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A Power Struggle in Martin Eden

Author WangHui
Tutor GuoJingJing
School Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Jack London Martin Eden turn-taking conversation analysis power struggle
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 27
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Jack London was and is considered by many to be one of the finest authors in American Literature History. As the highest paid and most popular American writer of his time, he was prolific throughout his life time: fifty-one of his books and hundreds of articles, letters had been published among which the bi-autobiography-- Martin Eden is a notable one. For its rich contents and polished language skills, Martin Eden is catching more and more attentions from different fields. People hold different views on the literary value of it, but most of them have ignored the fabulous language use and word polishing skills.Sociolinguistics is moving forward rapidly these years, especially in the interpersonal communications in real life. This paper will apply the theories of sociolinguistics and conversation analysis to the study of literary works, as in details: gender, class in sociolinguistics and turn-taking in the conversation analysis. Although the related analysis about Martin Eden counts a lot, the approach applied in this paper is totally brand-new. Considering this novel is a power-struggle by the means of language in present author’s opinion, three combatants will be picked out and divided into two groups according to the sociolinguistic factors. By using the data collected from Martin Eden , this paper will give a common conclusion on power and class-gender to analyze their social roles in different groups, their strategies and use of turn-taking to prove that social factors play an important role in turn-taking. What’s more, Martin’s successful change of social role throughout the tough power-struggle by the means of turn-taking strategies will be gradually cleared out as the proceeding of the theories-based analysis.Though this paper applies sociolinguistics and conversation analysis to the study of Martin Eden, there are inevitably some limitations in it, such as the subjectivity of the data collection and limitation of results’application.

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