Narrative point of view, represented speech and thought, and ambiguous characters in fantasy literature: a linguistic analysis and comparison of Severus Snape (JK Rowling’s Harry Potter) and Mrs Coulter (Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials)

Johnsen, Lene Walther (2015) Narrative point of view, represented speech and thought, and ambiguous characters in fantasy literature: a linguistic analysis and comparison of Severus Snape (JK Rowling’s Harry Potter) and Mrs Coulter (Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials). BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (8MB)

    Abstract

    This dissertation investigates the use of narrative point of view (POV) and represented speech and thought (RST) based on the theories of Uspensky (1973), Fowler (1986) and Leech & Short (2010) in three corresponding extracts from 'Harry Potter' by JK Rowling and 'His Dark Materials' by Philip Pullman. It focuses on how POV and RST are used as tools by the authors to portray the ambiguous characters Severus Snape and Mrs Coulter to the readers. The literary merit of Rowling and Pullman differ, and although they are both criticised in their own ways, Pullman is generally seen as the more literary of the two. The aim of the dissertation was to discover similarities and differences in the use of these tools by the two authors, as well as identify any words with particularly positive or negative connotation that could be added to the portrayal of the characters.

    The study found that Rowling uses mostly external psychological POV, along with Direct Speech and Narrative Report of Action, which in turn implies that she is a shallow author, not giving a lot of thought to the complexity of the characters or letting her readers in on the characters’ feelings. Pullman uses a wider range of POV, in particular ideological, as well as a larger amount of represented thought acts, which indicates that he writes complex plots and develops more nuanced characters. Both authors succeed in creating ambiguous characters in their own ways, but it is concluded that Pullman’s way is most likely part of what makes him considered more literary than Rowling.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2015 16:33
    Last Modified: 08 Jul 2015 16:33
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/17652

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...