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Consider the following examples
Теория образов. Структура образов. Метафора, символ, понятие о тропах.
The Theory of Images.Structure of images. Metaphor, Symbol. Notion of Tropes.
In a broad sense the term “image” means reflection of the external environment in human conscience. The main functions of image are cognitive, communicative, aesthetic and educational.
Psychologically the power of images in art draws on the fact that image reproduces past emotions and perceptions in human conscience, specifies information conveyed from a work of art thus attracting reminiscences about sensual, visual and other feelings acquired from experience and connected with psychological states and emotions. Readers’ perception of a work of literature is therefore considered to be an active process.
Images create a possibility of conveying a very special protagonist’s vision of the world to readers; besides the images associated with a protagonist, there maybe certain images associated with minor characters or the author himself. Images occupy key position in the development of ideas and subject matter of any work of art and are considered as significant elements in the structure of the whole. Tropes (metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole, etc.) represent only a special case of linguistic figurativeness embodiment.
A bright image is based on the use of similarity between two remote objects. The objects are supposed to be fairly dissimilar to each other so that their comparison should seem sudden, attract attention and the features of difference should form a background to emphasize the objects similarity. Comparison of one flower with another may serve an explanation to its description, but it does not create any figurativeness. On the other hand, comparison of flower to the sun or the sun to the flower or the wind to the thistle may be expressive to characterize the shape of the flower or prickly nature of the wind.
Consider the following examples
1. It was six o’clock on a winter’s evening. Thin, dingy rain spat and drizzled past the lighted street lamps. The pavements shone long and yellow. In squeaking galoshes, with makintosh collars up and bowlers and trilbies weeping, youngish men from the offices bundled home against the thistly wind. (D.Thomas/ The Followers)
2. Something seemed to break in Winterbourne’s head. He felt he was going mad, and sprang to his feet. The line of bullets smashed across his chest like a savage steel whip. (R.Aldington Death of a Hero)
3. Evans possessed that British rhinoceros equipment of mingled ignorance, self-confidence and complacency which is triple-armed against all the shafts of mind.
(E.Hemingway The Snows of Kilimanjaro)
4. Soft is the music that would charm for ever;
The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly. (W.Wordsworth)
1) Example 1. It is interesting as it characterizes usual and occasional linguistic figurativeness.The words BUNDLE & THISTLY having initial meanings узел и чертополох are used here in their figurative metaphoric meanings ОТПРАВЛЯТЬСЯ И КОЛЮЧИЙ. They are supported by occasional metaphors SPIT (about a rain) and WEEP (about hats), and participate in figurative description of the surroundings.
Images in a novel are not necessarily the images of the main characters. Images may be connected with the weather, landscape, events, interior, etc. Landscapes may be connected with the internal state of the protagonist – either be in complete harmony with his or her internal state or contrast it. They can also be a background or a source of emotions. When looking at the system of images in a work of literature one should first of all determine the topics and ideas around which figurativeness is concentrated and define their stylistic function.
2) Example 2. The essence of Aldington’s novel Death of a Hero is a passionate protest against the war. Its subject is the First World war and the fate of the lost generation shown with the soldier Winterborne having passed through the war as an example. The hero’s frustration and pessimism results in his decision to let the enemies kill him.
The image for the line of bullets is not only in the word WHIP but also in the whole italicized passage. The word whip in its sound pattern is very expressive as it is filled with associations of pain and violence. Its sound is associated with very abrupt fast movement. Figurative and reinforcing expressiveness of the word WHIP is supported by convergence of additional stylistic means. Epithet SAVAGE supplements the image by an emotional and estimating component. The image is reinforced by rhythmic and phonetic sound pattern with the emphasized alliteration of sibilant and hushing sounds.
When considering image structure we should distinguish the following parts:
1 TENOR - what is actually under discussion, the subject of discussion (обозначаемое)
2 VEHICLE – image or analogue in terms of which TENOR is represented
3 GROUND – basis for comparison
4 Relationship between the 1&2
5 Technique of comparison as a kind of TROPE
6 Grammatical and lexical peculiarities of comparison.
Every element of description (TENOR) for which a figurative way of description is chosen turns out to be foregrounded, that is the most important.
The TENOR in example 2 is LINE OF BULLETS
The VEHICLE is a violent lash by a steel whip
The GROUND is the character of the action.
The relation between 1&2 is not essential as both of the things mentioned are definite. The category of RELATIONSHIP should be considered in cases of personification when an inanimate object is compared with a person. In a metaphor the TENOR may be abstract and the VEHICLE may be definite (the SEA of TROUBLES) A lot of troubles (the TENOR) is compared to the SEA (vehicle).
How to analyse a Metaphor
a) But ye lovers that bathen in gladness (CHAUCER)
b) The eastern gate where the great sun begins his state.
c) The sky rejoices in the morning’s birth
Decide which parts of the metaphoric expression are taken figuratively and
Stage 1) Separate LITERAL from FIGURATIVE use by setting them out on different lines. The jump from literal to figurative meaning or vice versa occurs at a point where literal interpretation is baffled, usually by a violation of selection restrictions
a) L: But ye lovers that _________ gladness
F: “””””””””””””””” bathen in
b) L: the eastern _______ where the great sun begins ____________
F. “””””””””” gate “”””””””””””””””””””””” his state
c) L: The sky ___________ the morning _________
F: _______ rejoices in __________’s birth
The blanks signify textual gaps in the literal or in the figurative interpretation.
Stage 2) Construct TENOR and Vehicle by postulating semantic elements to fill in the gaps of the literal and figurative interpretations.
a) TEN But ye lovers that [feel] gladness
VEHICLE bathen in [water]
b) TEN. the eastern [part of the sky] where the great sun begins [its daily course]
VEHICLE gate [king] his state
c) TENOR The sky [looks bright at] the morning’s [beginning]
VEHICLE [animate] rejoices in [animate’s] birth
Make gap-fillers as unspecific as you possibly can
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