Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Writing,rhetoric

A Cognitive Stylistic Analysis of the Lord of the Rings

Author XiaoZuo
Tutor ZhangWeiYou
School Central China Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords The Lord of the Rings trilogy parabolic mind theory mind theory blending
CLC H315
Type Master's thesis
Year 2008
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Cognitive stylistics has recently emerged as a topic of much interest in university education in both literature and linguistics departments.Cognitive stylistics,involving the application of cognitive linguistics and cognitive psychology to literary texts,offers a new perspective to literary reading.This paper aims at analyzing J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy through parabolic mind theory,and presenting a cognitive stylistic analysis of the "mind style" of characters in fantasy.It is hoped that the present paper will extend the studies of mind styles to a wider scope,to include literary analysis of major characters in fantasy.For this purpose,The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R.Tolkien has been selected for analysis.The parabolic mind theory or parabolic projection is one of the valuable cognitive stylistic theories that have inspired literary analysts.The modem cognitive theory of parabolic mind was introduced in Mark Turner’s The Literary Mind:The Origins of Thought and Language in 1996.As one of the most influential cognitive stylistic frameworks,the theory has proved particularly appealing to literary critics who are interested in how human mind deals with literary texts.Turner defines parable as the projection of stories and argues that languages and thought are both based on parables, literary works included.This theory demonstrates that the notions of story and narrative are in fact essential to our everyday mental activities,and even to our physical existence and social survival.The term "mind style" was first used by Roger Fowler(1977)to refer to the way in which consistent linguistic patterns in a text can reveal a particular world-view,a characteristic way of perceiving and conceptualizing the textual "world".The Lord of the Rings is an Epic Non-fictional novel written by the English academic and philologist J.R.R.Tolkien.The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier work,The Hobbit,but developed into a much larger story.It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949,much of it during World WarⅡ.Although intended as a single-volume work,it was originally published in three volumes in 1954 and 1955,and it is in this three-volume form that it is popularly known.It has since been reprinted numerous times and translated into many different languages,becoming one of the most popular and influential works in 20th-century literature. In the thesis,the present author applies PMT to the analysis of the well-known The Lord of the Rings trilogy.Through careful analysis,it is concluded that the series are literary works which draw on the long tradition of British literary works and which reflect serious social problems in the contemporary society.In addition,the studies of mind styles can be applied to a wider scope,presenting a new perspective for readers and critics to appreciate characters in fantasy.

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