Linguistics Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

stylistic and linguistic analysis of literature How do we  carry out stylistic and linguistic analysis of literature?

Expert Answers info

mwestwood, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from The University of Alabama


calendarEducator since 2006

write16,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Kate Chopin's short short story "Story of an Hour" exemplifies stylistic techniques. First of all, the reportorial, rather passive voice of the narrator allows the reader to form his/her own judgments.  Secondly, Chopin's strategic use of the pronoun she directs the reader's perception to Mrs. Mallard as representative of women who are repressed in Victorian society, and along with the distance created by the reportorial narrator, the generalized implications are clearly perceived by the reader, and the effect intended by Mrs. Chopin is achieved.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write5,917 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

Stylistic analysis of literature examines a text for patterns in writing (authorial style) and in speech (discourse style). The aim is to evaluate the quality of a text as well as the meaning of a text. In addition, the effect of the communication of the writer and the effect of the communication of the speaker within the text are both evaluated.

Linguistic analysis of literature comprises the examination of grammatical features of a work of literature; examination of the sounds of poetry (and other text as appropriate) for relationship to the effects of sounds; examination of discourse features in narrative including situation of discourse, thought presentation in discourse, and speech presentation in discourse.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

amy-lepore eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2005

write3,513 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Analysis begins with the rhetorical triangle--the speaker, the message, the audience.  In order to analyze the piece, you first look at who is saying it, how he is saying it, what words did he choose, what is his purpose.  Then you look at the message. How is it presented? Are the arguments sound or full of fallacies? Is the evidence sound, and are there lots of examples given to prove the point? Next, you look at the audience.  If it's a group of women, or students, or elderly people, the message/speaker will alter language, etc. to appeal to that group.  Focus on what preconceived notions the audience may have and whether or not the message would be successful with them.

In addition to the elements posted above, you should also consider allusions (lit anal), denotation and connotation (linguistic anal), and overall effect of the piece. 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write4,539 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Style analysis--tone, diction, syntax--is important and should be paired with thematic analysis, including the author's use of symbolism. These are fairly common elements in all works of fiction and even non-fiction, to some degree. In addition, form can be a point of study, as well. Literary techniques such as flashbacks or, perhaps, the use of letters or other such devices also become part of an effective literary analysis. I find it helpful to compare one work to another, as well, since it requires students to recognize differences and similarities between literary elements and works.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,967 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

What you focus on really depends on the text.  Basically, you analyze what is there.  You can look at how an author chooses and uses words, which is known as tone and diction, as well as how sentences are constructed.  This is all part of what makes up style.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

When giving my students an exam over a text I always insure that they know the themes, the point-of-view, important quotes, conflicts, and the meaning of the work.

It is always imperative that the text is understood. If one truly understands a text, the exam should be no problem. Frustration comes, for a teacher, when a student complains about not understanding a text when they admit to not reading it.

 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial



en2hu | Student

What should be focused in analysing any given literary text  in literature exam?