1. Lexical categories
2. Grammatical categories
3. Figures of speech, etc.
4. Context and cohesion
5. Interpretation of the text
The novel Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes contains short stories about the writer’s life. The following essay will analyse the chapter “Swinging London” in which Marian Keyes describes her arrival in London after having left Dublin at the age of 22.
The analysis will consist of four main parts followed by an interpretation of the text on the basis of the analysis. The four aspects of analysis are, in order of appearance; lexical and grammatical categories, figures of speech, etc., context and cohesion.
1. Lexical categories
Generally speaking, the vocabulary is simple; there are no hard words used and informal expressions are quite common. The vocabulary is very descriptive, evaluative and general; no specific type of language is used. There are no idiomatic expressions but a lot of emotive words.
Examples of informal language are: “bagged“ (l. 28) meaning to take or occupy something before somebody else can do it, “stitch“ (l. 23) used for clothes and “seconds” (l. 15) describing second-hand clothes. The language in the text belongs more to the language of the younger generation that uses words like “booming” (l. 3), “all-singing, all-dancing” (l. 21) and “trendy, stylish” (l. 24). Every reader from a younger generation will be pleased to read these expressions because they mean a lot to him and give him the feeling of being understood by the protagonist or author.
Concerning the nouns in the text, they are all concrete, not abstract. Abstract words would not fit to a description of the two cities and the protagonist’s leaving Ireland which is described in a very direct way. The text is written about facts, not about abstract things. The majority of the nouns refers to places, shopping and people: “home” (l. 1), “place” (l. 4), “station” (l. 15), “shoes” (l. 13), “clothes” (13), “stall” (l. 14), “men” (l. 26), “strangers” (l. 29) and “boyfriends” (l. 30).
There are also some proper names used to describe places in London. “Bodymap” (l.14) the name of a clothes company, “Camden Market” (l. 14) a fashion-market in North London, “Euston station” (l. 15) a big train station in Central London and “Hackney” (l. 44) a suburb in the area of Greater London. These names make it easy for a reader who knows London to follow the protagonist’s way through the city and evokes a feeling of taking part in her life.
The frequency of adjectives in the text is very high. They are mostly used as attributes describing London, Dublin and the protagonist’s conversation with her father before leaving Dublin. Concerning London, the adjectives refer to descriptive, evaluative and emotive impressions, to trends, fun and shopping (“booming, open-minded, latte-ridden, cosmopolitan”, l. 3; “glorious”, l. 21). They all have positive connotations. In the case of Dublin, they refer to colour as well as religion and boredom (“middle-class suburban”, l. 1; “one-horse”, l. 4, “Catholic”, l. 5; “black and white”, l. 20); they are negative. For the talk between father and daughter, the adjectives are used in a referential way (“shop-soiled”, l. 33, “second-hand”, l. 33). There are more attributive adjectives in the text than predicative ones.
The verbs carry very important parts of the meaning. They are both stative and dynamic. When describing the two cities, they refer to states and are therefore stative (“wasn’t”, l. 3; “decked out”, l. 20; “had”, l. 26). But when talking about the actions of the protagonist and how she leaves Dublin, they are dynamic because they refer to actions, events and, in particular, they indicate movements (“left”, l. 1; “escaped”, l. 1; “off I went”, l. 9, “arrived”, l. 15; “moved in”, l. 39/40; “happen”, l. 46). When the protagonist talks to her parents, the verbs refer to speeches (“taunted”, l. 4; “added”, l. 6, “understands”, l. 6), but they also do refer to her activities, psychological states and her perceptions (“looking for”, l. 16; “suspected”, l. 17; “stood the same chance”, l. 18; “fitting in”, l. 18/19). The verbs used are factive which means that they presuppose the truth of what is being asserted (“decked out”, l. 20; “knew”, l. 24; “was”, l. 24; “had”, l. 31).
There are not a lot of adverbs used in the text. There are several adverbs of manner (“obviously”, l. 31; “moodily”, l. 6; “horribly”, l. 19 etc.), only one adverb of direction (“aside”, l. 32) and two disjuncts (“certainly”, l.36; “especially”, l.7) found in the text. No significant use of conjuncts can be stated. One example is “so” in line 18.
- Quote paper
- Sylvia Hadjetian (Author), 2003, "Swinging London" by M. Keyes - a stylistic analysis of a sample of literary prose, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/43131