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1.1. Definition of Style in Linguistics
1.2. Humour as an Element of Style
Humour in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
1.Гальперин И. Р. Стилистика английского языка. М., 1977.
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7.Gregory M. and Carroll S. Language and Situation: Language Varieties in their Social Contexts. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978.
8.Kolln M. Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Cho
Показать всеices, Rhetorical Effects. New York: Macmillan, 1991.
9.Leech G. N. and Short M. H. Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. London and New York: Longman, 1981.
10.Riffaferre M. The StylisticFunction. Proceedings of the 9th Interriatidnal Congress of Linguists, The Hague, 1964.
11.Twain M. The Adventures of Tom SawyerMark Twain. N-Y., 1996.
12.Widdowson H. G. Stylistics and the Teaching of Literature. Essex: Longman, 1975. Скрыть
Use of such figures of speech as zeugma, hyperbole, oxymoron and pun;
Use of comic sounds or inherently funny words with sounds that make them amusing in a language;
Violation of phraseology units, etc.
Oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms (e.g. "sick health", “cold fire”).
Pun is a figure of speech depending upon similarity of sound and disparity of meaning and consisting of a deliberate confusion of similar words or phrases for rhetorical effect, whether humorous or serious. It can rely on the assumed equivalency of multiple similar words (homonymy), of different shades of meaning of one word (polysemy), or of a literal meaning with a metaphor.
The pun is a stylistic device based on the interaction of two well-known meanings of a wo
Показать всеrd or phrase. It is difficult do draw a hard and fast distinction between zeugma and the pun. The only reliable distinguishing feature is a structural one: zeugma is the realization of two meanings with the help of a verb which is made to refer to different subjects or objects (direct or indirect). The pun is more independent. There need not necessarily be a word in the sentence to which the pun-word refers. This does not mean, however, that the pun is entirely free. Like any other stylistic device, it must depend on a context. But the context may be of a more expanded character, sometimes even as large as a whole work of emotive prose.
Zeugma is the use of a word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations to two adjacent words in the context, the semantic relations being, on the one hand, literal, and, on the other, transferred. A good writer always keeps the chief meanings of words from fading away, provided the meanings are worth being kept fresh and vigorous. Zeugma is' a strong and effective device to maintain the purity of the primary meaning when the two meanings clash. By making the two meanings conspicuous in this particular way, each of them stands out clearly. This structural variant of zeugma, though producing some slight difference in meaning, does not violate the principle of the stylistic device. It still makes the reader realize that the two meanings of the word 'stand' are simultaneously expressed, one primary and the other derivative.
Irony is a figure of speech (more precisely called verbal irony) in which there is a gap or incongruity between what a speaker or a writer says, and what is understood. Double mening of irony is very helpful in providing humorous effect.
Hyperbole is a trope functioning as deliberate exaggeration, which can be used for humour as well.
The phraseological unit defined by A.V.Kunin as a set combination of words with a complete or partial transference of meaning11 may be used as a humour drive in case of its structure violation leading to appearence of some nonsense collocations.
All these ways of providing humor are quite often used altogether though with some variation of their significance in various humorous texts, of which “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain seems to be a sort of enduring masterpiece of the 19-th century American humour.
Humour in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
Irony seems to be used by Twain most frequently as his sympathy is not with the adults but with mischievous kids.
Two thousand verses is a great many-very, very great many. And you never can be sorry for the trouble you took to learn them; for knowledge is worth more than anything there is in the world; it's what makes great men and good men; you'll be a great man and a good man yourself, some day, Thomas, and then you'll look back and say, It's all owing to the precious Sunday-school privileges of my boyhood-it's all owing to my dear teachers that taught me to learn-it's all owing to the good superintendent, who encouraged me, and watched over me, and gave me a beautiful Bible-a splendid elegant Bible-to keep and have it all for my own, always-it's all owing to right bringing up!
The aunt, who tries to do her best giving Tom the best upbringing, sometimes becomes a trickster pretending to be unwell and prone to cruelties.
His aunt wept over him and asked him how he could go and break her old heart so; and finally told him to go on, and ruin himself and bring her gray hairs with sorrow to the grave, for it was no use for her to try any more. This was worse than a thousand whippings, and Tom's heart was sorer now than his body. He cried, he pleaded for forgiveness, promised to reform over and over again, and then received his dismissal, feeling that he had won but an imperfect forgiveness and established but a feeble confidence.
The aunt’s speech is full of hyperboles as she exaggerates her sufferings.
"Oh, Tom, don't lie-don't do it. It only makes things a hundred times worse."
"It ain't a lie, auntie; it's the truth. I wanted to keep you from grieving-that was all that made me come."
"I'd give the whole world to believe that-it would cover up a power of sins, Tom. I'd 'most be glad you'd run off and acted so bad. But it ain't reasonable; because, why didn't you tell me, child?"
The teacher becomes an object of Twin’s irony because his strictness and severeness towards children is caused by his unsatisfied ambition, so he invents and practice a sort of revenge.
The master, Mr. Dobbins, had reached middle age with an unsatisfied ambition. The darling of his desires was, to be a doctor, but poverty had decreed that he should be nothing higher than a village schoolmaster. Every day he took a mysterious book out of his desk and absorbed himself in it at times when no classes were reciting. He kept that book under lock and key. There was not an urchin in school but was perishing to have a glimpse of it, but the chance never came. Every boy and girl had a theory about the nature of that book; but no two theories were alike, and there was no way of getting at the facts in the case.
Tom Sawyer’s irony may be a sign of his friendliness as in the following example.
"Tom Sawyer, you are just as mean as you can be, to sneak up on a person and look at what they're looking at."
"How could I know you was looking at anything?"
"You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Tom Sawyer; you know you're going to tell on me, and oh, what shall I do, what shall I do! I'll be whipped, and I never was whipped in school."
The tyranny of adults towards kids is quite often made fun of, as the latter seem to be more quick-minded than the former ones.
As the great day approached, all the tyranny that was in him came to the surface; he seemed to take a vindictive pleasure in punishing the least shortcomings. The consequence was, that the smaller boys spent their days in terror and suffering and their nights in plotting revenge. They threw away no opportunity to do the master a mischief. But he kept ahead all the time. The retribution that followed every vengeful success was so sweeping and majestic that the boys always retired from the field badly worsted. At last they conspired together and hit upon a plan that promised a dazzling victory.
Twain likes children and is ready to forgive their little mischief and disobedience since without them life would seem terribly boring.
"Now, that's something LIKE! Why, it's a million times bullier than pirating. I'll stick to the widder till I rot, Tom; and if I git to be a reg'lar ripper of a robber, and everybody talking 'bout it, I reckon she'll be proud she snaked me in out of the wet."
Pun is also used for humorous effect, were advantage is not given to the adults devoid of fantasy.
He felt much as an astronomer feels who has discovered a new planet-no doubt, as far as strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure is concerned, the advantage was with the boy, not the astronomer.
Oxymoron is a good way to capture the reader’s attention as well.
At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration.
Oxymoron can reverse the very common things making a fool wise and a young man appear old as in the following example:
"Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?"
Even likeable thins can seem a dead bore when this trope is used.
"Like it? Well, I don't see why I oughtn't to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"
By means of oxymoron the well-off may be prone to hard work on condition they are not paid for it.
There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger coaches Twainty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.
Oxymoron makes opposite things come together without any conflict.
Tom’s army won a great victory, after a long and hard-fought battle. Then the dead were counted, prisoners exchanged, the terms of the next disagreement agreed upon, and the day for the necessary battle appointed; after which the armies fell into line and marched away, and Tom turned homeward alone.
Even lie, which is considered to be a great sin, becomes a sort of virtue.
"Oh, child, you never think. You never think of anything but your own selfishness. You could think to come all the way over here from Jackson's Island in the night to laugh at our troubles, and you could think to fool me with a lie about a dream; but you couldn't ever think to pity us and save us from sorrow."
Poor boy, I reckon he's lied about it-but it's a blessed, blessed lie, there's such a comfort come from it.
Violation of phraseological units is just another way to make the text sound humorous and exciting.
"You're a coward and a pup. I'll tell my big brother on you, and he can thrash you with his little finger, and I'll make him do it, too."
Instead of turning smb. round one's (little) finger the reader deals with thrashing smb. with one’s little finger.’
Old fashions (as in the idiom in a new fashion) are put an end to by new light.
That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth-stepped back to note the effect-added a touch here and there-criticised the effect again-Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Скрыть
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