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On the Cultural Images in Naipaul’s Works-From the Perspective of Conceptual Blending Theory

Author FuLei
Tutor XuLiQin
School Nanchang University of Aeronautics and
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords conceptual blending theory cultural images V. S. Naipaul multi-cultural identity
CLC I561.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Conceptual blending theory, proposed by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner, provides a new perspective for the study on literary works. As one of the major theories in cognitive linguistics, conceptual blending theory has great cognitive force, which can reveal the hidden cognitive mechanism involved in the language use and explain the change of thinking in the process of language construction. Conceptual blending theory can also interpret the imagination and creation in the composition of literary works accurately and thoroughly.Within the framework of conceptual blending theory, this dissertation adopts a cognitive approach to the interpretation of cultural images with profound implications in Naipaul’s works. The purpose of this dissertation is to demonstrate the explanatory power of conceptual blending theory on cultural images in literary works. Through the interpretation of these cultural images in Naipaul’s works, this dissertation analyzes his multi-cultural identity, to probe into Naipaul and his works. It selects four major cultural images from Naipaul’s representative works as data for analysis, to expound the cultural connotations of images on the basis of the cognitive mechanisms of conceptual blending theory. Through blending, the following connotations can be found:The Enigma of Arrival reflects the confusion of the author when he comes to terms with the British culture. This image is the symbol of Naipaul’s pursuit of British cultural identity. The "house" image presents the home complex of Naipaul to Trinidad. It symbolizes his seeking for the cultural identity in his homeland. The "darkness" image is the spur of Naipaul to Indian culture. The author has a rooted Indian cultural identity. The "bend" image displays the change of Naipaul’s cultural identity. With the cultural identity, being a world citizen, Naipaul focuses on the culture in the Third World.From the analysis, it can be found that the applications of conceptual blending theory can be extended to the appreciation of novels as there are a lot of cultural images with profound cognitive implications. Furthermore, this research interprets the cultural images in fiction from the perspective of conceptual blending theory, it providing a deep insight to recognize the writer’s multi-cultural identity implied in these cultural images.

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