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Ю.О. Гафиатулина
Министерство образования и науки Республики Казахстан
Павлодарский государственный университет им. С. Торайгырова
Кафедра теории и практики английского языка
по дисциплине «Стилистика английского языка» для студентов
специальностей 521233 «Иностранная филология» и 021441
«Переводческое дело» очной, заочной и сокращённой форм обучения
УДК 802.0 (075.8)
ББК 81.2 Англ. – 923
Г 24
кандидат педагогических наук, заведующая кафедрой теории и
практики английского языка Павлодарского государственного
университета им. С. Торайгырова Каирбаева А.К.
Гафиатулина Ю.О.
Г 24 English Stylistics. Учебно-методическое пособие. –
Павлодар: ПГУ им. С. Торайгырова, 2004. – 76 с.
ISBN 9965-672-21-1
Учебно-методическое пособие предназначено для семинарских
занятий и индивидуальной работы студентов старших курсов
521233 «Иностранная филология» и 021441
«Переводческое дело» очной, заочной и сокращённой форм обучения,
второго высшего образования. Разработано в соответствии с
вышеперечисленных специальностей.
Пособие состоит из трёх частей:
1) словаря и существующих классификаций стилистических
средств английского языка (традиционных и новых; отечественных и
2) тренировочных аутентичных предложений;
3) тренировочных аутентичных текстов различных стилей.
Цель пособия – помочь студентам понять сущность, строение,
виды и функционирование стилистических средств в предложениях и
текстах английских и американских писателей и поэтов.
ББК 81.2 Англ. – 923
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ISBN 9965-672-21-1
© Гафиатулина Ю.О., 2004
© Павлодарский государственный университет им. С. Торайгырова,
1 Figures of Speech Handbook
2 Stylistic Devices and Expressive Means Drills
3 Texts for Stylistic Analysis
Appendix A Index of stylistic devices and expressive means
English Stylistics is meant as a manual illustrating the structure,
types, usage, and functioning of English speech figures.
I think it is very important to understand the essence of each speech
figure, and I share the idea of Thomas A. Knott that “The most important
element in a human being is his thought. The next is the manner in which
he communicates his thought.”
The manual is intended both for seminars and individual work of
intermediate and advanced students of English stylistics (both day- and
The purpose of English Stylistics is to help the students understand
the essence of each speech figure, as well as practice in defining figures of
speech both in the context of a sentence (microcontext) and that of a text
The manual falls into three parts. The first part is the handbook of
speech figures. It provides the students of English stylistics with a more or
less complete survey of English speech figures, arranged alphabetically. At
the beginning of this part, you can find some ideas on existing
classifications of English speech figures. Both traditional and modern,
Soviet and abroad ideas on the subject were taken into consideration. Yet,
it is strongly advisable to read other books on the subject (see
Bibliography), because many of important points were outlined very
cursorily due to the size of the manual. The second part consists of
sentences-drills. It aids the students of stylistics to acquire skills in defining
speech figures in the context of a sentence. All the sentences were taken
from the books of English and American men of letters. The third part
includes texts for stylistic analysis. It enables the user to acquire the skills
in stylistic analysis of texts by English and American authors. The texts
belong to various literary styles for the students to understand the
difference in the usage and effect produced by speech figures in different
The greater part of this manual has already been successfully used in
my teaching.
I feel much grateful for the love of the subject to my university
TEACHER of stylistics Luybov Anatolyevna Kim …
Yuliya Gafiatulina
1 Figures of Speech Handbook
Figures of speech, or tropes (the terms used by Yu. M. Skrebnev),
rhetorical figures (the term used by Edgar V. Roberts), or stylistic means
of a language (the term used by I. R. Galperin, V. A. Kukharenko, and
other Soviet linguists (see Bibliography) dealing with stylistics) are
particular patterns and arrangements of thought that help to make literary
works effective, persuasive, and forceful.
American and British stylists do not divide figures of speech, or, as
they call them, rhetorical figures, into any classes or groups.
I. R. Galperin, V. A. Kukharenko, and other Soviet scholars
classified all stylistic means of the English language into stylistic devices
(SDs) and expressive means (EMs).
They defined stylistic devices as generative models, intentionally
intensifying some property of a language unit in an unpredictable and
original way. Overuse makes SDs lose their originality, become trite, and,
sometimes, be fixed in dictionaries.
Expressive means are defined as language forms used for emotional
or logical intensification. They are fixed in the grammars and dictionaries.
I. R. Galperin subdivided stylistic means into the following groups:
a) phonetic SDs (alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, rhyme, and
b) lexical SDs and EMs
1) based on the interaction of the dictionary and contextual
meanings (metaphor and its subtype (personification), metonymy and its
subtypes (antonomasia, synecdoche), and irony);
2) based on the interaction of primary and derivative logical
meanings (polysemy, zeugma, and pun);
3) based on the interaction of logical and emotive meanings
(interjections, oxymoron, and epithet);
4) based on the interaction of logical and nominative meanings
(simile, periphrasis, euphemism, hyperbole, and understatement);
c) syntactical SDs and EMs (climax, anticlimax, antithesis,
attachment, asyndeton, polysyndeton, break-in-the-narrative, chiasmus,
detachment, ellipsis, enumeration, litotes, parallel constructions, questionin-the-narrative, represented speech, rhetorical questions, suspense,
inversion, and repetition).
V. A. Kukharenko classified all stylistic means into the following
a) phono-graphical EMs (onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance,
and graphon);
b) graphical EMs (italics, capitalization, spacing of lines, and
spacing of graphemes, such as hyphenation and multiplication);
c) lexical SDs (metaphor, metonymy, pun, zeugma, irony, epithet,
hyperbole, understatement, and oxymoron);
d) syntactic SDs (sentence length, sentence structure, punctuation,
rhetorical questions, repetition, parallel constructions, chiasmus, inversion,
suspense, detachment, ellipsis, apokuinu construction, polysyndeton,
asyndeton, and attachment);
e) lexico-syntactic SDs (antithesis, climax, anticlimax, simile,
litotes, and periphrasis).
I. V. Arnold also dwells upon the violations of syntactic structure.
Yu. M. Skrebnev has a somewhat different view on the figures of
speech nature. He doesn’t consider litotes to be an independent trope, but a
type of meiosis. Periphrasis, epithet, question-in-the-narrative, break-inthe-narrative, represented speech, rhetorical questions, asyndeton, and
suspense are not included into Yu. M. Skrebnev’s classification.
As for the rest of speech figures, he divided them into stylistic units
(having paradigmatic nature) and stylistic sequences (having syntagmatic
nature). Each of the above mentioned can be phonetic, morphological,
lexical, syntactical, or semasiological. Thus Professor Skrebnev has the
following classification of tropes:
a) paradigmatic phonetics units (graphon, grapheme multiplication,
capitalization, and hyphenation);
b) syntagmatic phonetics units (assonance, alliteration,
paronomasia, rhythm, and rhyme);
c) paradigmatic morphology units (morphemes and morphological
meanings synonymy and variability);
d) syntagmatic morphology units (units of paradigmatic
morphology co-occurrence);
e) paradigmatic lexicology units (professionalisms, terms, jargon,
neologisms, barbarisms, and poetic, colloquial, official, vulgar, bookish,
archaic words);
f) syntagmatic lexicology units (units of paradigmatic lexicology
g) paradigmatic syntax units (ellipsis, aposiopesis, polysyndeton,
nominative sentences, syntactic tautology (prolepsis), inversion, and
h) syntagmatic syntax units (repetition and chiasmus);
i) paradigmatic semasiology (onomasiology) units, or figures of
replacement, subdivided into figures of quantity (hyperbole and
understatement) and figures of quality (metonymy and its types
(synecdoche and antonomasia), metaphor and its types (allusion and
personification), and irony);
j) units of syntagmatic semasiology (onomasiology), or figures of
co-occurrence, subdivided into figures of identity (simile), figures of
inequality (climax, anticlimax, pun, zeugma, and tautology), and figures
of contrast (oxymoron and antithesis).
Alliteration [ə litə'rein] (from Latin ad – “near” and littera – “a
letter”, i.e. “letters near”) – repetition of similar consonant sounds (usually
at the beginning of successive/closely following words) to impart a melodic
effect to an utterance.
E.g.: a Monday morning meeting, the silver sweep of the sea.
Allusion ['lun] (from Latin allusio – “a hint”) – a reference to
some commonly known literary, historical, mythological, biblical, etc.
E.g.: He has the strength of Samson (a strong man in the Bible).
He has the strength of Hercules (a strong man in Greek mythology).
“By the Waters of Babylon” by St. V. Benet (a psalm in the Bible).
Anticlimax ['ænti'klaimæks] (from Greek άυτι – “against” and
κλτμαζ – “ladder”, i.e. “a descending ladder”), bathos ['beis], or back
gradation ['bækgrə'dein] (i.e. “gradual descent”) – a stylistic means
opposite to climax (see Climax) – a sudden change of thought from the
lofty/serious to ridiculous by adding a weaker element to one/several strong
ones mentioned before.
E.g.: He was inconsolable – for an afternoon. (J. Galsworthy)
Antithesis [æn'tiθsis] (from Greek άντιθσις – “contradiction”) –
two points of sharp contrast set one against the other, generally in parallel
constructions: Antagonistic features are more easily perceived in similar
E.g.: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age
of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was
the era of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of
Darkness, it was the spring of Hope, it was the winter of Despair, we had
everything before us, we had nothing before us… in front and behind….
(Ch. Dickens)
Antithesis stresses the heterogeneity of the described phenomena,
demonstrates their contradictory nature, or confronts quite different things.
Stylistic antithesis is different from lexical (i.e. antonyms), though
the former is based on the latter. E.g.:
A Soul as full of Worth as void of Pride. (A. Pope) In this sentence
words full and void are antonyms, on which antithesis, i.e. the contradiction
of words worth and pride, is based.
Antonomasia [æntənə'meiziə] (from Greek άντονομασία – “renaming”) – a proper name used for a common one or vice versa.
E.g.: A traitor may be referred to as Brutus.
A man who loves women deserves the name of Don Juan.
I don’t mean only myself, my partner, and the radiologist who does
your X-rays; the three I’m referring to are Dr. Rest, Dr. Diet, and Dr. Fresh
Air. (R. Cussack)
Semantically antonomasia splits into genuine and trite.
Genuine (Poetic/Fresh/Original/Newly-created) antonomasia is
fresh and absolutely unexpected (see example about Dr. Rest, Dr. Diet, etc.
The original figurative meaning of trite (dead/hackneyed/
stale/banal/stereotyped) antonomasia has been forgotten due to the
overuse (see examples about Brutus and Don Juan).
Apokuinu construction [ æpə'kjuinəkən'strkn] (from Greek
άπο – “off”) – the omission of pronominal/adverbial connectives to create a
blend of the main and the subordinate clauses so that the predicative/object
of the first clause is simultaneously used as the subject of the second one.
E.g.: There was a door led into the kitchen. (Sh. Anderson)
He was the man killed that deer. (R. P. Warren)
It is used as a means of speech characteristics in dialogues, in
reported speech, and the type of narrative known as “entrusted”, in which
the author entrusts the feeling of the story to an imaginary narrator who is
either an observer or participant of the described events.
Assonance ['æs(ə)nəns] (from French assonance – “accord”) –
repetition of similar vowel sounds (usually at the beginning of
successive/closely following words) to impart a melodic effect to an
E.g.: about the house, moaning and groaning.
Asyndeton [ə'sinditən] (from Greek ασύυδετου – “without
connection”) – a stylistic means opposite to polysyndeton (see
Polysyndeton) – deliberate omission of conjunctions.
E.g.: Soames turned away; he had an utter disinclination to talk …
(J. Galsworthy) In this sentence conjunction because is omitted, which
makes the subordinate clause almost independent.
Attachment [ə'tætmənt], annexation [ ænək'seiən], or gapsentence link – connection of two seemingly unconnected sentences for
the reader to grasp the idea implied, but not worded.
E.g.: She and that fellow ought to be the sufferers, and they are in
Italy. (J. Galsworthy) Though the second part seems unmotivated, and the
whole sentence, incoherent, we understand that “those who ought to suffer
are enjoying themselves in Italy”.
Attachment stirs up the reader’s/listener’s suppositions, associations,
and connections, under which the sentence can really exist.
[ æpsaiəu'pi:sis] (from Greek άποσιώπησις – “concealment”) – a break of
a sentence for a rhetorical effect (to reflect emotional or/and the
psychological state of the speaker).
A sentence may be broken on the following grounds:
- The speaker’s emotions prevent him from finishing it.
E.g. George loves Emily and tries to make a proposal: “Emily, if I do
improve and make a big change … would you be … I mean could you be
…” “Yes … yes.”(Th. Wilder)
- The speaker desires to cut short the information with which the
sentence begun.
E.g.: This is a story how a Baggins had an adventure. He may have
lost the neighbours’ respect, but he gained – well, you will see whether he
gained anything in the end. (J. Tolkien)
- The speaker doesn’t want to call the things their names.
E.g. in the play Suddenly Last Summer by W. Tennessee a rich old
woman tries to make a doctor to operate on the brains of her niece, being
afraid of her revelations. The doctor is not willing to call the things their
names: In your letter, last week, you made some reference to a – to a –
fund of some kind … it’s – well – risky …
- The speaker is uncertain as to what exactly he is to perform, most
often in threats.
E.g.: You just come home or I’ll …
To mark the break dashes and dots are used (see examples above). It
is only in cast-iron structures that full stops may also appear.
E.g.: Good intentions, but.
It depends.
Capitalization [kəpitəlai'zei(ə)n] – some common nouns written
with capital letters. Capitalization takes place in the following cases:
- In address or personification, which gives some importance and
solemnity to the text.
E.g.: Music! Sphere-descended maid; Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom’s
aid!” (W. Collins)
Such solemnity may be ironical.
E.g.: He’s a big chap. Well you’ve never heard so many well-bred
commonplaces come from beneath the same bowler hat. The Platitude from
Outer Space – that’s brother Nigel. (J. Osborne)
- To show that words are pronounced with emphasis or loudly.
E.g.: And there was dead silence. Till at last came the whisper: “I
didn’t kill Henry. No, NO!” (D. H. Lawrence)
“WILL YOU BE QUIET!” he bawled. (A. Sillitoe)
Some poets of the 20th century do not use capital letters at all. For
example, edward estlin cummings (1894 – 1962):
1 (a
1 (a
Chiasmus [kai'æzməs] (from Greek χιασμός – “in the form of the
Greek letter χ, i.e. in the form of a cross”) – a sudden change from active
voice to passive, or vice versa: Two syntactical constructions
(sentences/phrases) are parallel, but their members (words) change places.
The segments that change places enter opposite logical relations.
E.g.: The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the
clerk, the undertaker and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it.”(Ch.
Chiasmus breaks the monotony of parallel constructions, brings in a
shade of meaning or additional emphasis on some portion of the second
Chiasmus is a syntactical, not a lexical device. Thus, the sentence “In
the days of old men made the manners; Manners now make the men” (G.
G. Byron) contains a lexical device (epigram), but not inversion: Both parts
of the parallel construction have the same, normal word order.
Climax ['klaimæks] (from Greek κλτμαζ – “a ladder”), or gradation
[grə'dein] (from Latin gradatio – “gradual ascent/climbing up”) – a
sentences arrangement, in which each following word/word
combination/clause/sentence is logically more important and emotionally
stronger. The minimum number of elements is two.
E.g.: Better to borrow, better to beg, better to die! (Ch. Dickens)
Climax types:
- Logical, based on the components relative logical importance.
E.g.: For that one instant there was no one else in the room, in the
house, in the world, beside themselves. (M. Wilson)
- Emotional, based on the relative emotional tension produced by
the components.
E.g.: He was pleased, when the child began to adventure across
floors on hand and knees; he was gratified, when she managed the trick of
balancing herself on two legs; he was delighted, when she first said “ta-ta”;
and he was rejoiced, when she recognized him and smiled to him. (A.
- Quantative, based on the relative increase in the volume/size of the
E.g.: They looked at hundreds of houses; they climbed thousands of
stairs; they inspected innumerable kitchens. (W. S. Maugham)
- Negative, based on the absence of a substance/quality, the
components being arranged in the descending order.
E.g.: “Be careful,” said Mr. Jingle. “Not a look. Not a wink,” said
Mr. Tupman. “Not a syllable. Not a whisper.” (Ch. Dickens)
Climax can be realized through the following language means:
- A string of synonyms.
E.g.: I’ll smash you, I’ll crumble you, I’ll powder you.
- Intensifying words.
E.g.: I’m sorry, I’m terribly sorry.
[di'tættkən'strkn] – a secondary member of a sentence singled out
with the help of punctuation and intonation. Such members of a sentence,
called detached, represent a kind of independent whole thrust into the
sentence or placed in a position, which will make it seem independent
E.g.: I have to beg you for money. Daily… (S. Lewis)
Sir Pitt came in first, very much flushed and rather unsteady in his
gait. (W. M. Thackeray)
Brave boy, he saved my life and shall not regret it. (M. Twain)
It was indeed, to Forsyte eyes, an odd house. (J. Galsworthy)
Ellipsis [i'lipsis] (from Greek έλλειψις – “falling out”) – a deliberate
omission of at least one member of a sentence. The missing parts are either
present in the context or implied by the situation.
E.g.: What! All my pretty chickens and their dam; At one swoop? (G.
G. Byron): fell is omitted.
Nothing so difficult as a beginning. (G. G. Byron): is is omitted.
Ellipsis is a SD only in written speech: It is typical for oral speech to
omit some units. Thus sentences like See you tomorrow, Have a good time,
Won’t do contain no SDs. But used in prose dialogues, they become SDs.
Then they are consciously employed by the author to reflect the natural
omissions that characterize colloquial speech, impact brevity, quick tempo,
or (sometimes) emotional tension, add emotional colouring, and make the
sentence more emphatic.
Ellipsis is often met close to a dialogue, in an author’s introductory
remarks commenting on the speech of his characters. It is practically
always employed in encyclopedic dictionaries and reference books,
telegraphic messages, papers or handbooks on technology and natural
Enumeration [i nju:mə'rei(ə)n] – homogeneous parts of an
utterance put together to be made semantically heterogeneous.
E.g.: Famine, despair, cold, thirst and heat had done
Their work on them by turns … (G. G. Byron)
Epithet ['epi θet] (from Greek έπίθετον – “addition”) – an unusual
description of a phenomenon.
E.g.: sweet thoughts, painful shoes, a heart-burning smile.
Semantically epithets split into the following types:
- Associated with the nouns following them, i.e. pointing to an
inherent in the object feature and conveying no emotional evaluation of the
object by the speaker.
E.g.: wide sea, dark forest, careful attention.
- Unassociated with the nouns following them, i.e. adding a feature
not inherent in the object. They seem strange, unusual, or even accidental
and are formed of metaphors, metonymies and similes.
E.g.: bootless cries, voiceless sands, sullen earth.
- Fixed, closely associated with the word they define through long
and repeated use.
E.g.: Merry Christmas, merry old England, happy birthday.
Structurally epithets split into:
- Simple (Single), which are ordinary adjectives.
E.g.: sullen earth, careful attention.
- Compound, which are compound adjectives.
E.g.: cloud-shapen giant, mischief-making monkey.
- Phrase, composed of a string of epithets linked with the help of
E.g.: the sunshine – in – the – breakfast – room smell,
I – am – not – that – kind – of – girl look,
to produce facts in a Would – you – believe – it kind of way.
- Reversed (Inverted), composed of two nouns linked in an "ofphrase”.
E.g.: a fool of a policeman, an angel of a girl, a hook of a nose.
- Transferred (Figurative), describing inanimate objects like living
E.g.: sick chamber, sleepless pillow, merry hours.
- Two-step, in which the description passes two stages: the
description of the object and the description of the description itself. It is
built on the model adverb plus adjective.
E.g.: a pompously majestic woman.
- String of epithets.
E.g.: You nasty, wicked, good for nothing brute.
Euphemism ['ju:fə mizəm] (from Greek εύ – “good/well”, and φημί
– “speak”, i.e. “speaking well”) – a variety of periphrases, “a whitewashing
device” – a word/phrase used to replace an unpleasant or tabooed
word/expression by a conventionally more acceptable, mild, or less
straightforward one.
E.g.: to pass away, to be no more, to join the majority (i.e. to die);
a woman of a certain type (i.e. a prostitute);
mentally deficient person (i.e. an idiot, an imbecile).
Euphemisms can be joking.
E.g.: to go west, to give up the ghost, to kick the bucket (for to die).
The life of euphemisms is short: As soon as they become closely
associated with the object named, they give way to a newly coined
word/combination of words to throw another veil over an unpleasant or
indelicate concept.
Grapheme multiplication ['græfi:mmltipli'kei(ə)n] is a way of
showing the speech intensity.
E.g.: Alllll aboarrrrrd! (Ch. Dickens)
… open your eyes for that laaaaarge sun. (A. Wesker)
Graphon ['græfn] (from Greek γράφω – “I am writing”) – the
intentional word/word combination graphical shape violation used to
reflect authentic pronunciation. Graphon is an extremely concise but
effective means of supplying information about the speaker’s origin, social
and educational background, physical or emotional condition, and the
author’s sarcastic attitude to him.
E.g.: W. Thackeray’s character, butler Yellowplush, says sellybrated
instead of celebrated and jewinile instead of juvenile.
Mr. Babbit, S. Lewis’s character, says Eytalians instead of Italians
and peepul instead of people.
Some graphons show the physical defects of the speaker (stumbling,
lisping, etc.).
E.g.: The b-b-b-b-bas-tud – he’d seen me c-c-c-c-com-ing. (R. P.
You don’t mean to thay that thith ith your firtht time. (D. Cusack)
I don’t weally know wevver I’m a good girl. (J. Braine)
Some amalgamated forms became clichés in contemporary prose
E.g.: gimme (give me), lemme (let me), coupla (couple of), mighta
(might have), gonna (going to), gotta (got to), willya (will you), etc.
Hyperbole [hai'pə:bəli] (from Greek ύπερβολή – “overshooting”) – a
deliberate exaggeration/overstatement of an object feature to such a degree
that will show its utter absurdity.
E.g.: She was a giant of a woman.
The whole world greeted his latest invention with ridicule.
There I took out my pig … and gave him such a kick that he went out
the other end of the alley, twenty feet ahead of his squeal. (O. Henry)
It is used not to deceive, but to infect the reader with the writer’s
enthusiasm, in other words, for humoristic purposes.
Semantically hyperboles split into:
- genuine (poetic/fresh/original/newly-created), i.e. fresh and
absolutely unexpected (see examples above);
- trite (dead/hackneyed/stale/banal/stereotyped), the original
figurative meaning of which has been forgotten due to the overuse.
E.g.: I haven’t seen you for ages.
I have told you a thousand times.
I can eat a horse.
Hyphenation [haifə'nein] – the reflection of rhymed or clipped
manner in which a word is uttered.
E.g.: Adieu you, old man, I pity you, and I de – spise you. (Th.
I really do n – o – t love you.
Interjections [intə'deknz] – words used to express strong
feelings. Interjections split into:
- Primary, devoid of any logical meaning.
E.g.: Oh! Ah! Bah! Hush!
- Derivative, which may retain some logical meaning, though always
suppressed by the volume of emotive meaning.
E.g.: God! God knows! Bless me! Heavens!
Interjections, like other words in the English vocabulary, bear
features, which mark them as follows:
- Bookish.
E.g.: Alas! Lo! Hark!
- Neutral.
E.g.: Oh! Ah! Bah!
- Colloquial.
E.g.: Gosh! Well! Why!
Neutral interjections as a rule have bookish and colloquial
corresponding synonyms.
E.g.: Alas! (bookish) – Oh! (neutral) – Gosh! (colloquial)
Lo! (bookish) – Ah! (neutral) – Well! (colloquial)
Hark! (bookish) – Bah! (neutral) – Why! (colloquial)
Some adjectives and adverbs can also take on the function of
E.g.: Terrible! Great! Splendid! Awful! Wonderful! Fine!
Inversion [in'və:n] (from Latin inversio – “changing place”) – an
indirect order of words in a sentence to make one of them more
conspicuous, important, or emphatic.
E.g.: Inexplicable was the astonishment of the little party when they
returned to find out that Mr. Pickwick had disappeared. (Ch. Dickens)
Came a day when he dragged himself into the Enquirer alley. (J.
The following patterns of inversion are most frequently used in
English prose and poetry:
- Object is placed at the beginning of a sentence.
E.g.: Talent Mr. Micawber has, capital Mr. Micawber has not. (Ch.
- Attribute is placed after the word it modifies.
E.g.: Once upon a midnight dreary…(E. A. Poe)
With fingers weary and worn… (Th. Hood)
- Predicative is placed before the subject.
E.g.: A good generous prayer it was. (M. Twain)
- Predicative stands before the link verb and both are placed before
the subject.
E.g.: Rude am I in my speech…(W. Shakespeare)
- Adverbial modifier is placed at the beginning of the sentence.
E.g.: Eagerly I wished the morrow. (E. A. Poe)
- Both modifier and predicate stand before the subject.
E.g.: Out came the chase – in went the horses –
On sprang the boys – in got the travellers. (Ch. Dickens)
Questions may also be inverted. The inverted question presupposes
the answer with more certainty than the normative one.
E.g.: Your mother is at home? (J. Baldwin)
Stylistic inversion is different from grammatical: The former does
not change the grammatical essence of the sentence, while the latter does.
Cf.: Has he come? (grammatical inversion)
Come he has. (stylistic inversion)
Irony ['airəni] (from Greek είρωνεία – “mockery concealed”) – a
direct contrast of two notions: the notion named and the notion meant. In
other words, the writer says one thing, but really means the opposite to
produce a humorous effect, or to express a feeling of irritation, displeasure,
pity, or regret.
E.g.: The food was so delicious that I took it home for my dog.
She turned with the sweet smile of an alligator. (J. Steinbeck)
The context in which irony exists varies from the minimum of a
word combination to the context of the whole book.
Italics [i'tæliks] – sloping letters used for the following purposes:
- To show foreign words that are considered alien for the text.
E.g.: I want to tell you something tête-à–tête.
- To produce the effect of emphasis.
E.g.: Now listen, Ed, stop that, now. I’m desperate. I am desperate,
Ed, do you hear? (Th. Dreiser)
Italics always go together with the full form of the words usually
written in the contracted form, as in the example given above.
The difference in type means the difference in intonation, which in
its turn shows different feelings and emotions.
Cf.: You are a baby, Robert.
You are a baby, Robert. (J. B. Priestley) The second example sounds
more affectionate.
You are a rotter, Stanton.
You are a rotter, Stanton. (J. B. Priestley) The first example sounds
not so furious.
Litotes ['laitəuti:z, lai'təuti:z] (from Greek λιτότης – “plain, simple”),
– a two-component structure, in which two negations are joined to give a
positive evaluation.
E.g.: But it is not bad (i.e. good). (E. Hemingway)
The history of this small pastoral property was not uncommon (i.e.
common). (A. Upfield)
A variant of litotes is a construction with only one negation.
E.g.: She is not awfully well (i.e. bad).
There is not much (i.e. little) to eat. (E. Hemingway)
Malapropism ['mæləprpizm] (from Latin mal – “bad, ill” and
proper – “individual”) – a grotesque misuse of words, a substitution of one
word for another based on a blunder. Malapropism creates a funny change
of meaning.
E.g.: illiterate can be used for obliterate, pineapple, for pinnacle.
Metaphor ['metəfə, 'metəf:] (from Greek μετάφορα –
“transference”) – transference of the characteristics of one phenomenon to
another, showing likeness/similarity in things that are basically different
(without using “as” or “like”). A metaphor states that a = b. It is an
expressive characterization of an object.
E.g.: The hotel was a huge and splendid rubbish dump.
Metaphor can be embodied in the following meaningful parts of
speech: nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.
E.g. (accordingly): I am an island.
The human tide is rolling westward. (Ch. Dickens)
In the slanting beams that streamed through the open window, the
dust danced and was golden. (O. Wilde)
The leaves fell sorrowfully.
Semantically metaphors split into the following types:
- genuine (poetic/fresh/original/newly-created/creative), based on
some fresh and absolutely unexpected analogy between two things (see
examples above);
- trite (dead/hackneyed/stale/banal/stereotyped), the original
figurative meaning of which has been forgotten due to the overuse.
E.g.: to burst into tears, the eye of a needle, the foot of a mountain.
Structurally metaphors split into:
- Simple, which consist of one word or word-group.
E.g.: I hope that as the weather gets colder his heart gets warmer.
- Prolonged (Sustained/Chain), in which one word, used in a
metaphoric sense, calls forth transference of meaning in the whole
sequence of words related to it. In other words, it’s a logical development
of a chain of metaphors.
E.g.: Mr. Dombey’s cup of satisfaction was so full at this moment,
however, that he felt he could afford a drop or two of its contents, even to
sprinkle on the dust of his little daughter. (Ch. Dickens)
- Mixed (Broken/Catachresis), which begin with one comparison,
but change to another one in an illogical way.
E.g.: The cold hand of death quenched her thirst for life (a hand
cannot quench one’s thirst).
Metonymy [mi'tnimi] (from Greek μετωυμία – “renaming”) – the
substitution of one object by another on the basis of their common
existence in reality.
E.g.: I am fond of Dickens.
I collect old China.
Metonymy can be based on the following relations between two
objects (the list is incomplete):
- The name of a work instead of the author.
E.g.: to read Shakespeare.
- A container instead of its content.
E.g.: to drink a glass.
- A symbol instead of the thing symbolized.
E.g.: the British Lion (the symbol of British Empire).
- A material instead of the thing made of it.
E.g.: The marble spoke.
- A concrete thing instead of an abstract notion.
E.g.: The camp, the pulpit and the law
For rich men’s sons are free. (P. B. Shelley)
- An abstract notion instead of a concrete thing.
E.g.: The fish desperately takes the death (i.e. snaps at the fishhook).
- The instrument used instead of the name of the action performed.
E.g.: Well, Mr. Weller, says the gentleman, you’re a very good whip,
and can do anything you like with your horses, we know. (Ch. Dickens)
- The relation of proximity.
E.g.: The round game table was boisterous and happy. (Ch. Dickens)
- The consequence instead of the cause.
E.g.: You don’t ask Joe questions unless you want a new set of teeth.
Metonymy is an effective means to vividly visualize the
objects/ideas discussed.
Onomatopoeia [ nəu mætəu'pi:ə] (from Greek όυοματοποιία –
“making name”) – the combination of speech sounds imitating those
produced in nature by things, people, or animals.
Onomatopoeia types:
- Direct, contained in words that imitate natural sounds.
E.g.: buzz, bang, ding-dong, flop.
- Indirect, which is a combination of sounds making the sound
reflection of the meaning.
E.g.: And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain.
(E A. Poe) In the sentence above, the repetition of sound [s] produces the
effect of softness, while the repetition of sound [r], the sound reflection of a
rustling curtain.
Oxymoron [ksi'm:rn] (from Greek όζύμωρον – “wittily
foolish”) – two successive words (mostly an adjective and a noun, or an
adverb and an adjective), the meanings of which clash, being opposite in
E.g.: O brawling love! O loving hate! Heavy lightness! Serious
vanity! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! (W.
Oxymoron can also be based on the semantic discordance of two
E.g.: He had a face like a plateful of mortal sins (B. Behan) Plateful
usually refers to food, while sins, to the religious sphere of human life.
Structurally oxymorons split into:
- Attributive, consisting of an adjective and a noun.
E.g.: low skyscraper, sweet sorrow, open secret, best enemy, worst
- Verbal, consisting of a verb and an adverb.
E.g.: to shout mutely, to cry silently.
Semantically oxymorons split into:
- Genuine (Poetic/Fresh/Original/Newly-created), i.e. fresh and
absolutely unexpected.
E.g.: We were fellow strangers.
- Trite (Dead/Hackneyed/Stale/Banal/Stereotyped), in which the
first component has lost its primary logical meaning due to the overuse and
is used only as an intensifier.
E.g.: awfully nice, terribly hungry, damn nice.
An oxymoron discloses the essence of an object full of seeming or
genuine discrepancies.
Paragraph ['pærə gra:f, 'pærə græf] – a group of related sentences
that develop a single idea. Sentences in a paragraph demonstrate unity
(state or develop a single main idea) and coherence and are related to each
other logically (the ideas they present are easy to follow).
Paragraph structure depends on the style: the scientific prose style
paragraph is built on logical principles; the newspaper style paragraph, on
psychological principles (sensational effect and capacity for quick reading);
the belles-letters style paragraph, according to the author’s purpose; the
publicistic style paragraph, according to the author’s purpose.
The length of a paragraph normally varies from eight to twelve
sentences (in newspaper style, from one to three).
A paragraph usually has a topic sentence that states the main idea. It
is as a rule placed at the beginning of a paragraph, but can also be
positioned in some other parts of a sentence. The body of a paragraph
presents the subordinate ideas that support or explain the main one in the
topic sentence.
Parallel construction ['pærəlelkən'strkn] – identical/similar
syntactical structure in two or more successive sentences/clauses.
E.g.: There were real silver spoons to stir the tea with, and real china
cups to drink it out of it, and plates of the same to hold the cakes and toast
in.”(Ch. Dickens)
Parallel constructions may be viewed as a purely syntactical type of
repetition, as we deal with the reiteration of the structure of sentences, and
not of their lexical “flesh”. Though it is true enough, parallel constructions
are often backed up by repetition of words, conjunctions and prepositions
(see example above).
Parallel constructions split into:
- Partial, consisting in the repetition of some parts of successive
E.g., in the following sentence all attributive clauses begin with
conjunction who followed by a verb in the same tense form: There lives at
least one being who can never change – one being who would be content to
devote his whole existence to your happiness – who lives but in your eyes –
who breathes but in your smile – who bears the heavy burden of life itself
only for you. (Ch. Dickens)
- Complete (Balanced), maintaining identical structures throughout
the corresponding sentences.
E.g.: The seeds ye sow – another reaps; the robes ye weave –
another wears; the arms ye forge – another bears. (P. B. Shelley)
Parallel constructions have a semantic (suggest equal semantic
significance of the component parts) and a structural (give a rhythmical
design to the component parts) function.
Periphrasis [pə'rifrəsis] (pl. periphrases) (from Greek περίφρασις –
“speaking around”) – the use of a more or less complicated syntactical
structure instead of one word to convey a purely individual perception of
the described object.
E.g.: 200 pages of blood-curdling narrative (i.e. a thriller);
the cups that cheer, but not inebriate (i.e. tea) (J. F. Cooper);
alterations and improvements on the truth (i.e. a lie) (Ch. Dickens).
Periphrasis is decipherable only in the context. If a periphrastic
locution can be understood outside the context, it is not a SD but merely a
synonymous expression (dictionary periphrasis/periphrastic synonym).
E.g.: my better half (i.e. my wife), the fair sex (i.e. women), the cap
and the gown (i.e. a student).
Semantically periphrases split into:
- Genuine (Poetic/Fresh/Original/Newly-created), i.e. fresh and
absolutely unexpected.
E.g.: Delia was studying under Rosenstock – you know his repute as
a disturber of the piano keys (i.e. a pianist). (O. Henry)
- Trite (Dead/Hackneyed/Stale/Banal/Stereotyped), called clichés.
Their original figurative meaning has been forgotten due to the overuse.
E.g.: After only a short marriage, he wasn’t prepared to offer advice
to other youngsters intending to tie the knot (i.e. to marry).
Depending on the mechanism of substitution of a word by a more
complicated phrase, periphrases are classified into:
- Logical, i.e. synonymous phrases.
E.g.: She was still fat after childbirth; the destroyer of her figure (i.e.
her child) sat at the head of the table. (A. Bennett)
Naturally, I jumped out of the tub, and before I had thought twice,
ran out into the living room in my birthday suit (i.e. nude). (B. Malamud)
- Figurative, in fact phrase-metonymies and phrase-metaphors.
E.g.: The hospital was crowded with the surgically interesting
products of the fighting in Africa (extended metonymy for the wounded). (I.
The punctual servant of all work (i.e. the sun). (Ch. Dickens)
Personification [pə snifi'kein] (from Greek προσωποποιτα –
“making face”) – the qualities of a living thing (either animal or human)
given to an inanimate lifeless object to visualize it.
E.g.: Earth wears a green velvet dress.
My impatience has shown its heels to my politeness.
Semantically personifications split into:
- genuine (poetic/fresh/original/newly-created), based on some
fresh and absolutely unexpected analogy between two things (see examples
- trite (dead/hackneyed/stale/banal/stereotyped), the original
figurative meaning of which has been forgotten due to the overuse.
E.g.: lonely city streets, roar of traffic.
Polysyndeton [pli'sinditən] (from Greek πολυσύνδετον – “many
together”) – the excessive use (repetition) of conjunctions (conjunction and
in most cases).
E.g.: I loved to take her hair down and she sat on the bed and kept
very still, …, and I would take the pins and lay them on the sheet and it
would be loose and I would watch her while she kept very still and take out
the last two pins and it would come down and she would drop her head and
we would both be inside of it, and it was the feeling of inside a tent or
behind a falls. (E. Hemingway)
Polysyndeton makes an utterance more rhythmical. It also has a
distinguishing function: It combines homogeneous elements of thought into
one whole and makes each member of the string stand out.
Polysyndeton should be differed from enumeration, as the former
isolates homogeneous things and the latter units heterogeneous ones.
Pun ['pn], quibble ['kwibl], or paronomasia [pærənə'meiziə]
(from Greek παράνομασία – “astray arrangement”) – a play on words – the
use of one word in two different applications/meanings, or the use of two
different words, which are pronounced alike.
E.g.: There comes a period in every man’s life, but she is just a
semicolon in his. (B. Evans). We expect the second half of the sentence to
unfold the content, understanding period as an interval of time, while the
author used the word in the meaning of punctuation mark, which becomes
clear from the semicolon, following it.
It is difficult to tell zeugma from pun. The only reliable distinction is
a structural one: Zeugma is the realization of two meanings with the help of
a verb. Pun is more independent: It depends on the context. E.g.
The title of a play by O. Wilde The Importance of Being Ernest. The
context for this pun is the whole book.
Punctuation [pŋ(k)tu'ein], i.e. punctuation marks.
Exclamation and question marks show strong emotions.
E.g.: George: That’s good! Oh yes! And what about you?
Ruth (off her balance): What about me?
George: What are you doing here? All right, you’ve had your go at
me. But what about yourself?
Ruth: Well?
George: Oh, don’t be innocent, Ruth! This house! This room! This
hideous, God-awful room!
Dashes or three dots show emotional pauses caused by a person’s
embarrassment, hesitation, uncertainty, or nervousness of.
E.g.: Pozzo: You took me for Godot.
Estragon: Oh, no, sir, not for an instant, sir.
Pozzo: You took me for him.
Estragon: That’s to say … you understand … the dusk … the strain
… waiting … I confess … I imagined … for a second … (S. Becket)
Periods are used to describe events rapidly changing each other, as
they break texts into short sentences. E.g.:
Stone, bronze, stone, steel, oak leaves, horses’ heels over the paving;
And the flags. And the trumpets. And so many eagles.
How much? Count them. And such a press of people. (“Triumphal
March” by T. S. Eliot)
Modern authors do not use periods at all. E.g., the following poem by
e. e. cummings contains neither periods nor capital letters, except O.
you dear to
what else could a
no but it doesn’t
of course but you don’t seem
to realize i can’t make
it clearer war was just isn’t what
we imagine but please for god’s O
what the hell yea it’s true that was
me but that me isn’t me
can’t you see now no not
any christ but you
must understand
why because
i am dead
Question-in-the-narrative ['kwestəninðə'nærətiv] – a question
asked and answered in the narrative by one and the same person, usually
the author.
E.g.: And, staring, she woke, and what to view? Oh, powers of
Heaven. What dark eye meets she there? ‘Tis – ‘tis her father’s – fixed
upon the pair. (G.G. Byron)
These are not rhetorical questions, but answered by one who knows
the answer, they assume a semi-exclamatory nature.
Question–in–the–narrative may also remain unanswered and contain
only the hints of possible answers, as in the following example:
How long must it go on? How long must we suffer? Where is the
end? What is the end? (Norris)
Such sentences show a gradual transition to rhetorical questions.
Question–in–the–narrative is very often used in oratory to chain the
attention of the listeners to the matter the orator is dealing with, to give the
listeners time to absorb what has been said and prepare for the next point.
Sometimes question–in–the–narrative gives the impression of an intimate
talk between the writer and the reader.
E.g.: Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be
otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many
years. (Ch. Dickens)
Repetition [repə'tin] – the reoccurrence of sentence units.
It is an EM when used to show the state of mind of a person under
the stress of a strong emotion, which always manifests itself through
intonation, suggested by the words, such as cried, sobbed, shrieked, told
passionately in the written language.
E.g.: “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.”(J.
It is a SD when aims not at making a direct emotional impact but at
logical emphasis necessary to fix the attention of the reader on the key
word of the utterance.
E.g.: She stopped, and seemed to catch the distant sound of knocking.
Abandoning the traveller, she hurried towards the parlour, in the passage
she assuredly did hear knocking, angry and impatient knocking, the
knocking of someone who thinks he has knocked too long. (A. Bennett)
According to the repeated phenomenon, there may be the repetition
of a phoneme (see Alliteration, Assonance, Rhyme), morpheme, word,
phrase, or a syntactic structure (see Parallel construction).
According to the place, which the repeated unit occupies in a
sentence, repetition is classified into the following types:
- Anaphora – the beginnings of some successive
sentences/clauses/verse lines/stanzas/paragraphs are repeated to create the
background for the non-repeated units, which through their novelty become
foregrounded (A …, a …, a …).
E.g.: Always in Rome. Always with the girls. Always with the
- Epiphora – the endings of successive sentences/clauses/verse
lines/stanzas/paragraphs/clauses are repeated to add stress to the final
words (… a, … a, … a.).
E.g.: The priest was good but dull. The officers were not good but
dull. The king was good but dull. The wine was bad but not dull. (E.
- Framing repetition – the beginning of a sentence/clause/verse
line/stanza/paragraph is repeated at the end to form the “frame” for the
non-repeated part (A … … … a.). It explains the notion mentioned at the
beginning of a sentence: Between two appearances of the repeated unit
there comes the developing middle part of the sentence, which explains and
clarifies what was introduced in the beginning.
E.g.: Poor doll’s dressmaker! How often so dragged down by hands
that should have raised her up; how often so misdirected when losing her
way on the eternal road and asking guidance. Poor little dressmaker. (Ch.
- Anadiplosis (Catch repetition/Linking repetition/Reduplication)
– the end of one clause/sentence/verse line/stanza/paragraph is repeated at
the beginning of the following one (… a, a …).
E.g.: And a great desire for peace, peace of no matter what kind,
swept through her. (A. Bennett)
- Chain repetition – several successive anadiploses. The effect is
that of the smoothly developing logical reasoning.
E.g.: Living is the art of loving.
Loving is the art of caring.
Caring is the art of sharing.
Sharing is the art of living. (W. A. Davies)
- Ordinary repetition has no definite place in the sentence: The
repeated unit occurs in various positions to emphasize both the logical and
the emotional meanings.
E.g.: Why can’t we be friends now?” said the other, holding him
affectionately. “It’s what I want. It’s what you want.” But the horses didn’t
want it – they ran apart; the earth didn’t want it, sending up rocks through
which riders must pass single file; the temples, the tanks, the jail, the
palace, the birds, the Guest House, that came into view: they didn’t want it,
they said in their hundred voices, “No, not yet,” and the sky said “No, not
there. (E. M. Forster)
- Successive repetition – a string of closely following each other
reiterated units (… a, a, a …) to signify the peak of the speaker’ emotions.
E g.: The big house, good-bye, good-bye, good-bye the silly
handsome dreams.
- Tautological repetition – a repetition, which does not add to the
contents of the sentence.
E.g.: “Do you remember our mosque, Mrs. Moore?” “I do. I do,” she
said, suddenly vital and young.
- Synonymous repetition – the repetition of synonyms to give a
concrete and full description.
E.g.: “Down with the English anyhow. That’s certain. Clear out,
you fellows, double quick, I say. We may hate one another, but we hate
you most. If I don’t make you go, Ahmed will, Karim will, if it’s fifty-five
hundred years we shall get rid of you, yes, we shall drive every
Englishman into the sea, and then” – he rode against him furiously – “and
then,” he concluded, half kissing him, “you and I shall be friends”.
- Half repetition – the use of synonymous words, often with the
same root.
E.g.: It is my love that keeps mine eyes awake;
My own true love that doth my rest defeat;
To play the watchman ever for my sake:
For thee watch I whilst thou dost wake elsewhere
From me far off, with others all to near. (W. Shakespeare)
Represented speech [repri'zentid'spi:t] – the presentation of a
character’s thoughts, ideas, and feelings. It splits into the following types:
- Inner (Unuttered), which presents a character’s unspoken
thoughts and feelings. It abounds in exclamatory words and phrases,
elliptical constructions, breaks, and other means of conveying the feelings
and psychological state of the character.
E.g.: An idea had occurred to Soames. His cousin Jolyon was Irene’s
trustee, the first step would be to go down and see him at Robin Hill. Robin
Hill! The odd – the very odd feeling those words brought back. Robin hill –
the house Bosinney had built for him and Irene – the house they had never
lived in – the fatal house! And Jolyon lived there now! Hm! (J. Galsworthy)
It is usually introduced by verbs of mental perception, such as think,
mediate, feel, occur, wonder, ask, tell oneself, understand, etc.
E.g.: Over and over he was asking himself: would she receive him?
Would she recognize him? What should he say to her?
Why weren’t things going well between them?” he wondered.
- Uttered, which is a character’s actual utterance representation by
the author as if it had been spoken, whereas it has not really been spoken.
In it the tense is switched from present to past, and personal pronouns are
changed from first and second to third person as in indirect speech, but the
syntactical structure of the utterance does not change.
E.g.: Old Jolyon was on the alert at once. Wasn’t the “man of
property” going to live in his new house, then? He never alluded to Soames
now but under this title.
“No, - June said – “he was not; she knew that he was not!”
How did she know?
She could not tell him, but she knew. She knew nearly for certain.”(J.
Rhetorical question [ri'trikl'kwestən] (from Greek ρήτωρ – “an
orator”) – a statement reshaped into a question, generally a complex one:
Without a subordinate clause a rhetorical question would lose its specific
quality and might be regarded as an ordinary question. Rhetorical questions
are often asked in distress, or anger.
E.g.: What have I done to deserve this? (The implication: I have done
nothing to deserve this.)
What shall I do when he comes? (The implication: I do not know
what to do when he comes.)
Rhetorical questions can be based on negation. There is always an
additional shade of meaning implied in such rhetorical questions: doubt,
assertion, or suggestion. In this case it may be a simple sentence.
E.g.: Have I not had to wrestle with my lot?
Have I not suffered things to be forgiven? (G. G. Byron)
Rhyme ['raim] (from Greek ρυθμός – “proportionality”) – the
repetition of identical/similar ending sound combinations. The types of
- Male (Masculine/Single), ending in stressed syllables.
E.g.: understand – hand.
- Female (Feminine/Double), ending in unstressed syllables.
E.g.: berry – merry.
- Triple (Treble/Dactylic), ending in a stressed syllable followed by
two unstressed ones.
E.g.: tenderly – slenderly.
- Full (Exact/Perfect), in which the ending syllables are identical.
E.g.: might – right.
- Incomplete (Half/Near), in which the ending syllables are not
identical. Incomplete rhyme splits into the following subtypes:
- Vowel, in which the vowels are identical, but the consonants are
E.g.: fresh – press;
- Consonant, in which the consonants are identical, but the vowels
are different.
E.g.: flung – long.
- Compound (Broken), in which one word rhymes with a
combination of words, or two or three words rhyme with the corresponding
two or three words. The combination of words is made to sound like one
word, thus producing a humorous effect.
E.g.: a tall – at all.
- Eye (Sight), in which the letters are identical but the sounds they
produce are different.
E.g.: love – prove.
- Internal, in which the rhyming words are placed within one line.
E.g.: I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers. (P. B.Shelley)
- Initial, in which the last word of one line rhymes with the first
word of the following line.
E.g.: The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold … (L. Macnis)
- Adjacent, in which the lines are placed according to the pattern
- Crossing, in which the lines are placed according to the pattern
- Ring, in which the lines are placed according to the pattern abba.
Rhythm ['riəm] (from Greek ρυδμός – “proportionality”) – the
measured flow of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry; and the
repetition of similar structural units in prose.
Sentence length. The length of any language unit is a very important
factor in information exchange, for the human brain can receive and
transmit information only if the latter is punctuated by pauses.
Theoretically speaking, a sentence can be of any length, so even
monstrous constructions of several hundred words each should be viewed
as sentences. But psychologically no reader is prepared to perceive as a
syntactical whole those sentences in which the punctuation mark of a full
stop comes after the 124th word (J. C. Oates Expensive People), or after 45
whole pages of the text (J. Joyce Ulysses). Though it is very difficult to
specify the upper limit of sentence length, its lowest mark is one word.
One-word sentences possess a very strong emphatic impact, for their
only word obtains both the word and the sentence stress.
E.g.: They could keep the Minden Street Shop going until they got
the notice to quit. Or they could wait and see what kind of alternative
premises were offered. If the site was good. – If. Or. And, quite inevitably,
borrowing money. (J. Braine)
Abrupt changes from short sentences to long ones and then back
again, create a very strong effect of tension and suspense, for they serve to
arrange a nervous, uneven, ragged rhythm of the utterance.
E.g.: “Jesus Christ! Look at her face!” Surprise. “Her eyes are
closed!” Astonishment. “She likes it!” Amazement. “Nobody could take
my picture doing that!” Disgust. (R. Wright)
Sentence structure. The expressiveness of sentences depends on the
position of constituting it clauses. Depending on the position of clauses
sentences split into:
- Loose, opening with the main clause followed by dependent units.
Such a structure is not very emphatic and highly characteristic of informal
writing and conversation.
- Periodic, opening with subordinated clauses, absolute and
participial constructions, the main clause being withheld until the end. Such
a structure is known for emphasis and is used mainly in creative prose.
Cf.: We were deeply impressed by this vigorous survival of an older
civilization, when we visited Taos Pueblo (loose structure). When we
visited Taos Pueblo, we were deeply impressed by the vigorous survival of
an older civilization (periodic structure).
Shaped (Visual) text ['eipt'tekst] – a text, in which the lines/words
form a recognizable shape (figure), such as a cross, a star, a heart, a
triangle, etc. usually to reflect the contents.
E.g. the following poem is shaped as a tree:
A man is made
Of flesh and blood
Of eyes and bones and water
The very same things make his son
As those that make his daughter.
A tree is made
Of leaf and sap,
Of bark and fruit and berries.
It keeps a bird’s nest
In its boughs
And blackbirds eat the cherries.
A table’s made
Of naked wood
Planed smooth as milk I wonder
If tables ever dream of sun,
Of wind, and rain, and thunder?
And when man takes
His axe and strikes
And sets the sawdust frying –
Is it a table being born?
Or just a tree that’s dying?
The following thoughts of A. Milne’s character are shaped to reflect
his sitting in the running kangaroo’s pocket:
Simile ['siməli] – the imaginative comparison of two unlike objects
belonging to different classes. A simile states that a is like/as b.
E.g.: He is as beautiful as a weathercock. (O. Wilde)
My heart is like a singing bird. (Ch. Rossetti)
Each simile consists of the following three components: 1) the thing
which is compared, called the tenor; 2) the thing with which it is
compared, called the vehicle; 3) link-words, such as like, as, as though, as
like, such as, as … as, as if, seem, etc.
E.g.: My Mama moved among the days like a dreamwalker in a
field.” (L. Clifton). In this example, Mama is the tenor, dreamwalker is the
vehicle, and like is the link-word.
The simile forming like can be placed at the end of the phrase.
E.g.: Emily Barton was very pink, very Dresden-china-shepherdess
Similes differ from metaphors: The comparison made between two
things is indicated by link words in simile, while there is not any
connective in a metaphor. In this case, the metaphor is a more forceful
statement than the simile.
Cf.: My love is a rose (metaphor). My love is like a rose (simile).
Simile is different from simple comparison. Though structurally
identical, they differ semantically: In a comparison objects belong to the
same class, while in a simile objects belong to two different classes.
Cf.: Comparison: She (class of people) is like her mother (class of
people). Simile: She (class of people) is like a rose (class of plants).
Semantically similes split into:
- Genuine (Poetic/Fresh/Original/Newly-created), based on some
fresh and absolutely unexpected analogy between two things.
E.g.: What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin
in the sun? (L. Hughes)
- Trite (Dead/Hackneyed/Stale/Banal/Stereotyped), the original
figurative meaning of which has been forgotten due to the overuse.
E.g.: as sick as a dog, as strong as a horse, blind as a bat.
Structurally similes split into:
- ordinary (see examples above);
- disguised, in which the link between the tenor and the vehicle is
expressed by notional verbs, such as to resemble, to seem, to look like, to
appear, etc., and the likeness between the objects seems less evident.
E.g.: The ball appeared to the batter to be a slow spinning planet
looming toward the earth. (B. Malamud)
Suspense [sə'spens] – a deliberate postponement of the sentence
completion, whereas the less important, descriptive, subordinate parts are
amassed at the beginning to keep up the reader’s/listener’s attention and
prepare him for the only logical conclusion of the utterance.
E.g.: Mankind, says a Chinese manuscript, which my friend M. was
obliging enough to read and explain to me, for the first seventy thousand
ages ate their meat raw. (Ch. Lamb)
Synecdoche [si'nekdəki] (from Greek συνεκδοχή – “percepting
together”) – the use of a part to denote the whole or vice versa.
E.g.: Then two men entered. The moustache (i.e. the man with a
moustache) I did not know.
Structurally synecdoche is based on one of the following principles:
- The use of a part for the whole.
E.g.: Hands wanted (i.e. workers).
A hundred head of cattle.
- The use of the whole for a part.
E.g.: Stop torturing the poor animal! (instead of the poor dog)
Reading books when I am talking to you! (instead of reading a book)
Semantically synecdoches split into:
- Genuine (Poetic/Fresh/Original/Newly-created), based on some
fresh and absolutely unexpected analogy between two things.
E.g.: You have got a nice fox on (i.e. coat with the collar made of
- Trite (Dead/Hackneyed/Stale/Banal/Stereotyped), the original
figurative meaning of which has been forgotten due to the overuse.
E.g.: All hands on deck!
A hundred head of cattle.
Syntactical whole [sin'tæktikəl'həul] – a larger than a sentence unit,
which comprises a number of sentences, interdependent structurally
(usually by means of pronouns, connectives, tense-forms) and semantically
(one definite thought is dealt with). A syntactical whole can be taken from
the context without losing its relative semantic independence (Cf.: a
sentence is only part of an idea). Cf.:
A sentence: Guy glanced at his wife’s untouched plate.
A syntactical whole: Guy glanced at his wife’s untouched plate. “If
you’ve finished we might stroll down. I think you ought to be starting.”
She did not answer. She rose from the table. She went into her room
to see that nothing had been forgotten and then side by side with him
walked down the steps. (W. S. Maugham)
A syntactical whole can be embodied in a sentence, if the sentence
meets the requirements of this compositional unit. On the other hand, it
may coincide with the paragraph, though usually it is a part of it. To decide
on the number of syntactical wholes in a paragraph one should compare its
beginning and end.
In poetical style syntactical wholes, as well as paragraphs, are
embodied in stanzas.
Syntactic structure violation – the break of the usual syntactic
structure of a sentence.
Syntactic violations split into the following types:
- Lexical – the use of unusual lexical structures.
E.g.: a grief ago. Though the word grief does not imply time, the
author adds this meaning. The usual structure: a minute/day/year/etc. ago.
all the sun long. (Th. Dylan). The usual structure: all the day/night
farmyards away. (Th. Dylan) The usual structure: many
miles/kilometers away.
When I was a younger man – two wives ago, 250,000 cigarettes ago,
3,000 quarts of boos ago. (K. Vonnegut, Jr.)
Colourless green ideas sleep furiously (the title of Della Haims’s
poem). This example is grammatically correct, though it has no sense:
Colourless can not be green; abstract ideas have no colour; only animated
persons can sleep; sleep means rest, not fury.
- Grammatical, which are literary coinages, called occasional words
and characterized by freshness and originality. They are not neologisms for
they are created for special communicative situations only and are not used
beyond them.
E.g.: Suddenly he felt a horror of her otherness. (J. Baldwin)
David, in his new grown-upness, had already a sort of authority. (R.
P. Warren)
Grammatical violations happen on the level of word change as well.
E.g.: But now … now! I find myself wanting something more,
something heavenlier, something less human. (A. Huxley)
“Mr. Hamilton, you haven’t any children, have you?” “Well no. And
I’m sorry about that, I guess, I am sorriest about that.” (J. Steinbeck)
- Lexico-grammatical, i.e. the mixture of lexical and grammatical
E.g.: What words can strangle this deaf moonlight? (H. Crane) To
strangle is a transitive verb, but the circle of animated persons limits its
Understatement [Λndə'steitmənt], or meiosis [mei'əusis] – the
exaggeration of smallness. The mechanism of understatement creation and
functions is identical with that of hyperbole (see). It does not signify the
actual state of affairs, but presents the object through the emotionally
coloured perception of the speaker to underline its insignificance.
E.g.: She was so thin she could have hidden behind a parking meter.
She wore a pink hat, the size of a button.
Semantically understatements split into:
- genuine (poetic/fresh/original/newly-created), i.e. fresh and
absolutely unexpected (see examples above);
- trite (dead/hackneyed/stale/banal/stereotyped), the original
figurative meaning of which has been forgotten due to the overuse.
E.g.: He wouldn’t hurt a fly.
I kind of liked it.
British people, in opposition to Americans, are well known for their
preference for understatement in everyday speech.
E.g.: “I am rather annoyed” instead of “I’m infuriated”; “The wind is
rather strong” instead of “There is a gale blowing outside”.
Zeugma ['zju:gmə] (from Greek ζεΰγμα – “connection/yoke”) – the
use of one word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations:
on one hand literal, and on the other, transferred. As a general rule, zeugma
is employed in humorous texts. The general formula of zeugma is as
follows: somebody does a and b, where a and b do not go grammatically
E.g.: He took his hat and his leave. (Ch. Dickens)
She dropped a tear and her pocket handkerchief. (Ch. Dickens)
It is difficult to tell zeugma from pun. The only reliable distinction is
a structural one: Zeugma is the realization of two meanings with the help of
a verb. Pun is more independent: It depends on the context (see Pun).
2 Stylistic Devices and Expressive Means Drills
In the following sentences taken from original authentic literature
- find stylistic devices and/or expressive means of the language;
- name them;
- define the group to which the tropes belong (use all known
- define the degree of their originality (original/trite);
- define their other properties if any;
- speak on the effect they produce.
Sample Sentence Analysis
Dad says he has holes in his teeth big enough for a sparrow to raise a
family. – Frank McCourt: Angela’s Ashes.
In this sentence the author has used the following tropes:
- Hyperbole (holes in his teeth big enough for a sparrow to raise a
family), the exaggeration of the real size of holes in Dad’s teeth. It is a
lexical SD in I. R. Galperin’s, V. A. Kukharenko’s and I.V. Arnold’s
classifications, a figure of quantity in Yu. M. Skrebnev’s classification, or a
rhetorical figure in American and British stylistics. As we have neither
heard nor read such an exaggeration before, it is original (fresh/newlycreated/poetic/genuine). This device is used to show that the holes in Dad’s
teeth were really very big.
- Alliteration (he has holes in his), the repetition of consonant sound
[h] in adjacent (the first three) and closely following (the last one) words.
It is a phonetic SD in I. R. Galperin’s, a phono-graphical EM in V. A.
Kukharenko’s, a unit of syntagmatic phonetics in Yu. M. Skrebnev’s, and a
rhetorical figure in American and British classifications. Alliteration makes
the sentence melodic.
The sentences for stylistic analysis were taken from the following
- Anderson, Steven. “Teacher”;
- Barstow, Stan. “The Search for Tommy Flynn”;
- Bates, Herbert Earnest. “How Vainly Men Themselves Amaze”;
- Binchy, Maeve. “Flat in Ringsend”;
- Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights;
- Browning, Robert. Poetry;
- Burns, Robert. “My Heart’s in the Highlands”;
- Byron, George Gordon Noel. Poetry;
- Carry, Joyce. “Period Piece”;
- Chrichton, Michael. A Case of Need;
- Clifton, Lucille. Poetry;
- Cole, Martina. Two Women;
- Connell, Richard. “The Most Dangerous Game”;
- Conrad, Joseph. Victory;
- Covey, Stephen R. Rider’s Digest. February, 1995: p.161;
- Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Lost World;
- Francis, Dick. Straight;
- Greene, Graham. The Quiet American;
- Hemingway, Ernest Miller. Farewell to Arms;
- Hughes, Langston. Poetry;
- Hurst, James. “Scarlet Ibis”;
- Jacobs, W. W. “The Monkey’s Paw”;
- Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mocking Bird;
- London, Jack. Martin Eden;
- Lutz, John. “Ride the Lightning”;
- Maugham, William Somerset. The Painted Veil;
- Pratt, Anna M. “A Pretty Game”;
- Rinehart, Mary Roberts. “The Lipstick”;
- Rossetti, Christina. Poetry;
- Sanson, William. “The Vertical Ladder”;
- Saroyan, William. “A Cocktail Party”;
- Stevenson, Robert Louis, “The Moon”;
- Stuart, Jessie. “Love”;
- Swindoll, Charles. Rider’s Digest. February, 1995: p.161;
- Upfield, Arthur. Madman’s Bend.
1 Finding a flat in Dublin, at a rent you could afford, was like finding
gold in the gold rush. – M. Binchy
2 I hope it’s nice, I hope they like me, I hope it’s not expensive. – M.
3 Pauline was wearing a shirt of such blindingly bright colours that it
hurt the eyes to look at it. – M. Binchy
4 It had been a room full of smoke and drink and music and people
dancing and people talking about nothing. Now it was a room full of
broken glass and overturned chairs and people shouting, trying to explain
what had happened, and people trying to comfort others, or get their coats
and leave. – M. Binchy
5 She was not unfriendly, she didn’t look annoyed, but she made no
effort to introduce her friend. – M. Binchy
6 Her immediate reaction would be, come-home-at-once, what-areyou-doing-by-yourself-up-in-Dublin,
everyone-knew-you-couldn’tmanage-by-yourself. – M. Binchy
7 She had thought that she was meant to be part of a friendly allgirls-together flat. – M. Binchy
8 The lead singer of the Great Gaels was tapping the microphone and
testing it by saying, “a-one, a-two, a-three…” – M. Binchy
9 “It’sh a pleashure,” said the other man. – M. Binchy
10 She waited for ages but they didn’t come in. – M. Binchy
11 Yes, it was ridiculous, it was bloody silly. – M. Binchy
12 It’s bloody fantastic being grown up, she thought, as she switched
off the light at nine o’clock. – M. Binchy
13 Leave her alone. She is worried. – M. Binchy
14 Lake Gladys – my own lake – lay like a sheet of quicksilver
before me. – A. C. Doyle
15 The door banged close. – A. C. Doyle
16 Again the impulse to return swept over me. – A. C. Doyle
17 Two creatures … had come down to the drinking place, and were
squatting at the edge of water, their long tongues like red ribbons shooting
in and out as they lapped. – A. C. Doyle
18 Then, reassured by the absolute stillness and by the growing light,
I took my courage in both hands and stole back along the path, which I had
come. – A. C. Doyle,
19 The man-eatin’ Papuans had me once, but they are Chesterfields
compared to this crowd. – A. C. Doyle
20 And again the foolish pride fought against that very word. – A. C.
21 After a little hesitation I screwed up my courage and continued
upon my way. – A. C. Doyle
22 Suddenly it rained apes. – A. C. Doyle
23 He had the short body, the big shoulders, the round chest, no
neck, a great ruddy beard, the tufted eyebrows, the “What do you want,
damn you!” look about the eyes, and the whole catalogue. – A. C. Doyle
24 It was a strange clicking noise in the distance, not unlike
castanets. – A. C. Doyle
25 The ape-men put two of them to death there and then – it was
perfectly beastly. – A. C. Doyle
26 Four of the Indians jumped and the canes went through them like
knitting needles through a pat of butter. – A. C. Doyle
27 His [Professor Summerlee’s] thin figure and long limbs struggled
and fluttered like a chicken being dragged from a coop. – A. C. Doyle
28 He was begging, pleading, imploring for his comrade’s life. – A.
C. Doyle
29 Challenger’s quick brain had grasped the situation. – A. C. Doyle
30 … Lord John covered our retreat, firing again and again as savage
heads snarled at us out of the bushes. – A. C. Doyle
31 She smiled a wicked twelve–year–old’s smile. – J. Lutz
32 Nudger was sitting at the tiny table in Holly Ann’s kitchen. – J.
33 And you wanted the police to learn about not–his–right–name
Len. – J. Lutz
34 “You can’t prove anything,” she said, still with the same
frightening smile. – J. Lutz
35 The last thing Nudger heard as he left the trailer was the sound of
the bottle clinking on the glass. – J. Lutz
36 She listened with dead eyes. – M. R. Rineheart
37 Fred watched me, his eyes red and tired. – M. R. Rineheart
38 Pride is a terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines – life and
death. – J. Hurst
39 A thin opal-tinted mist formed before my eyes and little silvery
bells tinkled in my ears. – A. C. Doyle
40 Dully and far off I heard the crack of a rifle. – A. C. Doyle
41 The great reptilian hearts, however, each as large as a cushion,
still lay there, beating slowly and steadily. – A. C. Doyle
42 For a moment I had a vision of four adventurers floating like a
string of sausages over the land that they had explored. – A. C. Doyle
43 It was the very voice of Maple White Land bidding us good-bye.
– A. C. Doyle
44 You are awfully damned nice. – E. Hemingway
45 I loved to take her hair down and she sat on the bed and kept very
still, … , and I would take out the pins and lay them on the sheet and it
would be loose and I would watch her while she kept very still and take out
the last two pins and it would all come down and she would drop her head
and we would both be inside of it, and it was the feeling of inside a tent or
be behind a falls. – E. Hemingway
46 I’ll love you in the rain, and in the snow, and in the hail and –
what else is there? – E. Hemingway
47 That was awfully cheeky of you. – E. Hemingway
48 “Old baby,” he said. – E. Hemingway
49 I drank half the glass. – E. Hemingway
50 There were many Austrian guns in on that ridge but only a few
fired. – E. Hemingway
51 “That was old fish–face’s room,” Piani said. – E. Hemingway
52 The pair of them [soldiers] were like two wild birds. – E.
53 The elevator passed three floors with a click each time, then
clicked and stopped. – E. Hemingway
54 “Hey!” he said. – E. Hemingway
55 I slept thrashing and swimming in a heavy–footed panic until I
reached it. – E. Hemingway
56 Now if you aren’t with me I haven’t a thing in the world. – E.
57 I was terrifically hungry. – E. Hemingway
58 Catherine looked at me all the time, her eyes happy. – E.
59 It was awfully funny. – E. Hemingway
60 “There will be no unpleasantness with the police,” the first
official assured me. – E. Hemingway
61 The electric train was there waiting, all the lights on. – E.
62 He [child] looks like a skinned rabbit with a puckered-up old
man’s face. – E. Hemingway
63 I shut my eyes and she was again the same as she used to be: she
was the hiss of steam, the clink of a cup, she was a certain hour of the night
and the promise of rest. – G. Greene
64 I put out my hand and touched her arm – their bones too were as
fragile as a bird’s. – G. Greene
65 They [clothes] were in passage like a butterfly in a room. – G.
66 The dice rattled on the tables where the French were playing. – G.
67 Innocence is like a dumb leper, who has lost its bell. – G. Greene
68 It was the hour of rest in the immense courtyard, which lay open
to the sky. – G. Greene
69 I had met Vigot several times at parties – I had noticed him
because he appeared incongruously in love with his wife, who ignored him,
a flashy and false blond. – G. Greene
70 The history of this small pastoral property was not uncommon. –
A. Upfield
71 Meanwhile I’ll send all the hands out to locate your stepfather –
that’s the men available. – A. Upfield
72 The hundred-year-old American clock, infinitely more reliable
than the modern product, whirred and bonged the midnight hour. – A.
73 The night was as black as the ace of spades. – A. Upfield
74 The oncoming mail car was not unlike a laden black beetle. – A.
75 Your touch is like a butterfly: mine is as heavy as a carthorse. –
A. Upfield
76 I would be inclined to agree with Vickory were it not impossible
for Luch to take petrol to the utility in his pocket. – A. Upfield
77 Life is a journey, don’t you think? – A. Upfield
78 What kind of man was her husband? – Like a playful pup. – A.
79 … and in the background could he hear the soft gurgling of water
and the barking of a distant fox. – A. Upfield
80 It’s my job to find out who removed William Lush from this
world. – A. Upfield
81 I’m not ungrateful, but I cannot command your action. – A.
82 Mac Curdle sipped his whisky before venturing to ask. – A.
83 Under that muscled body of his he was a mass of quivering
sensibilities. – J. London
84 At the slightest impact of the outside world upon his
consciousness, his thoughts, sympathies and emotions leapt and played like
lambent flame. – J. London
85 “Catherine, are you going somewhere this afternoon?” asked
Heathcliff. “No-o, I don’t think so,” replied Catherine, looking quickly at
me. – E. Brontë
86 For an eternal second he stood in the midst of a portrait gallery….
– J. London
87 He was moved deeply by appreciation of it, and his heart was
melting with sympathetic tenderness. – J. London
88 I thanked her, not knowing exactly for what, and put down the
receiver, taking the shock physically in lightheadedness and a constricted
throat. – D. Francis
89 It wasn’t until I reached twenty-eight myself that after a long
Christmas-a-birthday-card politeness we’d met unexpectedly on a railway
platform and during the journey ahead had become friends. – D. Francis
90 “Look,” she said. “I didn’t realize… I mean, when I came in here
and saw you stealing things… I thought you were stealing things… I didn’t
notice the crutches. – D. Francis
91 My love for Edgar is like the leaves on the trees – I’m sure time
will change it. But my love for Heathcliff is like the rocks in the ground not
beautiful, but necessary and unchanging. – E. Brontë
92 “I’ve broken an ankle,” I said, apologetically. “It takes me all my
time to cross the room.” – D. Francis
93 Depressed, I went back to his office and telephoned to his
accountant and his bank. – D. Francis
94 To the insurance company, also, my brother’s death seemed
scarcely a hiccup. – D. Francis
95 I didn’t say anything for a moment or two and he looked up fast,
his eyes bright and quizzical. – D. Francis
96 “What’s the Wizard?” I asked. “The calculator. Baby computer.
June says it does everything but boil eggs.” – D. Francis
97 There was a series of between-message clicks, then the same
voice again, this time packed with anxiety. – D. Francis
98 He’d had a mind like a labyrinth. – D. Francis
99 … he had done it for simplicity when he was in a hurry, and he
would have certainly changed it, given time. – D. Francis
100 They [letters] were fastened not with romantic ribbons but held
together by a prosaic rubber band. – D. Francis
101 The springs shot out, flexible, shining, horrific. – D. Francis
102 The front doorbell rang, jarring and unexpected. – D. Francis
103 The boy must be a gypsy, he’s as dark as the devil! – E. Brontë
104 She’s a breath of fresh air for those stupid Lintons. – E. Brontë
105 How funny and black and cross you look. – E. Brontë
106 I spoke about him, not to him. – E. Brontë
107 Hindley only had room in his heart for two people, himself and
his wife…– E. Brontë
108 He seemed to want people to dislike him. – E. Brontë
109 She … led the way into another large office where three of the
others were already gathered, wide-eyed and rudderless. – D. Francis
110 We could hear the wind whistling down the chimney, and
howling all around the house. – E. Brontë
111 Suddenly there was a terrible crash of thunder, and the branch of
a tree fell on the roof. – E. Brontë
112 He wore a confident, intelligent expression on his face, and his
manner was no longer rough. – E. Brontë
113 She could not take her eyes of Heathcliff. – E. Brontë
114 Hindley and his son Hareton seemed like lost sheep to me … –
E. Brontë
115 Mr. Edgar looked at her in angry surprise. – E. Brontë
116 “Well, well!” replied Heathcliff, looking scornfully at Mr.
Edgar’s small figure. – E. Brontë
117 You aren’t a man, you’re a mouse. – E. Brontë
118 … if Edgar is going to be mean and jealous, I’ll try to break both
their hearts by breaking my own. – E. Brontë
119 I’ll die with cold faces around me! E. Brontë
120 We looked together into the icy darkness. – E. Brontë
121 “Catherine! Why –“ When he saw his wife’s face, he was so
shocked that he stopped speaking and stared at her in horror. – E. Brontë
122 But those four miles were like an ocean, which I could not cross.
– E. Brontë
123 Joseph will show you Heathcliff’s room, if you like. And – and –
you’d better lock the bedroom door.” – E. Brontë
124 And Catherine has a heart as deep as mine! – E. Brontë
125 She’s just like an insect under my foot. – E. Brontë
126 It’s wicked of you to say that, Catherine. You know your words
will burn for ever in my memory after you’ve left me. – E. Brontë
127 My poor master was in the depth of despair. – E. Brontë
128 He howled like a wild animal, and hit his forehead several times
against a tree. – E. Brontë
129 I gave him my heart, and he destroyed it, so I can’t feel pity for
him. – E. Brontë
130 This tiny child soon won his heart. – E. Brontë
131 “No!” said Joseph, banging the table with his hand. – E. Brontë
132 “God! What a beautiful creature!” laughed Heathcliff scornfully.
“That’s worse than I expected.” – E. Brontë
133 I love him more than anyone else in the world, more than
myself! – E. Brontë
134 Her father’s room had become her whole world. – E. Brontë
135 As she kissed me, her face felt as cold as ice. – E. Brontë
136 My Mama moved among the days like a dream walker in a field.
– L. Clifton
137 What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in
the sun? – L. Hughes
138 Jimmy was sorry to the heart but the feeling he had for Maureen
was like a cancer, constantly eating away inside him. – M. Cole
139 He admired, respected, loved her. – M. Cole
140 And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me. – G.G. Byron
141 The wild tulip, at the end of its tube, blows
out its great red bell
Like a thin clear bubble of blood. – R. Browning
142 My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickest fruit. – Ch. Rossetti
143 As her mother let herself in with her key her heart stopped in her
breast. – M. Cole
145 He’d hated hurting her but what could a man do? She was old
news, like a newspaper read from cover to cover. Why keep it? – M. Cole
146 Stretching like a long-limbed cat, June looked at herself in the
mirror. – M. Cole
147 She was a lovely little thing, plain as a pikestaff but with a huge
heart that was crying out for a bit of affection. – M. Cole
148 She was kissing and hugging her mother for ages until Jane,
laughing, said, “All right, Susan.” – M. Cole
149 Swallowing her natural aggression, she dropped her eyes and
was quiet. – M. Cole
150 They were all amazed to see two fat tears fall from the old lady’s
eyes. – M. Cole
151 Jane hugged her, afraid herself now she had seen fear in her
husband’s mother. – M. Cole
152 Ivy had a face that could curdle milk at the best of times. – M.
153 … and by the time they let him out she would be grown up and
able to tall him where to go. – M. Cole
154 Susan was a bundle of nerves. – M. Cole
155 Joe turned in his seat and looked the old woman straight in the
eye. – M. Cole
156 The slap on her cheek was like a gunshot in the quiet of the
room. – M. Cole
157 She looked at Susan and her grin faded. – M. Cole
158 What are you thinking about, Mum? You got a face like a wet
weekend in Brighton. – M. Cole
159 The fight started in earnest then. Mother and daughter were
clawing like wildcats. – M. Cole
160 Ivy hung her head. – M. Cole
161 Susan looked at her and answered in a tiny dead voice. – M.
162 The shame of it was inside her like a black cancer, eating her
from inside. – M. Cole
163 Debbie’s eyes were like saucers as she looked at her father. – M.
164 Her dismissive words were like a knife through his brain. – M.
165 His sister’s boy was the apple of his eye. – M. Cole
166 She basked in the compliment. – M. Cole
167 For the first time in her life she felt like a million dollars. – M.
168 My mouth feels like the bottom of a bird’s cage. – M. Cole
169 I wish they’d hurry up. I’m supposed to arrive late, not him. –
M. Cole
170 Susan shook her head and walked away from him “SUSAN!”
His voice was an entreaty. But Susan and Debbie carried on walking from
the church and the guests followed them outside like sheep. – M. Cole
171 Ivy looked at her daughter-in-law in stunned silence. “You
knew? You knew and didn’t do anything?” – M. Cole
172 A wasp was buzzing around. – M. Cole
173 Pete felt the fright in his chest. – M. Cole
174 She heard the clack, clack of her daughter’s shoes as Debbie
walked along the balcony towards the front door. – M. Cole
175 Barry, realizing that she was a diamond, gave her piece and quiet
and affection. – M. Cole
176 She stood in the garden and cried like a baby, big fat tears ran
down her cheeks and made her make up run. – M. Cole
177 She only had to look into those big blue eyes and she melted. –
M. Cole
178 Barry looked at her for a long moment and she felt the icy grip
of fear around her heart. – M. Cole
179 “What’s he done now?” hissed her friend. – M. Cole
180 Fear lent his feet wings. – M. Cole
181 Doreen’s voice was shocked. – M. Cole
182 Peterson leaned in his chair and smiled at me, a very pleasant,
let’s-not-get-all-excited smile. – M. Chrichton
183 He drank half a glass in a single gulp. – M. Chrichton
184 He saw his son beside the woman who had given birth to him. –
W. Saroyan
185 “Don’t look down,” the blood whispered in his temples, “don’t
look down for God’s sake, DON’T LOOK DOWN.” – W. Sanson
186 When he got into bed the sheets were like blankets of dry snow.
– S. Anderson
187 After that, every afternoon, they drove down by the coast,
through pine forests, to where at last, like a small central bite taken out of
an amber quarter of melon, a little bay lay within a bay. – H. E. Bates
188 She [the snake] was now limber as a shoestring in the wind. – J.
189 She [the snake] quivered like a leaf in the lazy wind, then her
riddled body lay perfectly still. – J. Stuart
190 He had come in the night, under the roof of stars, as the moon
shed rays of light on the quivering clouds of green. – J. Stuart
191 “No, don’t do that, Scout. Scout?” – “Wha – t?” – H. Lee
192 Her heart hammered and she swayed on the chair. – S. Barstow
193 The pupils of them [her eyes] were like bright bird’s eggs,
mottled and stenciled green and orange brown. – H. E. Bates
194 At once he felt his body tighten like a bowstring. – H. E. Bates
195 Every day he took many pictures of her, sometimes in the nude,
sometimes in the sea, several times perched high on a rock, like some
fabulous red-gold sea creature. – H. E. Bates
196 A small snake of irritation curled sharply up his throat and bit
the back of his mouth. – H. E. Bates
197 Each time a child was born she [mother-in-law] planted herself
in the household and took charge of every detail …– J. Carry
198 She belonged to a rougher, cruder age, where psychology was
practically unheard of, where moral, judgments were simply thrown out
like packets from a slot machine, where there were only two kinds of
character, bad and good. – J. Carry
199 Children, I should speak to you … your lovely mother … she is
out, she went away, she turned to an angel, she went on some kind of trip,
she’ll never return, but she’ll always be with you. She is dead.
200 Mrs. Beer puts a red ten on a black jack, gets out an ace, looks
up and catches Frank’s eye. – J. Carry
201 Tutin caught his breath and gathered his nerve. – J. Carry
202 “Mom and Dad … You know I love you … but I want … I mean
… I’m grown up … I wasn’t to say that …” – “Are you going to marry?” –
“Yes …”
203 She seems a stupid animal. – J. Conrad
204 A huge lump of glass lay balanced on the top of a cupboard; it
could fall at any moment. – J. Conrad
205 “But WHY if you could tell me WHY, then I might do it,” Paul
was saying. – J. Conrad
206 Two large tears fell down her face and two more were on the
way like raindrops on a window. – J. Conrad
207 There was no one in there and I swung over to one of the
counters to see what was on display. Rings I found, but not simple little
circles. These were huge, often asymmetric. – D. Francis
208 On the other hand I healed everywhere fast, bones, skin and
optimism. – D. Francis
209 “I found it,” he said – “What?” I was still thinking of Greville
[brother]. – “Your brother’s wheels.” – D. Francis
210 Ramon Vacarro, wanted for drug-running, Florida, USA.
Suspected of several murders, victims mostly pilots … Vaccaro leaves no
mouths alive to chatter. – D. Francis
211 “I’m surprised he gave you a weapon like that,” I said mildly. –
“Aren’t they illegal? And him a magistrate.” – D. Francis
212 London at weekends is a graveyard. – D. Francis
213 His small sitting room looked like the path of a hurricane. – D.
214 Fireproof the hiding place undoubtedly was, and thiefproof it
had proved. – D. Francis
215 Sitting on the lid of the loo in the bathroom, I unwrapped the
crepe bandage and by hopping and holding onto things, took a long,
luxurious and much needed shower, washing my hair, letting the dust and
debris and the mental tensions of the week run away in the soft
bombardment of water. – D. Francis
216 The words died away on his lips, and he hid a guilty gin in his
gray beard. – W. W. Jacobs
217 His dry lips shaped the words, “How much?” – W. W. Jacobs
218 Unconscious of his wife’s shriek, the old man smiled faintly, put
out his hands like a sightless man, and dropped, a senseless heap, to the
floor. – W. W. Jacobs
219 The bed was warm, and his eye heavy with sleep. – W. W.
220 There was no breeze. The sea was as flat as a plate-glass
window. – R. Connell
221 What I felt was a – a mental chill; a sort of sudden dread. – R.
222 For a seemingly endless time he fought the sea. He began to
count his strokes; he could do possibly a hundred more and then – – R.
223 “Where there are pistol shots, there are men. Where there are
men, there is food,” he thought. – R. Connell
224 For a moment the general did not reply; he was smiling his
curious red-lipped smile. – R. Connell
225 He sipped his wine. – R. Connell
226 He knew his pursuer was coming; he heard the padding sound of
feet on the soft earth. He lived a year in a minute. – R. Connell
227 Twenty feet below him the sea rumbled and hissed. – R. Connell
228 ‘He was deliciously tired’, he said to himself … – R. Connell
229 He remembered the dress she wore; it was her wedding dress,
and he said she looked like a lily of the valley. – W. S. Maugham
230 Now that she had learnt something of passion it diverted her to
play lightly, like a harpist running his fingers across the strings of his harp,
oh his affections. – W. S. Maugham
231 She was like a rosebud that is beginning to turn yellow at the
edges of the petals, and then suddenly she was a rose in full bloom. – W. S.
232 He stood for an instant on the threshold and their eyes met. – W.
S. Maugham
233 “I have some work to do,” he said in that quiet, toneless voice,
his eyes averted. – W. S. Maugham
234 Well, you know, women are often under the impression that men
are much more madly in love with them than they really are. – W. S.
235 You are simply wonderful. I was shaking like a leaf when I came
here and you’ve made everything all right. – W. S. Maugham
236 She was afraid of her mother’s bitter tongue. – W. S. Maugham
237 It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the
busyness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of
success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall. – S. R. Covey
238 Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than
money, than circumstances, than what other people think or say or do. –
Ch. Swindoll
239 We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that
people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. – Ch.
240 I looked at the gun, and the gun looked at me.
241 Don’t use big words. They mean so little.
242 Say yes. If you don’t, I’ll break into tears. I’ll sob. I’ll moan. I’ll
243 Don’t bite the hand that … looks dirty.
244 Of course it is important. Incredibly, urgently, desperately
245 “Want to read it to me?” he asked.
246 “What do you mean,” she asked him. – W. S. Maugham
247 “I had no illusions about you,” he said. “I knew you were silly
and frivolous and empty-headed. But I loved you. I knew that your aims
and ideals were vulgar and commonplace. But I loved you. I knew that you
were second-rate. But I loved you. – W. S. Maugham
248 Wounded vanity can make a woman more vindictive than a
lioness robbed of her cubs. – W. S. Maugham
249 He stretched out his hand and took hers. “It’s a scrape we’ve got
into, but we shall get out of it. It’s not …” He stopped and Kitty had a
suspicion that he had been about to say that it was not the first he had got
out of. – W. S. Maugham
250 “He agrees to my divorcing him if your wife will give him the
assurance that she will divorce you.” “Anything else?” “And – it’s awfully
hard to say, Charlie, it sounds dreadful – if you’ll promise to marry me
within a week.” – W. S. Maugham
251 We’ve always got on very well together. She’s been an awfully
good wife to me, you know. – W. S. Maugham
252 It’s the ruin of my whole life. Why couldn’t you leave me alone?
What harm had I ever done to you? – W. S. Maugham
253 Her night was tortured with strange dreams. – W. S. Maugham
254 He knew that you were vain, cowardly, and self-seeking. He
wanted me to see it wanted me to see it with my own eyes. He knew that
you’d run like a hare at the approach of danger. He knew how grossly I was
in thinking that you were in love with me, because he knew that you were
incapable of loving any one but yourself. He knew you’d sacrifice me
without a pang to save your own skin. – W. S. Maugham
255 The morning drew on and the sun touched the mist so that it
shone whitely like the ghost of snow on a dying star. – W. S. Maugham
256 Listen, ma chère infant … – W. S. Maugham
257 My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the deer, and following the roe
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go. – R. Burns
258 The dead have been awakened
Shall I sleep?
The world’s at war with tyrants –
Shall I crouch? – G. G. Byron
259 The moon has a face like the clock in the hall. – R. L. Stevenson
260 The sun and rain in fickle weather
Were playing hide-and-seek together – A. M. Pratt
261 The hand that rocked the cradle has kicked the bucket
262 Join the Jippi Jappa Festival in Jamaica!
263 The garden was alive with the buzz of bees.
264 He’s so crooked he has to screw his socks on.
265 You’ve buttered your bread; now lie in it.
3 Texts for Stylistic Analysis
Make a thorough stylistic analysis of the following texts: Find the
artistic message and principles underlying a writer’s choice of language.
While making the stylistic analysis of a text, speak on the following items:
- the style in which the text is written (belles-letters (poetry, drama,
or emotive prose), publicistic (speech, essay, or an article), official
documents, newspaper, or scientific);
- the form in which the text is written (first/third person narration,
dialogue, soliloquy, description);
- sentence complexity prevalence (simple/complex);
- vocabulary prevalence (bookish/neutral/colloquial);
- SDs and EMs and the effect produced by them.
Sample Text Analysis
The older professor looked up at the assistant, fumbling fretfully
with a pile of papers. “Farrar, what’s the matter with you lately?” he said
The younger man started, “Why … why …” the brusqueness of the
other’s manner shocked him suddenly into confession. “I’ve lost my nerve,
Professor Mallory, that’s what ‘s the matter with me. I’m frightened to
death,” he said melodramatically.
“What of?” asked Mallory, with a little change in his tone.
The floodgates were open. The younger man burst out in
exclamations, waving his thin, nervous, knotted fingers, his face twitching
as he spoke. “Of myself … no, not myself, but my body! I’m not well …
I’m getting worse all the time. The doctors don’t make out what is the
matter … I don’t sleep … I worry … I forget things, I take no interest in
life … the doctors intimate a nervous break down ahead of me … and yet I
rest … I rest … more than I can afford to! I never go out. Every evening
I’m in bed by nine o’clock. I take no part in college life beyond my work,
for fear of the nervous strain. I’ve refused to take charge of that summer
school in New York, you know, that would be such an opportunity for me
… if I could only sleep! But though I never do anything exciting in the
evening … heavens! What nights I have. Black hours of seeing myself in a
sanitarium, dependent on my brother! I never … why, I’m in hell … that’s
what the matter with me, a perfect hell of ignoble terror!” – Dorothy
Canfield Fisher, an extract from “The Heyday of the Blood”
The extract above is taken from a short story “The Heyday of the
Blood” by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, so it belongs to belles-letters style.
The extract is written in the form of the dialogue between Professor
Mallory and his young assistant Farrar.
Sentences in the extract are mainly short to reflect Farrar’s worried
emotional state and excited speech.
To reflect the social status and education of the two characters
formal (bookish) words are used, such as fretfully, brusqueness, to intimate,
for fear, sanitarium, ignoble. Though neutral words prevail, as they are the
best means to reflect Farrar’s emotional state and speech.
Dorothy Canfield Fisher used the following tropes:
- Alliterations (the repetition of adjacent or closely following
consonant sounds [f], [p] and [b]) – fumbling fretfully; pile of papers; in
bed by nine; for fear. This phonetic SD (I. R. Galperin), phono-graphical
EM (V. A. Kukharenko), unit of syntagmatic phonetics (Yu. M. Skrebnev),
or rhetorical figure (American and British stylists) brings a melodic effect
into the extract.
- Italics – what’s the matter with you; what of. This graphical EM
(V. A. Kukharenko), or rhetorical figure (American and British stylists) is
used in the extract to show the words that are pronounced with emphasis.
- Breaks-in-the-narrative (aposiopesis) shown graphically by three
dots – why … why …; of myself … no, not myself, but my body! I’m not
well … I’m getting worse all the time. The doctors don’t make out what is
the matter … I don’t sleep … I worry … I forget things, etc. This
syntactical SD (I. R. Galperin), a unit of paradigmatic syntax (Yu. M.
Skrebnev), or rhetorical figure (American and British stylists) is used to
show that Farrar is overexcited, over worried and does not know what to do
and what he is ill with, and his emotions prevent him from speaking.
- Hyperbole (deliberate exaggeration) – I’m frightened to death. It is
a lexical SD (I. R. Galperin and V. A. Kukharenko), a figure of quantity
(Yu. M. Skrebnev), or a rhetorical figure (American and British stylists).
As this phrase is used quite often to show how much one is frightened, it is
a trite hyperbole.
- Metaphors - the floodgates were open; the younger man burst out
in exclamations; I’m in hell. It is a lexical SD (I. R. Galperin and V. A.
Kukharenko), a figure of quality (Yu. M. Skrebnev), or a rhetorical figure
(American and British stylists). In the extract we have one trite metaphor
(I’m in hell) and two genuine ones (the floodgates were open; the younger
man burst out in exclamations) to characterize Farrar and his state.
- Epithets – thin, nervous, knotted fingers; black hours. Both epithets
are trite, as they are quite often used to describe thin fingers and one’s
difficult time respectively. The first (thin, nervous, knotted fingers) is a
string of epithets, and the second (black hours) is a transferred (figurative)
epithet. Epithet is a lexical SD according to I. R. Galperin and V. A.
Kukharenko, or a rhetorical figure according to American and British
- Complete parallel constructions – I worry; I forget things; I take no
interest. This syntactical SD (I. R. Galperin and V. A. Kukharenko), or
rhetorical figure (American and British stylists) is used to bring rhythmic
effect to the utterance and make several ides equally important.
- Interjection – heavens! It is a derivative bookish interjection, a
lexical EM (I.R. Galperin) used to show Farrar’s emotions.
- Oxymoron – a perfect hell of ignoble terror. Oxymoron is a lexical
SD (I. R. Galperin and V. A. Kukharenko), a figure of contrast (Yu. M.
Skrebnev), or a rhetorical figure (American and British stylists). In this
extract two genuine attributive oxymorons are used in one string to
characterize Farrar’s great fear of the situation.
- Punctuation. Exclamation marks and dots are used to show that
Farrar is overexcited.
Text 1
“Splash,” said a raindrop
As it fell upon my hat;
“Splash,” said another
As it trickled down my back.
“You are very rude,” I said
As I looked up to the sky;
Then another raindrop splashed
Right into my eye!
Text 2 The Tell-Tale Heart (Edgar Allan Poe)
True! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am;
but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my
senses – not destroyed – not dulled them. Above all was the sense of
hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard
many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how
healthily – how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but
once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none.
Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me.
He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was
his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture – a pale blue eye, with
a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by
degrees – very gradually – I made up my mind to take the life of the old
man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing.
But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I
proceeded – with what caution – with what foresight – with what
dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than
during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about
midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it—oh, so gently!
And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a
dark lantern, all closed, closed, so that no light shone out, and then I
thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly
I thrust it in! I moved it slowly – very, very slowly, so that I might
not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole
head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his
bed. Ha! – would a madman have been so wise as this? And then, when
my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously – oh, so
cautiously – cautiously (for the hinges creaked) – I undid it just so much
that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for
seven long nights – every night just at midnight – but I found the eye
always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not
the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when
the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to
him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had
passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old
man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon
him while he slept.
Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening
the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine.
Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers – of my
sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that
there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of
my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps
he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you
may think that I drew back – but no. His room was as black as pitch with
the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of
robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and
I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.
I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my
thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed,
crying out – "Who's there?"
I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not
move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was
still sitting up in the bed listening – just as I have done, night after night,
hearkening to the deathwatches in the wall.
Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of
mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief – oh, no! – it was the
low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when
overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at
midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own
bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me.
I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him,
although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever
since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had
been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them
causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself, "It is nothing
but the wind in the chimney – it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or "It
is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes, he had been trying
to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain.
All in vain; because Death, in approaching him, had stalked with his black
shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful
influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel – although he
neither saw nor heard – to feel the presence of my head within the room.
When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him
lie down, I resolved to open a little – a very, very little crevice in the
lantern. So I opened it – you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily –
until, at length, a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from
out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.
It was open – wide, wide open – and I grew furious as I gazed upon
it. I saw it with perfect distinctness – all a dull blue, with a hideous veil
over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing
else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by
instinct, precisely upon the spot.
And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but
overacuteness of the senses? – now, I say, there came to my ears a low,
dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I
knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It
increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into
But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held
the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon
the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker
and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror
must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! –
do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous. So I am. And now
at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house,
so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for
some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew
louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety
seized me – the sound would be heard by a neighbor! The old man's hour
had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the
room. He shrieked once – once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor,
and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so
far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound.
This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall.
At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and
examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon
the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was
stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.
If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I
describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The
night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I
dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.
I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and
deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly,
so cunningly, that no human eye – not even his – could have detected
anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out – no stain of any kind – no
blood spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all –
ha, ha!
When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o'clock – still
dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at
the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, for what had I
now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with
perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a
neighbor during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused;
information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers)
had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The
shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was
absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them
search – search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them
his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I
brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their
fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed
my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the
The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was
singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of
familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them
gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; hut still they sat
and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct – it continued and
became more distinct; I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling; but it
continued and gained definiteness – until, at length, I found that the noise
was not within my ears.
No doubt, I now grew very pale – but I talked more fluently, and with
a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased – and what could I do? It
was a low, dull, quick sound – much such a sound as a watch makes
when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath – and yet the officers heard
it not. I talked more quickly – more vehemently; but the noise steadily
increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent
gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be
gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury
by the observations of the men – but the noise steadily increased. Oh
what could I do? I foamed – I raved – I swore! I swung the chair upon which
I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over
all and continually increased. It grew louder – louder – louder! And still
the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? No,
no! They heard! – they suspected – they knew – they were making a
mockery of my horror – this I thought, and this I think. But anything was
better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I
could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or
die! – and now – again! – hark! louder! louder! louder! louder! –
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the
planks! – here, here! – it is the beating of his hideous heart!"
Text 3 Language Families
A language family is a group of languages that have a common
origin. Among the most important language families are the IndoEuropean, Finno-Ugric, Indo-Chinese, Malayo-Polynesian and Semitic.
Various branches exist within language families. For example, in the
Indo-European family Germanic and Italic are subfamilies, and the Roman
languages are a subgroup of Italic.
Linguists can trace the relationship of languages by comparing words
in one language with words having the same meaning in another language.
For instance, if we compare words in English and German, we find hand
and Hand, foot, feet and Fu, Füe, lips and Lippen, lungs and Lungen.
The relationships of this kind are characteristic of languages that
belong to the same language family and do not exist across languagefamily lines.
Thus it may be established that Greek, the Slavic languages (such as
Russian), the Celtic languages (such as Irish) and even some of the
languages of India (such as Sanskrit) are members of the Indo-European
family but it has been proved that Finnish and Hungarian do not belong to
this family.
Text 4 MOMI: Museum of the Moving Image
Lights … Cameras … Action … Come to the award-winning
Museum of the Moving Image and discover the fascinating and magical
world of film and television. Both a museum and an experience, MOMI is
an exciting blend of entertainment and education with plenty of hands-on
fun. Enjoy a magic lantern show, “fly” over the Thames like Superman, be
interviewed by Barry Norman or audition for a Hollywood screen test.
Text 5 Honeymoon under Capricorn
The perfect place for that once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) dreamtime?
How about a thousand miles east of Africa, under Capricorn1, on a sugarand-spice island that dips its toes in the Indian Ocean? An island where
casuarinas pines sway across white talcum powder sand and a coral reef
keeps the sharks at a safe distance. Where the people are charming, the
service in the hotels irreproachable and the food is terrific. If this is your
idea of a honeymoon base, then go to Mauritius. After no less than five
visits, it’s still one of my favourite islands.
From somewhere few people in the west had heard of 18 years ago,
Mauritius has become a prize destination in the brochures. Tourism has
been a tremendous boost to the island’s economy and the capital, Port
Louis, has grown from a dusty old port into a sprawling commercial center,
but elsewhere the island’s beauty spots remain unspoilt.
Most of the hotels are in splendid isolation or little groups. You wake
up not to the sound of traffic but to the musical notes of the little red
cardinals or bull-bulls who later sneak beakfuls of sugar from the breakfast
Choose the old-colonial graciousness of the St. Geran. Princess
Caroline of Monaco sleeps here and so does Frederick Forsyth 2. one of his
short stories is set in this hotel.
On the island you can play Hemingway and go deep-sea fishing. This
is one of the world’s best areas to catch the big marlin and yellow-fish tuna.
But save that Frederick Forsyth story until you’re back at home.
You’ll see why when you read The Emperor in No Comebacks.
refers to the Tropic of Capricorn, an imaginary line around the earth
23.5º south of the Equator.
an English writer of thrillers
Text 6 Declaration of Independence (Thomas Jefferson)
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with
another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
Happiness; That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted
among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the
governed; That whenever any Form of Government becomes
destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to
abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on
such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall
seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed,
will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed
for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath
shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are
sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which
they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same Objects, evinces a design to reduce them
under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off
such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now
the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of
Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a
history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object
the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove
this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws the most wholesome and
necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and
pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent
should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected
to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large
districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of
Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and
formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public
records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with
his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing
with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time after such dissolutions to cause
others to be elected, whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of
Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise,
the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for
that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners,
refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising
the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his
Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of
their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms
of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies, without
the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of, and superior
to, the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction
foreign to our constitutions and unacknowledged by our laws; giving
his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any
Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States;
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world;
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent;
For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury;
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses;
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring
Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its
Boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for
introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies;
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws,
and altering, fundamentally, the Forms of our Governments;
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves
invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his
Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burned our
towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries
to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun
with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most
barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high
Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of
their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has
endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless
Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished
destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for
Redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have been
answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus
marked by every act which may define a Tyrant is unfit to be the ruler
of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren.
We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their
legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have
reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here.
We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have
conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these
usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of
consanguinity. We must therefore acquiesce in the necessity which
denounces our Separation and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind,
Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America
in General Congress Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the
world for the rectitude of our intentions, do in the Name and by the
Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and
declare that these United Colonies are and of right ought to be Free and
Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the
British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the
State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved, and that as
Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude
Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts
and Things which Independent States may of right do.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on
the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other
our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Text 7 Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (William Faulkner)
I feel that this award was not made to me as a man but to my
work – a life's work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for
glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the
human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only
mine in trust. It will not be difficult to find a dedication for the money
part of it commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin.
But I would like to do the same with the acclaim too, by using this
moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young
men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail,
among whom is already that one who will some day stand here where I
am standing.
Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long
sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems
of the spirit. There is only the question: when will I be blown up?
Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the
problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can
make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the
agony and the sweat.
He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest
of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever,
leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and
truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is
ephemeral and doomed – love and honor and pity and pride and
compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so he labors under a curse. He
writes not of love but of lust, of de feats in which nobody loses anything
of value, of victories without hope and worst of all with out pity or
compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He
writes not of the heart but of the glands.
Until he relearns these things he will write as though he stood
among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of
man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will
endure, that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from
the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening,
that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny
inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man
will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he
alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a
soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The
poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things It is his privilege to
help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and
honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which
have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely he the
record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure
and prevail.
Text 8 Life Without Principle (extract) (Henry David Thoreau)
Let us consider the way in which we spend our lives.
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am
awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts
my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at
leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a
blankbook to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and
cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for
granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a
window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or scared out of his
wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly b ec ause h e was thus
in capa cit ed for – business! I think that there is nothing, not even
crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this
incessant business.
If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is
in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day
as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before
her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a
town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down!
Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in
throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely
that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily
employed now. For instance: just after sunrise, one summer morning, I
noticed one of my neighbors walking beside his team, which was slowly
dragging a heavy hewn stone swung under the axle, surrounded by an
atmosphere of industry – his day’s work begun, - his brow commenced
to sweat – a reproach to all sluggards and idlers – pausing abreast the
shoulders of his oxen, and half turning round with his merciful whip
while they gained their length on him. And I thought, such a labor
which the American Congress exists to protect, - honest, manly toil, honest as the day is long, - that makes his bread taste sweet, and keeps
society sweet, - which all men, respect and have consecrated; one of the
sacred band, doing the needful but irksome drudgery. Indeed, I felt a
slight reproach, because I observed this from a window, and was not
abroad and stirring about a similar business. The day went by, and at
evening I passed the yard of another neighbor, who keeps many
servants, and spends much money foolishly, while he adds nothing to
the common stock, and there I saw the stone of the morning lying
beside a whimsical structure intended to adorn this Lord Timothy
Dexter's premises, and the dignity forthwith departed from the teamster's
labor, in my eyes. In my opinion, the sun was made to light worthier toil
than this. I may add that his employer has since run off, in debt to a
good part of the town, and, after passing through Chancery, has settled
somewhere else, there to become once more a patron of the arts.
The ways by which you may get money almost without exception
lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money
merely is to have been truly idle or worse. If the laborer gets no more than
the wages, which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself.
The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get “a good
job”, but to perform well a certain work. Do not hire a man who does your
work for money, but him who does it for love of it …
Text 9 maggie and milly and molly and may (e. e. cummings)
maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and
milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it' s always ourselves we find in the sea
Text 10 Return to Dust (George Bamber)
James Howard, a research scientist
Miss Pritchart, a secretary
Dr. Bader, Director of Research
Act 1
[Music: Up and out]
James: [Gaining presence with the breathy quality of an amateur]
Testing. . . one two three. Testing-testing. Attention, Dr. Warren
Bader, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, State
University. Dear Dr. Bader: This is James Howard, Research
Fellow in Pathology speaking. Ahhh, I don't know quite how to
begin. At the moment I am seated on the tape recorder that is
recording this message to you. As a point of fact, by the yard stick on
my desk, I stand exactly one foot, one inch tall and I am steadily
decreasing in size. Ahhh-hem. I am on top of my desk; I climbed up
here before I should shrink to a point where I would be physically
unable to get from the floor to the chair and thus to the desk top,
and the telephone.
Ahh, it is a very strange experience to find one's desk an
insurmountable object, like a mountain, to climb. However, the
phone is by my side now and since it is my last contact with the
outside world, it is imperative that I do not become separated from
it. I have been trying to reach you by phone since eight this
morning. As you are not at home, and have not yet arrived at your
office, it occurred to me there exists a distinct possibility that I
might not be able to contact you before it becomes too late. I
calculate that if I continue to shrink at my present rate of speed, it is
possible that I will become invisible to the human eye sometime
before midnight.
Since you are the only person with an adequate scientific
background and technical knowledge to save me, it is imperative that
my last whereabouts is known to you in the event that I cannot contact
you by phone. [Quickly] I'm confident that it will just be a matter of
moments before I do; this recording is merely a precaution.
As you will have discovered by now, I have gone against your
orders and pursued my theory of cancer cell growth by working at
night after my regular duties. This is the same theory I proposed in
publication December 1, 1957, and which you publicly ridiculed in the
Scientific American Journal, September 3, 1958. Unfortunately, you
were wrong, Dr. Bader. The biochemical agent not only stops abnormal
cell division, but reduces the existing cells in physical size until the
neutralizer is induced. [Groping for proof] The fact that I have shrunk
from five and one half feet to one foot should be proof beyond
refutation, though my condition is the result of an accident.
While trying to introduce a more powerful catalyst in the
laboratory last night, I inadvertently created an uncontrolled reaction
which manifested itself as a white mist which filled the entire lab. The
mist lasted no more than a few seconds and as I could observe no
effects other than this, I continued working. When I got home, I
descended into one of the deepest and blackest sleeps I have ever
experienced. I awoke this morning to discover myself literally lost in a
sea of blankets.
I had shrunk five feet during the night. Naturally, my first
reaction was one of panic, but I soon realized that my only salvation
was to remain calm until I contacted you. You'll find a more complete
report of my theory, and the experiments which I've conducted to
prove it, in the uncompleted thesis here on my desk. [Trying to conceal
his pride] My thesis, Dr. Bader, will open the door to a cure for man's
worst disease: Cancer. Ahhh-hem.
As for myself, you'll find detailed instructions on how to reverse
the action which I've accidentally initiated upon myself. You'll find this
on pages [grunting] 79.
[Sound: Exaggerated sound, as if the first page of a manuscript were
being turned close to a microphone]
James: . . . through 82, yes, that's right: 79 through 82. No
matter how small I may become, even microscopic, you will be able to
reverse the process if you follow the instructions on those pages. [He
grunts, as if dropping the leaf of a heavy book]
[Sound: The swish and thud of page and book cover closing]
James: [Introspectively] To think that the cover of my thesis, the
manuscript I used to carry easily in one hand, has become as difficult
for me to move as the cover to my grave. [Shaking himself out of his
reverie] Here now, no time for morbidity. I had better place another
telephone call to your office, Dr. Bader, while I'm still big enough to
dial the phone.
[Sound: Under his speech, James’ footsteps across the papers on his
desk to the phone]
James: It is just possible your efficient secretary forgot to tell
you that I called. [Amused] The phone has grown almost half as tall as I
am. [He lifts the phone] A strange sensation.
[Sound: We hear the phone being bumped from its cradle and
then clatter as he lets it fall to the desk. The dialing of the phone is
exaggerated in amplitude; while the release spin is normal, the wind
up is tortured]
James: [Dialing, with effort] Who would think [Grunt] the
tensor springs on these. . . dials would be so. . . strong. [He laughs]
And who would think. . . I would have to use both hands. . . to dial
a telephone. [He chuckles mirthlessly] Steady, James Howard; now
is no time to misdial.
[Sound: The last digit of the number spins into place and we
settle down to wait as the phone rings at the other end of the line,
once, twice, three times before it is finally picked up]
Miss Pritchart: [She is a woman who has retained her maidenhood
for fifty-three years, not only physically, but mentally as well] [Filtered]
Pathology, Dr. Bader's office. Miss Pritchart speaking.
James: [Unable to hide the urgency of his situation from his voice]
Miss Pritchart, has Dr. Bader come in yet?
Miss P.: [Filtered] Who shall I say is calling?
James: This is James Howard, Miss Pritchart. It's urgent.
Miss P.: [Filtered] It doesn't sound like you, Mr. Howard.
James: It's me – I – all right.
Miss P.: [Silence as the line goes dead] I'm sorry, Dr. Bader
isn't in. I have your number. . .
James: Are you sure?
Miss P.: [Filtered] Yes, I am sure. Dr. Bader is not, at this
moment, in his office.
James: Now look, Miss Pritchart, don't pull that Dr. Baderisn't-in stuff to me. You tell Dr. Bader I have to talk to him.
Miss P.: [Filtered] I'm sorry, Mr. Howard, Dr. Bader is not in.
James: Look, this is a matter of life and death.
Miss P.: [Filtered] Mr. Howard. . .
James: Tell him to answer his damn telephone.
Miss P.: [Filtered] Mr. Howard, I assure you Dr. Bader is not in
his office. I will have him call you as soon as he comes in. In the
meantime, is there anything I can do?
James: There's nothing anyone can do but Dr. Bader. He's the
only man in the world that can help me. Do you understand that?
Miss P.: [Filtered] Well, I'll tell him as soon as he comes in.
James: Yes, you do that, Miss Pritchart.
[Sound: The filtered click of the receiver being hung up at her end of
the line, the thump and clatter of the phone at his end as he replaces it on
the cradle]
James: [Silence, after a moment] Why Dr. Bader, why of all days
did you have to pick today to change your routine? For the last twenty
years you've been in your office from nine until twelve. Why in hell
did you have to pick this morning to change?
[Music: Up and out – end of Act 1]
Act 2
[Music: Up and out, indicates passage of time]
James: Yes, self preservation is the most powerful instinct. It is
now three-thirty in the afternoon, and I have shrunk to the incredible
height of six inches, and I am continuing to shrink, yet I am taking
every precaution to guarantee that I stay alive.
But what have I got to live for? What am I? A thirty-two-year
old, old man that's losing his hair in front and walks with a stoop
from years of hunching over microscopes to watch little cells divide.
And what have I got to show for it? A cheap furnished room, a
meager position as a research fellow, which doesn't pay enough to
live like other people. Not enough to have a wife or children. And no
dignity certainly: Yes, Dr. Bader, no, Dr. Bader, most assuredly, Dr.
Bader. The old hypocrite!
[Sound: In the background, we hear the tentative chirp of a parakeet
James: All that I can call mine is in this room: one suit, some
socks with holes in them, piles of heavy books, the microscope on my
desk, and a tape recorder to record my notes on. That's all that will
be left of Mr. James Howard, research fellow.
Sound: The chattering of the parakeet attracts our attention. He
is in a cage overhead]
James: [Slightly cheered] Excuse me, Dr. Pasteur.
[Sound: Bird again]
James: And one green and gold parakeet with the name of
[Sound: Bird]
James: [Shouting up to cage] To pose a hypothetical problem,
Dr. Pasteur, who's going to change the water in your cage if I shrink
away to infinity? Certainly not Dr. Bader; he might steal what
little water you had, but he wouldn't change it.
[Sound: Bird chattering]
James: [To himself] Who will? If I don't contact the good doctor,
it may be a week before the landlady comes up here to clean. He'd
starve to death. I've got to open that cage and let him loose. But
how? The yard stick.
[Sound: His walking to the yard stick]
James: I can push the latch open with that. . . yes. . .
[Sound: The distant sound of the stick knocking against the metal
James: Yes. . . I can just reach it. . . [The effort of swinging the
stick] There. Ah, come on out, the door's open, Dr. Pasteur. You're
free. The window is open across the room. There's a whole world
ahead of you. Fly away and make a name for yourself. [To himself]
The whole world. What am I talking about? I've got the whole world
at my feet if I live. After I publish my thesis, I'll be famous. I'll
have everything I ever dreamed of. But not unless Dr. Bader has all
the instructions. So, we resume taping. But I can't reach the start
button on the recorder. These books, like a grand staircase to the top
of the recorder.
[Sound: Clambering footsteps. Feet on metal]
James: And now to start the machine. [Effort] But I can't push
it. Kick it – ow, that hurt. I've got it. Jump on it.
[Sound: Jumps. Big click. Big whirr of machine]
James: There we go. Dr. Bader? Dr. Bader, this is James
Howard recording again. I have still not received your phone call,
but I have not given up hope. The call will come. [The strain is evident
in his voice] I am convinced of that. It is just a matter of time. In the
meanwhile, I have made the necessary precautions for isolating
myself in the event that you do not call before tomorrow morning. I
have taped a ramp, from a ruler, to the stage of the microscope.
Glued to the microscope is a transparent glass petri dish. As soon as it
becomes apparent that I'm in danger of being lost from view on the
desk, I will make my way to the petri dish.
But what if you haven't called by that time? I could be lost in
the petri dish. I could prepare a slide for myself. [Thinking] If I
diminished to the size of a one-celled organism, I would have no
difficulty in crawling under the cover glass and taking up a position
directly under the lens. Perhaps I should prepare a slide now.
[Sound: With piercing suddenness the phone begins to ring]
James: [With unconcealed joy and relief in his voice] You've
called, Dr. Bader. You've called at last.
[Sound: The footsteps of a six-inch man running across the desk to the
telephone and then the silence that follows as we hear him tugging and
grunting. Phone ring. The noise of a phone being pushed this way and that
in its cradle]
James: [Horrified] No.
[Sound: Again the struggle and the phone rings again]
James: I can't lift it. I'm too small. I can't lift it off the cradle.
[Sound: Phone ring]
James: Don't stop ringing, please! I'll lift it. . . but how? A lever!
Give me a lever and I can move the world.
[Sound: Phone ring]
James: But what? A pencil! I can do it with a pencil. Don't
hang up, Dr. Bader. . . I'm looking. . . I'm looking.
[Sound: His scuffling through the papers on his desk]
James: A pencil. . . a pencil, a pen. . . Here we are.
[Sound: Phone ring, and JAMES running to the phone]
James: Please don't hang up, Dr. Bader, I'm coming, I'm
[Sound: The sound of the pencil being jammed between the receiver
and its base and the ensuing struggle to lever it off its base]
James: Just don't stop ringing. . . please don't stop ringing. . .
please. . .
[Sound: Phone ring]
James: [Almost hysterical] I'm trying. . . I'm trying. . . just don't
hang up, Dr. Bader. . . I've almost got it. . . just a little more.
[Sound: Suddenly the phone receiver clatters against the desk,
followed by the running whip of cord against the edge of the desk]
James: No.
[Sound: A bump and the crash and ring characteristic of a phone base
as it hits the floor after a fall from a table]
Miss Pritchart: [Filtered] Hello?
James: [Yelling] Miss Pritchart?
Miss P.: Mr. Howard?
James: Can you hear me? Get Dr. Bader.
Miss P.: [Impatient] Hello?
James: [Yelling] Miss Pritchart, I'm on top of the desk. The
phone fell on the floor.
Miss P.: Hello?
James: I'm only six inches tall. You've got to get me help.
Miss P.: Hello, are you there, Mr. Howard?
James: Yes, I'm here. I'm here.
[Sound: The electric buzz of an office intercom filtered over. The phone
lying on the floor]
Dr. Bader: [Filtered – curtly] Howard!
Miss P.: [Filtered] No, this is Miss Pritchart. I called Mr.
Howard's room but he doesn't answer or something.
James: [Yelling] I'm here, Dr. Bader, I'm here.
Dr. Bader: What do you mean he doesn't answer?
Miss P.: Well, I rang and rang and then the phone just went
dead. You can hear for yourself.
Dr. Bader: Went dead?
James: [Yelling] The phone didn't go dead, it fell on the floor.
Dr. Bader: [Filtered] Well, call him back in about an hour. See if he
answers then.
James: Don't hang up, Miss Pritchart. I can't put my phone back
on the hook.
Miss P.: What if he doesn't answer then?
James: [Yelling] All you'll get is a busy signal.
Dr. Bader: What do you mean, what if he doesn't answer? He will.
Miss P.: When he called this morning, he sounded very strange.
James: Don't let him hang up, Miss Pritchart.
Dr. Bader: Howard's been very strange since the day he joined the
department. If you can't get him today, I'll talk to him when I see him
James: No. . . no. . . no. . .
Miss P.: Yes, Dr. Bader.
James: No-o-o. . . please don't hang up. . .
[Sound: The click of the receiver being hung up at the far end,
followed by the unrelenting dial tone]
James: I'm still here. . . please don't hang up. . . Dr. Bader,
please. . .
[Sound: In the background, again the dial tone continues. . .]
[Music: Up and out. End of Act 2]
Act 3
[Music: Up and out]
James: I almost gave up when you hung up, Dr. Bader, but
then I remembered a simple law of mathematics. No matter how often
you divide a thing, there's still something left. So I went ahead with
the preparation for my survival. And a good thing too. It's not yet six
o'clock, and I am now only an inch and a half tall.
But everything is now arranged. In the exact center of the petri
dish on the microscope stage is a prepared slide complete with slip
cover and label. The only thing lacking is the specimen, and that is
me. If I become so small that I am in danger of being lost in the petri
dish, I will make my way to the exact center of the slide and take up a
position there. You should be able to see me for some time to come
because I focused the microscope. All you have to do, Dr. Bader, is
look, just look to see me. My world is such a different place now:
books are as huge as buildings and pencils seem like telephone poles. I
wonder what my world will look like if no one ever finds me. Oh, yes,
Dr. Bader, the slide under the microscope is labeled carefully. Of all
the slides I've labeled in my life time, I hardly thought the last one
might become my epitaph. Specimen: James Howard; Species: Homo
Sapiens; Condition: Excellent.
[Sound: The flutter of wings passing close by]
James: Dr. Pasteur.
[Sound: Another pass]
James: Haven't you flown the coop yet?
[Sound: Aflutter and a chirp]
James: Is your loyalty so great that you refuse to leave so long as
the last particle of me remains?
[Sound: Chirp]
James: What an ugly monster you are when viewed from this
perspective. Your feathers are like scales of armor, infested with
lice, I see. . . and that beak. . .
[Sound: A chirp and a sharp thud on the desk]
James: [Screams]
[Sound: The scream frightens the bird, evidently, because we hear the
flutter of wings lifting in the air and then settling back down]
James: No. Dr. Pasteur, NO. If only I had a weapon. . .
[Sound: Chirp]
James: Stay away. [To himself] Back up slowly. . . don't run. . .
low . . . back between the books and the microphone . . . slowly:
[Sound: Confusion of feet and wings and a screaming chirp
followed by heavy breathing close to microphone . . . then a chirp, and
a tentative peck at the microphone]
James: I'm safe here . . . until he loses interest. I should have let him
starve to death in his cage. [Suddenly afraid] I wonder if the tape's still
recording? I can see the spools still turning, high above me, the clear plastic
reflecting the last rays of the sun setting outside my window. . . but I can't
see if there's tape. [Yelling] Are you still there? Am I recording, Dr. Bader?
This is James Howard. As soon as that bird loses interest, I'm going to make
a break for it.
I'll make the microscope, Bader, don't you worry. Treat that slide
marked "James Howard" just like it was me. You understand? Even if you
don't think I'm in it. If you can't bring me back, publish my thesis for me.
[Yelling] You hear me, Dr. Bader? Publish my thesis. I can't die smaller than
dust unknown. Publish. . . I have nothing left, Dr. Bader, not even my
body. Give me my thesis. [A new idea] You wouldn't dare publish it in your
name, Dr. Bader, would you? All you'll have to do is change the name on the
title page. You wouldn't stoop that low, would you? [Screaming] No, no! Give
me my thesis, Dr. Bader, give me that much. Do you hear me? Am I
recording? Give me immortality, Dr. Bader. I want the world to know I
lived. Publish the thesis in my name. Do you hear me, Dr. Bader? Give me
immort –
[Sound: Under the approaching flutter of the bird – then a huge
chirp – and the thud of the bird' s . . . mandibles closing on mike . . . fade.
. . fluttering wings and chirp of bird to normal level. . .][Music: Up and
1. Арнольд И. В. Стилистика современного английского языка
(Стилистика декодирования). – М.: Просвещение, 1990. – 301с.
2. Гальперин И.Р. Стилистика английского языка. – М.: Высшая
школа, 1981. – 334с.
3. Кухаренко В. А. Практикум по стилистике английского
языка. – М.: Высшая школа, 1986. – 144с.
4. Пелевина Н.Ф. Стилистический анализ художественного
текста. – Л.: Просвещение, 1980. – 272с.
5. Разинкина Н. М. Функциональная стилистика английского
языка. – М.: Высшая школа, 1989. – 182с.
6. Скребнев Ю. М. Основы стилистики английского языка:
Учебник для институтов и факультетов иностранных языков. – М.:
ООО «Издательство АСТ»: ООО «Издательство Астрель», 2000. –
7. Сошальская Е. Г., Прохорова В.И. Стилистический анализ. –
М.: Высшая школа, 1976. – 155 с.
8. Kukharenko, V. A. Seminars in Style. – Moscow: Higher School
Publishing House, 1971. – 184p.
Appendix A
Index of Stylistic Devices and Expressive Means
Alliteration, 7
Allusion, 7
Anticlimax, 7
Antithesis, 7 – 8
Antonomasia, 8
banal. See trite.
dead. See trite.
fresh. See genuine.
genuine, 8
hackneyed. See trite.
newly-created. See genuine.
original. See genuine.
poetic. See genuine.
stale. See trite.
stereotyped. See trite.
trite, 8
Apokuinu construction, 8
Aposiopesis. See Break-in-thenarrative.
Assonance, 8
Asyndeton, 8 – 9
Attachment, 9
Annexation. See Attachment.
logical, 11
negative, 11
quantative, 11
Detached construction. See Detachment.
Detachment, 11 – 12
Ellipsis, 12
Enumeration, 12
Epithet, 12 – 13
associated, 12
compound, 13
figurative. See transferred.
fixed, 13
inverted. See reversed.
phrase, 13
reversed, 13
simple, 13
single. See simple.
string of epithets, 13
two-step, 13
transferred, 13
unassociated, 12
Euphemism, 13
joking, 13
Back gradation. See Anticlimax.
Bathos. See Anticlimax.
Break-in-the-narrative, 9
Gap-sentence link. See Attachment.
Gradation. See Climax.
Grapheme multiplication, 14
Graphon, 14
Capitalization, 10
Catachresis See Metaphor mixed.
Chiasmus, 10 – 11
Cliché. See Periphrasis trite.
See Graphon.
Climax, 11
emotional, 11
Hyperbole, 14 – 15
banal. See trite.
dead. See trite.
fresh. See genuine.
genuine, 14
hackneyed. See trite.
newly-created. See genuine.
original. See genuine.
poetic. See genuine.
stale. See trite.
stereotyped. See trite.
trite, 14 – 15
Hyphenation, 15
stale. See trite.
stereotyped. See trite.
sustained. See prolonged.
trite, 18
Metonymy, 18 – 19
Litotes, 17
Onomatopoeia, 19
direct, 19
indirect, 19
Oxymoron, 19 – 20
attributive, 19 – 20
banal. See trite.
dead. See trite.
fresh. See genuine.
genuine, 20
hackneyed. See trite.
newly-created. See genuine.
original. See genuine.
poetic. See genuine.
stale. See trite.
stereotyped. See trite.
trite, 20
verbal, 20
Malapropism, 17
Meiosis. See Understatement.
Metaphor, 17 – 18
banal. See trite.
broken. See mixed.
chain. See prolonged.
creative. See genuine.
dead. See trite.
fresh. See genuine.
genuine, 18
hackneyed. See trite.
mixed, 18
newly-created. See genuine.
original. See genuine.
poetic. See genuine.
prolonged, 18
simple, 18
Paragraph, 20
Parallel construction, 20 – 21
balanced. See complete.
complete, 21
partial, 21
Paronomasia. See Pun.
Periphrasis, 21 – 22
banal. See trite.
dead. See trite.
figurative, 22
fresh. See genuine.
genuine, 21
hackneyed. See trite.
logical, 22
newly-created. See genuine.
original. See genuine.
poetic. See genuine.
Interjections, 15
bookish, 15
colloquial, 15
derivative, 15
neutral, 15
primary, 15
Inversion, 15 – 16
Irony, 16
Italics, 16 – 17
stale. See trite.
stereotyped. See trite.
trite, 21
Personification, 22
banal. See trite.
dead. See trite.
fresh. See genuine.
genuine, 22
hackneyed. See trite.
newly-created. See genuine.
original. See genuine.
poetic. See genuine.
stale. See trite.
stereotyped. See trite.
trite, 22
Polysyndeton, 22
Pun, 23
Punctuation, 23 – 24
zero, 23 - 24
dashes, 23
exclamation mark, 23
periods, 23
question marks, 23
three dots, 23
tautological, 26
Represented speech, 27
inner, 27
unuttered. See inner.
uttered, 27
Rhetorical question, 27 – 28
Rhyme, 28 – 29
adjacent, 29
broken. See compound.
compound, 28
consonant, 28
crossing, 29
dactylic. See triple.
double. See female.
exact. See full.
eye, 28
female, 28
feminine. See female.
full, 28
half. See incomplete.
incomplete, 28
initial, 28 – 29
internal, 28
male, 28
masculine. See male.
near. See incomplete.
perfect. See full.
ring, 29
sight. See eye.
single. See male.
treble. See triple.
triple, 28
vowel, 28
Rhythm, 29
Question-in-the-narrative, 24
Quibble. See Pun.
Repetition, 24 – 27
anadiplosis, 26
anaphora, 25
catch. See anadiplosis.
chain repetition, 26
epiphora, 25
framing, 25
half, 26 – 27
linking. See anadiplosis.
ordinary, 26
reduplication. See anadiplosis.
successive, 26
synonymous, 26
Sentence length, 29
Sentence structure, 29 – 30
loose, 29
periodic, 30
Shaped text, 30
Simile, 31
banal. See trite.
dead. See trite.
disguised, 31
fresh. See genuine.
genuine, 31
hackneyed. See trite.
newly-created. See genuine.
ordinary, 31
original. See genuine.
poetic. See genuine.
stale. See trite.
stereotyped. See trite.
trite, 31
Suspense, 32
Synecdoche, 32
banal. See trite.
dead. See trite.
fresh. See genuine.
genuine, 32
hackneyed. See trite.
newly-created. See genuine.
original. See genuine.
poetic. See genuine.
stale. See trite.
stereotyped. See trite.
trite, 32
Syntactical whole, 32 – 33
Syntactic structure violation, 33
grammatical, 33
lexical, 33
lexico-grammatical, 33
Understatement, 34
banal. See trite.
dead. See trite.
fresh. See genuine.
genuine, 34
hackneyed. See trite.
newly-created. See genuine.
original. See genuine.
poetic. See genuine.
stale. See trite.
stereotyped. See trite.
trite, 34
Visual text. See Shaped text.
Zeugma, 34
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