Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Semantics,vocabulary,semantic

A Pragmatic Analysis of the Dialogues in a Farewell to Arms

Author CaoYang
Tutor GuanYongPing
School Guangxi Normal University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords A Farewell to Arms conversational implicature cooperative principle politeness principle
CLC H313
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Criticisms and reviews on A Farewell to Arms, the famous novel of the well known American writer Ernest Hemingway have been numerous in number and various in approaches. This paper makes an interdisciplinary analysis of the conversational texts of the novel from the pragmatic perspective.After reviewing the pragmatic studies of literature both at home and abroad, it is proved that pragmatic principles can be used to analyze the novel A Farewell to Arms. Grice’s Cooperative Principle (CP), Leech’s Politeness Principle (PP), and Brown and Levinson’s concept of face and politeness strategies are carefully reviewed. The CP explains how the conversational implicature is produced and interpreted. The PP explains why people violate the conversational maxims and employ indirectness in conveying what they really mean in the conversational interaction. The Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies illustrate different linguistic realizations of utterances which invite conversational implicature and perform the face-threatening-act implicitly. These three pragmatic theories are combined to serve as the theoretical framework to facilitate the conversational analysis in A Farewell to Arms.The main part of the thesis is that it incorporates the actual process of analyzing in which the pragmatic theories and methods are used to analyze the conversational exchanges of the novel. Thirty two examples from A Farewell to Arms are selected under investigation. Through analyzing the conversational implicature of the examples, the characteristics of the main characters in the novel are deeply understood; Hemingway’s attitude towards war, love and religion is also well understood. The abundant conversations, which are characterized by rich implicatures, in A Farewell to Arms supply sufficient materials for pragmatic study. It is hoped that the pragmatic approach to the analysis of A Farewell to Arms in the study may contribute to a better and fuller understanding of this world classic and help shed some light on the usefulness of the pragmatic approach to the interpretation of prose fiction in general.

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