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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conrad's style in the Nigger of the 'Narcissus' and the Rover Stape, John Henry

Abstract

This thesis explores stylistic features in two novels by Joseph Conrad--The Nigger of the "Narcissus" published in 1897 and The Rover published in 1923. The main focus of the discussion of these novels is the way in which form and meaning are integrated, that is, how style creates and affects theme and subject. In particular, the various literary devices that create style--the individual word, the sentence, and larger elements such as metaphoric and metonymic patterns—are dealt with. These elements are considered under three headings: dialogue, narrative, and imagery. The mimetic character of dialogue, its integration into a text, the various types of dialogue such as reported speech and direct discourse, and variations of dialogue such as interior monologue and free indirect style are discussed in relation to theme. Secondly, narrative, the larger frame into which dialogue fits, is treated at length, with narrative method, the characteristics of narrative prose in both novels, and the effects produced by Conrad's attention to rhythm and vocabulary forming the central concerns of this section. Lastly, metaphor and simile are discussed as stylistic elements not confined to individual sentences or passages but extending over an entire work, and as the means by which visual and auditory impressions are conveyed to the reader. The traditional types of simile and metaphor, "as if" and "as though" clauses functioning as similes, and metonymic images are analyzed with the intention of demonstrating the relationship between technique and vision.

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