speech more vivid.
1.The extract under analysis/interpretation is taken from the novel/story/place/fairy-tale…
2.He/she is an outstanding/famous writer/playwright.
3. There’s a description of nature/the sea/park/city/town.
4. The general key of the extract is tragic/dramatic/ironical/humorous.
5. The plot of the extract centresaround…
6.The extract may be divided into (three) logical parts…
7. In the first/second/third part the author writes/tells about…
8. At the beginning of the extract (story) the author describes/depicts/dwells upon/touches/introduces/mentions/exposes/sympathizes (with)/makes a few critical remarks/explains/mocks at to describe…
9. The key word/phrase/sentence/ of the extract/story is…
10. In describing/drawing the characters the author resorts to the method of contrast.
11. The author conveys his attitude towards the characters through…
12. His speech is emotional/unemotional.
13. The character’s state of mind is revealed with the help of the non-personal direct/inner represented speech.
14. The rhetorical question reveals the character’s state of mind (confusion, hesitation, happiness).
15. The emotionally coloured words…show his/her reaction to…
16. Oxymoron/antonomasia/synecdoche….is a very important stylistic device. It shows….
17. The numerous epithets/metaphors make the description more colourful/vivid/picturesque.
18. The use of Past Tenses renders a narrative character.
19. In conclusion the author says that the story ends with…
20. The concluding words are…They suggest…
Example of interpretation of fiction
Interpretation of the extract from “Three men in the boat” by Jerome K. Jerome.
I’d like to tell you about my analysis of the story “Three men in the boat”. It is a very interesting story written by Jerome K. Jerome. He is one of the popular and well-known English authors. He is famous for writing essays, short stories, and novels. Especially, he is famous for his special humour, all his stories are based on that sparkling manner of writing.
The story "Three men in the boat" by Jerome K.Jerome presents that three men with a dog stayed at the village. The action centers after their decision to stay at one of the ship-like islands for a night. Then, they decided to make a supper, using all the ingredients and remains of food they have. The initial paragraph shows how they'd finished cooking. The last paragraph describes that they've enjoyed an excellent supper. Text is divided into four sections. The climax of the story is episode when dog brings a water-rat and friends decided whether they will put it in the Irish stew or not.
The main character of the story is George. In my opinion, he is very experienced and educated man, because he’ll find a way to solve all the problems, and he knows how to behave in any kind of situation. George is leader, he makes decisions and his friends follow him. Through the story I noticed: “George said”, “George did something”. Also, he is brave but on the other hand prefers to be on the safe side and “not try experiments”, he is careful. George is very economical.
The main theme of the story, in my opinion, is “three friends’ supper”, and the idea of the story is “extraordinary solving of the friends’ problem”. Actually, this phrase from the text may also show the idea: “I don’t think I ever enjoyed a meal more. There was something so fresh and piquant about it. ..Here was a dish with a taste like nothing else on earth.” It means their great success in cooking supper. The mood in the story is rather emotional and ironic, realistic. In some parts its cheerful, in some – quite and restful, lyrical for example in describing nature. Tonality in the story is very enthusiastic, rather bright and emotional.
Now I’d like to tell you about the realization of the idea on different levels. As for the choice of words, in this text author uses more bookish words, than colloquial. In the beginning, in the description of Sonning author uses bookish words to create the mood (for example: undertaking). He also uses colloquial words in the description of cooking process (get rid of, etc). Choice of vocabulary tells us about the characters of the story.
To express the idea, author uses many stylistic devices such as irony – because he wants to show humorous situations; metaphors, such as fairy-like nook, extraordinary shape, smothered in roses; epithet, for example, sweet Sonning; and zeugma – scraping potatoes/scraping ourselves. The story is full of funny comic situations, and he uses these stylistic devices to make them brighter. These devices help reader to understand the main idea of the text better.
All in all, the text presents that you can do something good even if you are not sure, you must try something new. As for my impression, after reading this story I realized, that before having something one should make it. So, I guess Jerome K. Jerome gives a wise lesson to his readers. I recommend this interesting story to everyone.
Read the extract and do the tasks:
speak about the author;
describe the main characters;
formulate the idea;
find out the most expressive stylistic devices
“The picture of Dorian Gray” by O. Wilde.
The lamplight struggled out through the fog, and Hallward looked at his watch. "I have heaps of time," he answered. "The train doesn't go till twelve-fifteen, and it is only just eleven. In fact, I was on my way to the club to look for you, when I met you. You see, I shan't have any delay about luggage, as I have sent on my heavy things. All I have with me is in this bag, and I can easily get to Victoria in twenty minutes."
Dorian looked at him and smiled. "What a way for a fashionable painter to travel! A Gladstone bag and an ulster! Come in, or the fog will get into the house. And mind you don't talk about anything serious. Nothing is serious nowadays. At least nothing should be."
Hallward shook his head, as he entered, and followed Dorian into the library. There was a bright wood fire blazing in the large open hearth. The lamps were lit, and an open Dutch silver spirit-case stood, with some siphons of soda-water and large cut-glass tumblers, on a little marqueterie table.
"You see your servant made me quite at home, Dorian. He gave me everything I wanted, including your best gold-tipped cigarettes. He is a most hospitable creature. I like him much better than the Frenchman you used to have. What has become of the Frenchman, by the bye?"
Dorian shrugged his shoulders. "I believe he married Lady Radley's maid, and has established her in Paris as an English dressmaker. Anglomania is very fashionable over there now, I hear. It seems silly of the French, doesn't it? But--do you know?--he was not at all a bad servant. I never liked him, but I had nothing to complain about. One often imagines things that are quite absurd. He was really very devoted to me and seemed quite sorry when he went away. Have another brandy-and-soda? Or would you like hock-and-seltzer? I always take hock-and-seltzer myself. There is sure to be some in the next room."
"Thanks, I won't have anything more," said the painter, taking his cap and coat off and throwing them on the bag that he had placed in the corner. "And now, my dear fellow, I want to speak to you seriously. Don't frown like that. You make it so much more difficult for me."
Read and translate the stylistic devices. Speak about the effect they produce.
Anaphora: Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American.
Metaphor: I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Synecdoche: “His eye met hers as she sat there paler and whiter than anyone in the vast ocean of anxious faces about her.”
Oxymoron: “I find no peace, and all my war is done
I fear and hope, I burn and freeze like ice,
I flee above the wind, yet can I not arise…”
Define the stylistic devices.
1. That’s not bad.
2. I have told you a thousand times.
3. The White House declared…
4. She wore gold around her neck.
5. Sarah liked his devil-may-care attitude towards life.
6. Last time it was a nice, simple, European-style war.
7. Low skyscrapers.
8. Some people have much to live on, and little to live for.
9. The School of Scandal.
10. He took leave and his hat.
11. Up go the windows.
12. Are these the remedies for a starving…?
13. He was so tall I was not sure he had a face.
14. She was not without knowledge.
15. Cruel love.
1. What does the term “interpretation” mean?
2. Why is the interpretation a creative task?
3. What are the essential rules for writing the interpretation?
4. What is the role of stylistic devices in interpreting the text?
5. What groups of stylistic devices do you know?
6. What is the phonetic analysis aimed at?
7. What is the lexical analysis aimed at?
8. What is the grammar analysis aimed at?
Choose the right answer.
1. Interpretation of fiction is:
a) modeling of abstract systems
b) a particular way in which something is understood or explained
c) translation into a foreign language
2. Expressive means are language forms:
a) used for logical intensification
b) used for emotional intensification
c) deliberately used for logical and emotional intensification
d) subconsciously used for logical and emotional intensification
3. Which of the following words are neutral?
a) child, father, proceed, get out
b) kid, father, continue, retire
c) child, Dad, continue, leave
d) child, father, continue, leave
4. Which of the following words belong to the colloquial style?
a) I’m OK
b) I feel quite well
c) My health is good.
What is the form of the following extract?
“It was a lovely place, really a tasteful and colourful thing, and suggestive of a genuine love of beauty in her…She was gracious, tactful, artful, not unlike her old self, yet more interesting because more experience.”
a) represented speech
Circle the correct answer.
1. Don’t use big words. They mean so little.
2. I felt I wouldn’t say “no” to going to the movies.
3. The face of London was strangely altered.
4. I know the world and the world knows me.
5. She had that kind of face which was not completely unpretty.
12) rhetorical question
Choose the right answer:
1b, 2c, 3d, 4a.
What is the form of the following extract?
Circle the correct answer:
1c, 2b, 3a, 4b, 5d.
1. Арнольд И.В. Стилистика современного английского языка. – Л.: Просвещение, 1981.
2. Бабаенко Л.Г., Казарин Ю.В. Филологический анализ текста
Практикум/ под ред. Бабенко. – М.: Академический Проект; Екатеринбург: Делова книга, 2003.
3. Лукин В.А. Художественный текст: Основы лингвистической теории. Аналитическийминимум. – М.: «Ось-89», 2009.
4. Maltzev V.A. An introduction to linguistics poetics. – Minsk, 2009.