Stylistics 4

Chapter 4 Deep-structure Deviation Deep-

? Deep-structure Deep-

deviation refers to semantic deviation, which may be defined as "linguistic effects involving something odd in the cognitive meaning of a certain linguistic unit, e. g., a word or phrase" (Leech, 1969 : 131). 131) ? Semantic deviation may include a number of linguistic phenomena, such as contradiction, transference, deception and ambiguity. ambiguity.

1. Contradiction
? Contradiction is a type of semantic
deviation which conveys self-conflicting selfinformation. information. It can be readily divided into two types which are termed in rhetoric oxymoron and paradox. paradox.

1.1 Oxymoron(茅盾修辞) Oxymoron(茅盾修辞)

? Oxymoron is "the yoking together of two Oxymo
expressions which are incompatible, so that in combination they have no conceivable literal reference to reality" (Leech, 1969: 132). 1969: 132) (1) As the wretched creature mumbled and chuckled in her hideous merriment, the undertaker turned to go away. away. (Oliver Twist)

? The wretched creature in Passage (1)
refers to an old woman who is described in the novel as behaving in many ways like an idiot. The surface contradiction of idiot. the two words hideous and merriment aptly shows the extent of the old woman's idiocy. idiocy.

(2) The major again pressed to his blue eyes the tips of the fingers that were disposed on the edge of the wheeled chair with careful carelessness, after the Cleopatra model and Mr. Mr. Dombey bowed. bowed. (Dombey and Son) ? The semantic clash is even more apparent in the two antonyms careful and carelessness in Passage (2). The grouping together of the two antonyms vividly and unreservedly demonstrates the pretence and affectedness of the major. major.

A victorious defeat A living death Cruel kindness Parting is such sweet sorrow. (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet) Writing is busy idleness. (Goethe) He is a clever fool. Open secret 年方八十

1.2 Paradox(似是而非的隽语) Paradox(似是而非的隽语) A paradox is a statement which is absurd because it is self-evidently false. selffalse.
(3) Nurse: His name is Romeo, and a Montague. Nurse: Montague. The only son of your great enemy. enemy. Juliet: Juliet: My only love sprung from my only hate. hate. Too early seen unknown and known too late! Prodigious birth of love that it is to me, That I must love a loathed enemy. enemy. (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

? The statement that My only love sprung from
my only hate is absurd because love and hate
have opposite meanings, and it is inconceivable that love can spring from hate. hate. In the play, however, Juliet has fallen madly in love with the son of the family she has been brought up to hate. Thus, the paradox here hate. effectively expresses Juliet’s mixed feelings for Juliet’ what she has done and at the same time, duly anticipates her final tragedy. tragedy.


(4) It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. thirteen. (the opening of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four ) Orwell’ Eighty-

? The second clause of the sentence is a
statement that is extremely absurd for in reality no clock strikes beyond twelve. Through the use twelve. of the paradox, Orwell seems to hint that the whole story will be absurd. absurd.

? The child is father of the man. ? More haste, less speed. ? Punctuality is the thief of time. (Oscar Wilde) ? Idleness is a luxury. ? The more you give, the more you have.

In brief
? Oxymoron and paradox are devices that
allow the literary writer to express a certain truth or message through apparent falsehood. falsehood.

2. Transference
? In literature, transference of meaning is the ?
process whereby literary absurdity leads the mind to comprehension on a figurative plane. plane. Transference is so important an element in literature that poets and critics alike have tended to consider it the only thing that really matters in literature. literature. Transference in literature refers to such traditional figures of speech as synecdoche, metonymy and metaphor. metaphor.


2.1 Synecdoche(提喻) Synecdoche(提喻) Synecdoche is a type of transference of meaning which involves the substitution of a part for the whole. whole. (5) Return to her? ... No, rather I abjure all roofs and choose ... To be a comrade with the wolf and owl. owl. (Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew)

? Here, roofs do not refer to the outside coverings
on top of buildings, but to whole houses or buildings. buildings. If we extend a little the definition of synecdoche, we may say that even the wolf and the owl can be said to be synecdochic, for the wolf in this context refers not to one particular wolf but to all the wolves and all beasts of prey and the owl refers not to one particular owl but prey. to all the owls and all the birds of prey. Synecdoche can also be interpreted more broadly to include substitution of the whole for a part, e.g. the substitution of 'the army' for 'a soldier'. soldier'.


? Many hands make light work. work. ? The case was defended by eloquent lips. lips. ? They came to live under the same roof. roof. ? It (the volleyball match) was a close
contest. contest. China won. won. ? She is another Madam Curie. Curie. ? A piggy-bank full of coppers. piggycoppers.

2.2 Metonymy

? Metonymy is another type of transference which
involves substitution, and therefore has often been confused with synecdoche. synecdoche.

? However, metonymy is the substitution of a
word referring to an attribute of the thing that is meant, rather than the substitution of a part for the whole, or the whole for a part. part.

(6) The glories of our blood and state, Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against fate; Death lays his icy hand on kings, Sceptre and Crown Must tumble down And in the dust be equal made With the poor crooked Scythe and Spade. (Shirley, The Glories of our Blood)

? In this poem, four metonyms are used: Sceptre, used: ?
Crown, Scythe, and Spade. Spade. Sceptre and Crown are things that kings and queens carry and wear to represent their power and authority, and are therefore metonyms for kings and queens. queens. Scythe and spade are things used by peasants or farm workers, and are therefore metonyms for peasants. peasants. What Shirley is trying to say is that death comes to all people, the noble and the humble alike. alike. The idea would have been expressed much less effectively, if metonyms had not been used. used.

? ?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

The kettle is boiling. Please drink a cup or two. The hearth burns brightly. The pen is mightier than the sword. What is learned in the cradle is carried to the grave. (from the cradle to the grave) Grey hair should be respected. He has an eye for beauty. He could hardly earn his bread. He has a ready tongue. Have you ever read Shakespeare? Great minds think alike. White house He takes to the bottle.

2.3 Metaphor

? The ?

most important type of meaning transference in literature is metaphor. metaphor. It is associated with a particular rule of transference which may be called the "metaphoric rule" (Leech 1969:151). That is, the rule" 1969:151) figurative meaning is derived from the literal meaning or it is, as it were, the literal meaning. meaning.

(7) It is an empire ruled by one man -- a specialist who is a giant in his own narrow field, but who otherwise is an inferior and poisonous human being, mean, egotistic, suspicious, miserly, brutally insistent to the point of bloodshed on his own whims, a moody `despot with a mind more provincial than that of the most barbarous village bigot. bigot. (Gold, Mike Gold Reader)

? In Passage (7), it which is said to be an
empire refers to the Ford plant. In the plant. dictionaries, of course, 'plant' is not defined as empire. We can, therefore, only empire. interpret it is an empire with recourse to the "metaphoric rule". That is, we can rule". only understand the meaning to be that it is like an empire or it is, as it were, an empire. empire.

(8) Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more: it is a tale more: Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. nothing. (Shakespeare, Macbeth)

? The same point applies to Passage (8),
where life is said to be a walking shadow, shadow, a poor player and a tale told by an idiot. idiot. We must understand these definitions of life in a figurative sense, i.e. life is like a walking shadow, a poor player and a tale told by an idiot. idiot.

? There are three elements in a metaphor. The most metaphor. ?
generally accepted terms for the most explicitly stated elements are those introduced by I. A. Richards (1936): 1936) tenor (for the literal meaning) and vehicle (for the figurative meaning). The element that is not overtly meaning). stated is what Leech terms the ground (of comparison) , i.e. the likeness perceived between the tenor and the vehicle. vehicle. Leech points out that every metaphor is implicitly of the form "X is like Y in respect of Z" (X is the tenor, Y is the vehicle and Z is the ground) (1969: 151). In our first 1969: 151) example above, it (the Ford plant) is the tenor, empire is the vehicle and, 'powerfulness', 'exploitation' and 'oppression' can most probably be taken to be the ground. ground. The use of this metaphor, as can be clearly seen, vividly reveals monopoly in American industry. industry.


? Metaphor has been classified into types in
different ways. There are five main types ways. of metaphor, grouped partly in accordance with Chapman's organization (1983: 811983: 8182). 82)

A. One type of sensory perception is
expressed in terms of another. another. (9) If music be the food of love, play on. on. (Shakespeare, Twelfth Night) (10) Some books are to be tasted, others to 10) be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. digested. (Bacon, Of Studies)

Synaesthesia(通感,移觉) Synaesthesia(通感,移觉)
? ? ? ? ? ?
Senses of sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste a cool green, warm color, cool color, soft color dull sound, a loud perfume, a loud dress (unpleasantly bright) sweet sound, sweet voice soft sound

My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose (Robert Burns) Oh, my love is like a red, red rose That's newly sprung in June Oh, my love is like a melody That's sweetly played in tune

? Lorenzo. …… ? How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon his bank! ? Here will we sit and let the sounds of music ? Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night ? Become the touches of sweet harmony. ? …… ? With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear ? And draw her home with music. ? (The Merchant of Venice V. i. 54-57, 67-68) 5467-

? …The eye of man hath not heard, the ear
of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not man’ able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was… was… (A Midsummer Night’s Dream IV, I)

B. A non-human referent is given human attributes. non(11) So I unto myself alone will sing The wood shall to me answer, and my echo ring. answer, (Spenser, Epithalamion ) (12) 'Mistress, I dug upon your grave To bury a bone, in case I should be hungry near this spot When passing on my daily trot, I am sorry, but I forgot It was your resting-place. ~ resting(Hardy, ‘Ah, Are you Digging on my Grave?’ )

? The speaker I in the second example is a dog.

C. A non-animate referent is given animate noncharacteristics. characteristics.
(13) The sky rejoices in the morning's birth. 13) birth. (Wordsworth, Resolution and Independence)

D. An abstraction is treated as if it were animate. animate.
(14) A terrible beauty is born. 14) born. (W. B. Yeats, Easter 1916) (W.

E. A human referent is treated either as an inanimate being or an animal or a bird. bird.
(15) You blocks, you stones, you worse than 15) senseless things! (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar) (16) She is really a duck, she thought. 16) thought. (Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga)

? Extended metaphor: a type of metaphor metaphor:
developed by a number of different figurative expressions. expressions.
(17) All the world's a stage, 17) And all men and women merely players; players; They have their exits and entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages ... (Shakespeare, As you Like it) ? The first clause in this example sets up the basic comparison. comparison. The tenor and vehicle invoked by the first line are elaborated in the lines that follow. The extended follow. metaphor, as is demonstrated, makes it possible for the literary writer to explain things vividly in great detail. detail.

? Nose, Head, Shoulder, Face, Neck, Mouth, Lips, Arm, ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Eye, Hands of department, of state, of government, of a page, of queue, of a flower, of a beer, of stairs, of a bed, of a tape recorder, of a syntactic construction of a mountain, of a building, of a watch of a potato, of needle, of a hurricane, of a butterfly, in a flower, hooks and eyes of a hole, of a tunnel, of a cave, of a river of a cup, of a jug, of a crater, of a plate of an aircraft, of a tool, of a gun of land, of the woods, of a shirt, of a bottle of a hill or mountain, of a bottle, of a road, of a jacket of a chair, of the sea, of a tree, of a coat or jacket, of a record player of a watch, of an altimeter/speedometer

3. Deception
? Deception is a type of semantic deviation
that is frequently found in literary texts. texts. ? By deception is not meant the use of language that is intended to deceive people. people. It simply refers to the deliberate use of overstatement, understatement and overstatement, irony, irony, each of which misrepresents the truth in some way. way.

3. 1 Overstatement

? Overstatement is termed hyperbole in
traditional rhetoric. It distorts the truth by rhetoric. great exaggeration. It is usually used to exaggeration. emphasize strong feeling and to create a sentimental, satiric or comic effect. effect.

(18) As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in luve am I, And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry, a’ Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear, a’ And the rocks melt wi’ the sun! wi’ And I will luve thee still, my dear, While the sands o’ life shall run. o’ (Robert Burns, A Red, Red Rose)

? It is quite obvious that all the seas will
never become dry and the rocks will unlikely melt with the sun. sun. ? However, we can notice that the speaker here is expressing a genuinely felt emotion. emotion. What he tries to say to his beloved is that he will forever love her. her. The hyperbolic expressions here strongly emphasize the promise of undying love. love.

(19) 19)

For she was beautiful--her beauty made beautiful--her The bright world dim, and everything beside Seemed like the fleeting image of a shade. shade. (Shelley)

? The overstatement her beauty made the
bright world dim expresses the speaker's
great admiration for the female figure. figure. What the poet intends to say, put in plain terms, is that she was extraordinarily beautiful. beautiful.

? An overstatement is often metaphorical. The opening metaphorical.
lines of Shakespeare's Hamlet contains such an example. example. (20) To be, or not to be: that is the question 20) be: Whether't is nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, (厄运的打击) 厄运的打击) Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them? ...

? The phrase a sea of troubles in line four is an
exaggerated as well as metaphorical way of saying that it is a great quantity of troubles. troubles.

? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Where have you been? I’ve been waiting (for) ages. I’ She shed floods of tears. The waves ran mountain-high. mountainI beg you a thousand pardons. Thanks a million. Waves thundered against the rocks. I was scared to death.

? I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers
Could not, with all their quantity of love, Make up my sum. (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

3.2 Understatement

? Understatement

is the opposite of overstatement in that it misrepresents the truth by deliberately understating it as opposed to exaggerating it. it.

(21) 21) 'Well ... let's go home and talk about it. it. We'll figure out something. I can send you to something. the employment office I went to and-and-'I can't type. I got no college degree. I can't type. degree. do anything--and besides, I wanna be in the anything--and show! Neely started to sob violently again. again. 'Please, Neely,' Anne begged. She knew begged. Miss Steinberg and the girls were staring, but her worst fear materialized when Lyon Burke opened his door. She smiled at him weakly as he door. came over and stared at the shrieking Neely. Neely. 'This is Neely. She's a little upset.' Neely. upset. 'I'd say that was a classic understatement.' understatement. (Susann, Valley of the Dolls)

? Without knowing anything more about the
context, it is easy to see that Neely was extremely upset. Therefore, Lyon Burke upset. was witty to refer to Anne‘s remark She’s Anne‘ a little upset as a classic understatement. understatement. In the novel, Anne was depicted as a little reserved — typical bearing (manner) of New Englanders. Her understatement here Englanders. can be seen as a manifestation of this quality. quality.

? In traditional rhetoric, scholars make a
distinction between two types of understatement, namely litotes and meiosis. [ai] eiosis. ? Litotes is the most common and is marked by the use of a negative construction. It is construction. employed to foreground a positive emphasis. emphasis.

(22) The face wasn't a bad one; It had what 22) one; they called charm. charm. (Galsworthy)

? The face wasn‘t a bad one in this context
is a non-committal (不表露态度的)way of non不表露态度的)way saying: saying: the face was a very good (or charming) one. one.

(23) Lady Macbeth: Thou wouldst be great 23) Macbeth: Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it. it. (Shakespeare, Macbeth)

? Here Lady Macbeth in fact means that
Macbeth is quite ambitious. She cannot be ambitious. more positive about it. it.

(24) Thomasin blushed again, and when a 24) few more words had been said of a not unpleasing kind, Venn mounted his horse and rode on. on. (Hardy, The Return of the Native)

? By the phrase a not unpleasing kind, the
writer intends to mean 'a (very) pleasing kind'.

? The emphasis achieved through the use of
a negative construction may initially appear weak. Nevertheless, it is more weak. impressive than that achieved through the use of a positive construction. construction.

? It’’s no easy matter to repair that machine. It ? He is no fool. ? His recent book is no small accomplishment. ? This tea isn’t too bad. isn’ ? It is not unreasonable to suggest… suggest…

? Meiosis is merely understatement without
the use of a negative construction, e.g. construction, (25) He was a man, take him for all in all, man, I shall not look upon his like again. (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

3.3 Irony

? Verbal

irony achieves emphasis by misrepresenting the truth. It takes the truth. form of saying the opposite of what one feels to be the case. case.

? Irony may imply moral and ethical
criticism. criticism. This type of irony is used to the point of perfection in the hands of such writers as Shakespeare and Swift. Swift.

(26) Antony: Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously hath Caesar answered it. Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest-rest-(The mob murmurs angrily. ) For Brutus is an honorable man; So are they all, all honorable men-men-Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral. Caesar’

He was my friend, faithful and just to me; But Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honorable man. He hath brought many captives home to Rome, Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill. Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept; Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. Yet Brutus said he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honorable man. You all did see that on the Lupercal(古罗马牧神节) Lupercal(古罗马牧神节) I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And, sure, he is an honourable man. I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, But here I am to speak what I do know. (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar)

? Passage (26) is taken from Act Three of the play. 26) play.
In this Act, Brutus and his fellow conspirators have stabbed Caesar to death and the reason Brutus gives for killing Caesar is that he was ambitious. ambitious. In his speech, however, Antony has convincingly shown that Caesar had no ambition. Thus, ambition. Antony's repeated statement Brutus is an ironical. honorable man is very ironical. He is in fact condemning Brutus as dishonorable for his part in killing Caesar. Caesar.


(27) It is a very justifiable cause of war to invade 27) a country after the people have been wasted by famine, destroyed by pestilence ( 瘟 疫 ) , or embroiled ( 陷 入 纷 争 ) by factions among themselves. themselves. It is justifiable to enter into war against our nearest ally, when one of his towns lies convenient for us, or a territory of land, that would render our dominions (版图)round and 版图) complete. complete. If a prince sends forces into a nation where the people are poor and ignorant, he may lawfully put half of them to death, and make slaves of the rest, in order to civilize and reduce them from their barbarous way of living. living. (Swift, Gulliver’s Travels)

? In Passage (27), the tone of irony is felt 27),
throughout. throughout. What is said to be justifiable and lawful, to fair-minded and peacefairpeaceloving people, is utterly unjustifiable and unlawful. unlawful. By using irony, Swift here strongly and successfully satirizes the war of aggression. aggression.

4. Ambiguity
? By the term ambiguity we mean the case
of "more than one cognitive meaning for the same piece of language" (Leech, 1969: 1969: 205) 205).
? In non-literary discourse, ambiguity is usually taken to nonbe the opposite of clarity and is therefore normally considered a fault. In literature, however, it is regarded fault. as a virtue, roughly correspondent to 'richness' or 'wit', for in literature we are ready to read extra-meanings. extra-meanings.

? Ambiguity can be purely phonetic, resulting from phonetic,
homophony, homophony, i.e. words that have the same pronunciation but differ in form and meaning. meaning. This is the case when a poem or story is written to be heard but not to be seen. seen. (28) When I am dead, I hope it may be said 28) 'His sins were scarlet, but his books are read. ' read. (Belloc, On his Books)

? When we have heard these lines we would
have two simultaneous interpretations of the last lexical item, the past participle of the verb 'read' which relates to his books, and the adjective 'red' relating to its hyponym scarlet in the first half of the same line. line.

? Carefully contrived phonetic ambiguity can
produce a humorous effect. effect.
(29) 'How is bread made?' 'I know that' Alice cried eagerly. 'You take some flour--' flour--' 'When do you pick the flower?' the White Queen asked, 'In a garden, or in the hedges?' 'Well, it isn't picked at all,' Alice explained, ‘it' s ground —’ 'How many acres of ground?' said the White Queen. (Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass)

? The humorous effect in this passage is
created by the use of two sets of homophones, flour and flower, ground (the past participle of the verb 'grind' ) and ground (solid surface of the earth). earth). The last set of homophones happen to be identical also in form. form.

? Most cases of ambiguity are at the level of lexis,
resulting from either homonymy or polysemy. polysemy.
(30) Ben Battle was a warrior bold, 30) And used to war’s alarms war’ But a cannon-ball took off his legs, cannonSo he laid down his arms. arms. (Thomas Hood) (31) Franklin: Hancock‘s right. This is our passport to the 31) Franklin: Hancock‘ right. gallows(绞刑架) gallows(绞刑架). But there is no backing out now. If now. we don't hang together, we shall assuredly hang separately. separately. (Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards, 1776)

? In (30), the lexical item arms is ambiguous. In this 30), ambiguous.
context, it can refer to the upper limbs of the said warrior as well as the weapons he carries. The use of carries. this word greatly enriches the meaning of the poem, and at the same time brings about a humorous effect. effect. The example in (31) is a little different from the first one. 31) one. The playwrights here deliberately exploit the use of hang to mean both 'put to death with a rope around the neck' (as in punishment for a crime) and 'remain united' (an idiom with the word together). In this way, they have succeeded in making Franklin a witty, humorous and highly literary character, like Franklin was in person. person.


? The syntax requires the lexical item to
mean one thing while the theatrical context requires it to mean another. another. (31) Mercutio: Ask for me tomorrow and 31) Mercutio: you will find me a grave man. man. (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

? Syntactically speaking, the lexical item grave
when used as a noun is seldom, if ever, used to modify man. Only when it is used as an adjective does it go most appropriately with man. However, it is the sinister meaning of grave as a noun that best fits in the context, for in the play Mercutio is speaking when he is fatally wounded by Tybalt. The employment of both meanings Tybalt. here adds a jocular tone to the utterance and thus shows Mercutio’s social flippancy( 轻率、 Mercutio’ flippancy( 轻率、 浮躁) 浮躁).

? “On Sunday they pray for you and on Monday they prey ?
on you.” you. Conversation between a butcher and a customer: customer: ‘How come your sausages taste like meat at one end, but like bread at the other?’ the woman asked. other?’ asked. The man replied: ‘Madam, in times like these no butcher replied: can make both ends meat.’ meat. One day a woman went to the chemist’s for a developed chemist’ film. She said smugly(沾沾自喜地) to the chemist: ‘I do film. smugly(沾沾自喜地) chemist: look nice in the picture, don’t I?’ Handing her the film don’ I?’ the chemist replied: ‘Well, Madam, the answer lies in the replied: negative. negative.’ Father (reprovingly): Do you know what happens to (reprovingly): lawyers when they die? Johnny: Johnny: Yes, sir, they lie still. still.