Allegory and personification

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Allegory and personification

Personificationis a stylistic device ascribing humanqualities to inanimate objects, phenomena or animals: How soon hath Time, the subtle thief ofyouth, Stol'n on his wing my three and twentieth year. A more or less sure sign of this stylistic device is the use of personal pronouns "he" and "she" with reference to lifeless things: The Night gently lays her hand on our heads. The pronoun "he": the Sun, the Wind, the Cat who walked by himself, the Fox, Death, Fear, Love - strong,

active phenomena. The pronoun "she" stands for the Moon, Nature, Silence. Beauty, Hope, Mercy. Another formal device of personification is capitalization of the word which expresses a personified

notion: You can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same.

Allegoryis a term in literature or even in art in general. It means expressing abstract ideas through concrete pictures. The term is mostly employed with reference to more or less complete texts, not to individual, particular metaphors within a lengthy text. As for shorter allegorical texts, they are represented by proverbs: All is not gold that glitters. We often find allegory in fables and fairy stories, philosophical and satirical novels. In some cases allegory is based on metonymic grounds, using the names of objects and characters of a story figuratively, representing some more general things, good or bad qualities. Using names of symbols, the author expresses in a figurative way an idea quite different from the primary meanings of its constituents: The Crescent defeated the Cross in Asia. In this sentence the Crescent stands for Moslem and the Cross for Christianity. And the meaning of the sentence is: Ислам

победил Христианство в Азии.

Allusion and decomposition of set phrases

Allusionis an indirect reference, by word or phrase, to a historical, literary, mythological, biblical fact or to a fact of everyday life made in the course of speaking or writing. The use of allusion presupposes knowledge of the fact, thing or person alluded to on the part of the reader or listener. Allusions are based on the accumulated experience and the knowledge of the writer who presupposes a similar experience and knowledge in the reader: In the stock market he met his Waterloo. The title of Agatha Christie's book "The Labours of Hercules" (Подвиги Геракла) is an allusion to the 12 heroic deeds of this hero. The name of the main character, Hecule Poirot, is also an allusion to the name of Ilercules. Allusions are a frequent device in advertisements and headlines. Besides, they may function within the literary text as similes, metaphors, metaphorical epithets, periphrases: eg. She has got a Mona Lisa smile.

Decomposition of Set Phrases.

Linguistic fusions are set phrases, the meaning of which is understood only from the combination as a whole: to pull person's leg -дразнить. The meaning of the whole cannot be derived from the meanings of the component parts. The stylistic device of decomposition of fused set phrases consists in reviving the independent meanings which make up the component parts of the fusion. In other words, it makes each word of the I combination acquire its literal meaning which in many cases leads to the realization of an absurdity: He had so many new schemes up his sleeve that he had to wear kimonos to hold them. By decomposing a set phrase the author discloses the inner form of the phrase and either:

1) pretends to understand the phrase or its constituents literally, i.e. distorting by 'literalizing';

2) revives the additional meanings of the components of which the fusion is made;

3) inserts additional components (words) or replaces the original ones, etc. Set expressions are usually decomposed for creating a humorous, ironic, sarcastic effect or even the atmosphere of absurdity.

There are several types of decomposition of set expressions:

1) inclusion or prolongation, e.g. She took a desperate hold of his cirm\

I 2) interaction, e.g. to be fed up with smth + to be fed , to the teeth = There are the words of a man who for some reason not disclosed is fed up to front teeth with the adored object,

3) substitution (partial or complete) Divorces (instead of marriages) are made in heavens. (O. Wilde);

To dish or not to dish? (about a satellite antenna;instead of Shakespearean To be or not to be?)\

4) changes in spelling (attaining a new meaning and at the same time preserving or imitating the phonetical form of the original set expression), e.g. Sofa, So Good! (instead of So far, so good, when a furniture shop praises its sofas).


Inversion, types

Stylistic inversion.

Word-order is a crucial syntactical problem. This predominance of S-P-0(subject-predicate-object) wordorder makes conspicuous any change in the structure of the sentence. Inversion is very often used as an independent stylistic device in which the direct word order is changed either completely so that the predicate (predicative) precedes the subject, or partially so that the object precedes the subject-predicate pair. The stylistic device of inversion should not be confused with grammatical inversion which is a norm in interrogative constructions. Stylistic inversion deals with the rearrangement of the normative word order. Stylistic inversion aims at attaching logical stress or additional emotional colouring to the surface meaning of the utterance. Patterns of stylistic inversions.

1) the object Ls placed at the beginning of sentence: Talent he has; capital he has not;

2) the attribute is placed after the word it modifies: With fingers weary and worn;

3) the predicative stands before the subject: A good generous prayer it was; the predicative stands before the link-verb and bothare placed before the subject: Rude am I in my speech;

4) the adverbial modifier is placed at the beginning of sentence: Eagerly 1 wished the morrow;

5) both modifier and predicate stand before the subject: Down dropped the breeze;

According to its structure inversion could be:

1) full inversion is P-S word-order (predicatesubject): On goes the river and out past the mill;

2) partial inversion is predicative, adverbial modifier, object - subject: Terribly cold it certainly was. Many sweet little apparels did Miss Sharp make to him. How little had 1 realized that...



belongs to the group of stylistic devices based on the repetition of syntactical pattern, but it has across order of words and phrases. The structure of two successive sentences or parts of a sentence may be described as reversed parallel construction, the word - order of one of the sentences being inverted as compared with that of the


Down dropped the breeze.

The sails dropped down.

Chiasmus contributes to the rhythmical quality of the utterance. It is widely used in text of different styles.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. John F. Kennedy

A baby-sitter is a teenager acting like an adult, while the adults are out acting like teenagers.

Parallel Construction.

Parallel Construction is a device which may be encountered not so much in the sentence as in the macrostructures. The necessary condition in parallel construction is identical, or similar, syntactical structure in two or more sentences or parts of a sentence in close succession: Let

every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, hear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survivaland the success of liberty. John F. Kennedy

Parallel constructions are often backed up by repetitions and conjunctions. Parallel constructions are used in different styles. In the matter-of-the-fact styles and in scientific prose they express the idea of semantic equality of the parts. In belles- letters style they perform an emotive function.



The stylistic device of repetitionaims at logical emphasis, an emphasis necessary to fix the attention of the reader on the key word of the utterance. Repetition proper is the recurrence of the same

element within the sentence. It is lexical repetition:

Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!

Bright and yellow, hard and cold.

Structural types of repetition:

1) anaphora is a repetition of the same element at the beginning of several sentences:

My heart's in the Highlands,

My heart is not here.

My heart's in the Highlands,

a - chasing the deer.

2) epiphora is a repetition of the same element at the end of several sentences:

There is no Negro problem

There is no Southern problem

There is no Northern problem

There is only an American problem.

3) anadiplosis (or chain repetition) is the repetition when the final element of the sentence recurs at the very beginning of the next sentence:

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

4) framing is the beginning of the sentence is repeated in the end, thus forming the "frame" for the nonrepeated part of the sentence:

How beautiful is the rain!

After the dust and heat,

In the broad andfiery street

In the narrow lane

How beautiful is the rain!

Anadiplosis (or chain repetition) is the repetition when the final element of the sentence recurs at the very beginning of the next sentence:

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.


Enumeration is a stylistic device by which separate things, objects, phenomena, properties, actions are named one by one so that they produce a chain, the links of which, being syntactically in the same position are forced to display some kind of semantic homogeneity, remote though it may seem:

The principal production of these towns appear to be soldiers, sailors, Jews, chalk, shrimps, officers and dockyard men.

I have also in my possession, you will be pleased to hear certificates of Ms. Cardew 's birth, baptism, whooping cough, registration, vaccination, confirmation, and the measles.

Climaxis a repetition of elements of the sentence which is combined with gradual increase in the degree of some quality or quantity or in the emotional colouring of the sentence:

A smile would come into Mr. Pickwick's face: his smile extended into a laugh, the laugh into a roar, and the roar became general.

Main types of climax

1) quantitative, when it is quality or size that increases with the unfolding of the utterance: They looked at hundreds of houses, they climbed thousands of stairs, they inspected innumerable kitchens.

2) qualitative, when intensification is achieved through the introduction of emphatic words into the utterance, which fact increases its emotive force: It was a lovely city, a beautiful city, a fair city, a veritable gem of a city.

3) logical, the most frequent type, in which every new concept is stronger, more important and valid: I think we've reached a point of great decision, not just for our nation, not only for all humanity, but for life upon the earth. The opposite device is called anticlimax. In this case

the final element is obviously weaker in degree, or lower in status than the previous: it usually creates a humorous effect: A woman who could face the very devil himself or a mouse.



In order to characterize a thing or phenomenon from a specific point of view it may be necessary not to find points of resemblance or association between it and some other thing or phenomenon, but to find points of sharp contrast, that is to set one against the other.

Opposition should be distinguished from antithesis: A saint abroad and a devil at home.

That is an opposition which is represented in antonyms. Antithesis is of a different linguistic nature: it is based on relative opposition which arises out of context through the expansion of objectively contrasting pairs: Man proposes, God disposes. Give every man thy ear, but few thyvoice. Many are called, but few are chosen.

Antithesis is generally based on parallel construction. Antithesis has the following basic functions:

1) rhythm-forming:

Youth is lovely, age is lonely,

Youth is fiery, age is frosty;

2) copulative,

3) dissevering,

4) comparative

Asyndetonis a deliberate omission of conjunctions or other connectors between parts of the sentence. It may be used in the description of a group of events connected in time: taking place simultaneously or in succession:

Youth is full ofpleasance, Age is full of care

Youth like summer Youth like summer morn, Age like winter weather.

PolysyndetonA repeated use of connectors (conjunctions,prepositions) before several parts of the sentence, as well asany other repetition, this increases the emotional impact ofthe text:

With the odours of the forest

With the dew and damp of meadows

With the curling smoke of wigwams. morn, Age like winter weather.


To create additional information in a prose discourse, phonetic means is seldom used. In advertising, mass media and belles-lettres sound is fore grounded through the change of its accepted graphical representation. This intentional violation of the graphical shape of a word used to reflect its authentic pronunciation is called graphon. Graphons indicate irregularities or carelessness of pronunciation. It is an extremely concise bur effective means of supplying information about the speaker's origin, social, educational background, physical or emotional condition. Graphon individualizes the character's s speech and adds to his plausibility, vividness, memorability:

The b-b-bastud he seen me c-c-coming - show the stumbling of the speaker.

Thith ith your firth time - show the lisping of the speaker.

Graphon is frequently used in advertisements: Pik- kwik store, Knee - hi socks.

Graphical changes may refer not only the peculiarities of pronunciation but also are used to convey the

intensity of the stress, emphasizing and thus foregrounding the stressed words. To such purely graphical means we refer:

1) changes of the type (italics, capitalization):

"WILL YOU BE QUIET!" he bawled.

2) spacing of graphemes and of lines (hyphenation, multiplication): Grinning like a chim — pan — zee. Hyphenation of a word suggests the rhymed or clipped manner in which it is uttered. Intensity of speech is transmitted through multiplication of a grapheme or capitalization of the word:

Allllllll aboarrrrrrd!

Help, help, HELP!!

26.Functional stylistics,


which became and remains an international, very important trend in style study, deals with sets, "paradigms" of language units of all levels or lan-guage hierarchy serving to accommodate the needs of certain typified communicative situations. These paradigms are known as functional styles of the language. Proceeding from the famous definition of the style of a language offered by V. V. Vinogradov more than three decades ago, we shall follow the understanding of a functional style formulated by I. R. Galperin as "a system of coordinated, interrelated and interconditioned language means intended to fulfil a specific function of communication and aiming at a definite effect." All scholars agree that a well developed language, such as English or Russian, is streamed into several functional styles. Their classifications, though, coincide only partially: most style theoreticians do not argue about the number of functional styles being five, but disagree about their nomen-clature. This manual offers one of the rather widely accepted classifications which singles out the following functional styles:official style, represented in all kinds of official
documents and papers;scientific style, found in articles, brochures, mono-
graphs and other scientific, academic publications;publicist style, covering such genres as essay, feature article, most writings of "new journalism", public speeches,
etc.;newspaper style, observed in the majority of materials
printed in newspapers;belles-lettres style, embracing numerous and versatile
genres of creative writing.


The biggest controversy is flamingaround the belles-lettres style. We have already pointed out that the belles-lettres style is a generic term for three substyles in which the main principles and the most general properties of the style are materialized. These three sub-styles are: '1. The language of poetry, or simply verse. 2. Emotive pгоse, or the language of fiction. 3. Тhe language of the drama.Each of these substyles has certain common features, typical of the general belles-lettres style, which make up the foundation of the style, by which the particular style is made recognizable and can therefore be singted out. Each of them also enjoys some individuality. This is revealed in definite features typical only of one or another substyle. This correlation of the general and the particular in each variant of the belles-lettres style had manifested itself differently at different stages in its historical development. The is function of belles-lettres style which may broadly be called "aesthetic-cognitive". The purpose of the belles-lettres style is not to prove but only to suggest a possible interpretation of the phenomena of life by forcing the reader to see the viewpoint of the writer. This is the cognitive function of the belles-lettres style.The belles-lettres style rests on certain indispensable linguistic features which are: 1. Genuine, not trite, imagery, achieved by purely linguistic devices. 2. The use of words in contextual and very often in more than one dictionary meaning, or at least greatly influenced by the lexical environment. 3. A vocabulary which will reflect to a greater or lesser degree the author's personal evaluation of things or phenomena. 4. A peculiar individual selection of vocabulary and syntax, a kind of lexical and syntactical idiosyncrasy. 5. The introduction of the typical features of colloquial language to a full degree (in plays) or a lesser one (in emotive prose) or a slight degree, if any (in poems).



The first substyle we shall consider is v e r s e. Its first differentiating property is its orderly form, which is based mainly on the rhythmic and phonetic arrangement of the utterances. The rhythmic aspect calls forth syntactical and semantic peculiarities which also fall into a more or less strict orderly arrangement. Both the syntactical and semantic aspects I of the poetic substyle may be defined as compact, for they are held in “i check by rhythmic patterns. Both syntax and semantics comply with fi the restrictions imposed by the rhythmic pattern, and the result is brevity of expression, epigram-like utterances, and fresh, unexpected imagery. Syntactically this brevity is shown in elliptical and fragmentary senten­ces, in detached constructions, in inversion, asyndeton and other syntac­tical peculiarities. Rhythm and rhyme are immediately distinguishable properties of the poetic substyle provided they are wrought into compositional patterns. They can be called the external differentiating features of the substyle, typical only of this one variety of the belles-lettres style. The various compositional forms of rhyme and rhythm are generally studied under the terms versification or prosody. Compositional Patterns of Rhythmical Arrangement(Metre and Line). There are five metrical patterns: 1. Iambic metre, in which the unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed one2. Trochaic metre, where the order is reversed, i.e..a stressed syllable is followed by one unstressed 3. Dactylic me t r e—one stressed syllable is followed by two unstressed 4. Amphibrach iсmetre—one stressed syllable is framed by two unstressed 5. Anapaestic me tr e—iwo unstressed syllables are followed by one stressed. The Stanza.It is composed of a number of lines having a definite measure and rhyming system which is repeated throughout the poem. The stanza is generally built up on definite principles with regard to the number of lines, the character of themetre and the rhyming pattern. There are many widely recognized stanza patterns in English poetry, but we shall name only the following. 1) The heroic couple t — a stanza that consists of two iambic pentameters with the rhyming patternaa2) model of stanza which once enjoyed popularity was the Spenceria-n stanza 3) The stanza named'ottavarima has also been popular in English poetry. It is composed of eight iambic pentameters, the rhyming scheme being abababcc4) A looser form of stanza is the ballad stanza. This is generally an alternation of iambic tetrameters with iambic dimeters (or trimeters), and the rhyming scheme is abcb\ that is, the tetrameters are not rhymed— the trimeters are. True, there are variants of the ballad stanza, particularly in the length of the stanza 5) One of the most popular stanzas, which bears the name of stanza x only conventionally, is the s о n n e t. Free Verse and Accented Verse

The substyle of emotive prose has the same common features as have been pointed out for the belles-lettres style in general; but all these features are correlated differently in emotive prose. The imagery is not so rich as it is in poetry; the percentage of words with contextual meaning is not so high as in poetry; the idiosyncrasy of the author is not so clearly discernible. Apart from metre and rhyfne, what most of all distinguishes emotive prose from the poetic style is the combination of the literary variant or the language, both in words and syntax, with the colloquial, variant. It would perhaps be more exact to define this as a combination of the spoken and written varieties of the language, inasmuch as there are always two forms of communication present—monologue (the writer's speech) and dialogue (the speech of the characters). The language of the writer conforms or is expected to conform to the literary norms of the given period in ~the development of the English literary language. The language"of the hero of a novel, or of a story will in the main be chosen in order to characterize the man himself. True, this language is also subjected to some kind of reshaping. This is an indispensable requirement of any literary work. Those writers who neglect this requirement may unduly contaminate the literary language by flooding the speech of their characters with non-literary elements, thus overdoing the otherwise very advantageous device of depicting a hero through his speech. It follows then that the colloquial language in the belles-lettres style is not a pure and simple reproduction of what might be the natural speech of living people. It has undergone'changes introduced by the writer. The colloquial speech has been made "literature-like." This means that only the most striking elements of what might have been a conversation in life are made use of, and even these have undergone some kind of transformation. Emotive prose allows the use of elements from other styles as well. Thus we find elements of the newspaper style the official style (see, for example, the business letters exchanged between two characters in Galsworthy's novel "The Man of Property"); the style of scientific . But all these styles under the influence of emotive prose undergo kind of transformation.

30. The third subdivision of the belles-lettres style is the language of plays. The first thing to be said about the parameters of this variety of belles-lettres is that, unlike poetry, which, except for ballads, in essence excludes direct speech and therefore dialogue, and unlike emotive prose, which is a combination of monologue (the author's speech) and dialogue (the speech of the characters), the language of plays is entirely dialogue. The author's speech is almost entirely excluded ex-,cept for the playwright's remarks and stage directions, significant though they may be. Generally speaking, the influence of Renaissance traditions can also be seen in a fairly rich injection of oaths, curses, swear-words and other vulgarisms into the language texture of the English drama of this period. The plays of this period therefore were justly called dramatic poetry. The staged performance, the dialogue character of the discourse and the then obvious tendency to keep close to the norms of colloquial language affected the verse and resulted in breaking the regular rhythm of the metre. This breaking of the regularity and strictness of the rhythmical design became one of the characteristic features of the language of dramatic poetry, and the language of plays of the earlier writers, who employed a strict rhythmic pattern without run-on lines (enjambment) or other rhythmical modifications. Shakespeare also used prose as a stylistic device. The prose passages in Shakespeare's plays are well known to any student of Elizabethan drama. The analysis of the language texture of plays has shown that the most characteristic feature here is, to use the term of the theory of information, redundancy of information caused by the necessity to amplify the utterance.

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