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Articulation and Artistry: A Conversational Analysis of The Awakening

Articulation and Artistry: A Conversational Analysis of The Awakening Articulation and Artistry: A Conversational Analysis of The Awakening by Marion Muirhead In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, the ways in which the protag- onist, Edna Pontellier, articulates her feelings about her social position indicate that access to discourse is an important issue to consider in determining the causes of Edna’s conflict. Edna’s attempts to use lan- guage to reposition herself socially, especially in relation to the men in her social circle but also in relation to female characters, demonstrate the importance of language in defining social position. The discourse analysis technique of Norman Fairclough’s Language and Power helps to illustrate the ideological aspects of language in the text, and Michael Toolan’s con- versational turbulence model, presented in “Analysing Conversation in Fiction,” elucidates power struggles within conversations. Edna’s failure to articulate her feelings and to gain access to discourse contributes to her demise, as does being denied access to her chosen profession of painting, another form of self-expression. Norman Fairclough suggests that dominant ideologies become “nat- uralized” in society; that is, a system of values and subject positions comes to be accepted as natural, obvious, or correct, or as Fairclough puts it, as “common sense”: Conventions routinely drawn upon in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Articulation and Artistry: A Conversational Analysis of The Awakening

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 33 (1) – Dec 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Department of English of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Articulation and Artistry: A Conversational Analysis of The Awakening by Marion Muirhead In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, the ways in which the protag- onist, Edna Pontellier, articulates her feelings about her social position indicate that access to discourse is an important issue to consider in determining the causes of Edna’s conflict. Edna’s attempts to use lan- guage to reposition herself socially, especially in relation to the men in her social circle but also in relation to female characters, demonstrate the importance of language in defining social position. The discourse analysis technique of Norman Fairclough’s Language and Power helps to illustrate the ideological aspects of language in the text, and Michael Toolan’s con- versational turbulence model, presented in “Analysing Conversation in Fiction,” elucidates power struggles within conversations. Edna’s failure to articulate her feelings and to gain access to discourse contributes to her demise, as does being denied access to her chosen profession of painting, another form of self-expression. Norman Fairclough suggests that dominant ideologies become “nat- uralized” in society; that is, a system of values and subject positions comes to be accepted as natural, obvious, or correct, or as Fairclough puts it, as “common sense”: Conventions routinely drawn upon in

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 1, 2001

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