Attribution of Transitivity Roles and Characterization in Heart of Darkness

https://doi.org/10.53057/linfo/2019.1.1.4

Authors

  • Surinder Kaur PhD Candidate, Department of English, Regional Institute of Management and Technology (RIMT) University, Gobindgarh, Punjab, India (147301)

Keywords:

action, character, material, role, transitivity, process

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to study the characters of Marlow and Kurtz from Joseph Conrad’s novel ‘Heart of Darkness’ and their roles in the action and why they are called counterfoil to each other. Therefore, the focus is not on what is done (action) but who is doing what (character). I propose to use systemic functional grammar to explore these characters and their roles in the novel. Especially, I will make use of character’s transitivity profile following Simpson’s (2004, p.119) statement that, ‘the transitivity profile embodied by a text is generally a useful indicator of character in prose fiction’. This paper also aims to show how an investigation of process types can function as a rewarding analytical tool for character analysis. Following this, it has been observed that Marlow is a sensor while Kurtz turns out to be in an actor’s role which means that Marlow reflects while Kurtz acts. Marlow observes everything but does not participate in action while Kurtz’s role is in clear contrast to him as he is more of an action guy and his dominant process types are material processes

References

Abrams, M. H. (1999). Glossary of literary terms. Australia: Thompson Heinle.

Achebe, C. (2016). An image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's heart of darkness. The Massachusetts Review, 57(1), 14-27. doi: 10.1353/mar.2016.0003

Berthoud, J. (1978). Joseph Conrad: The major phase. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bloor, T., & Bloor, M. (2013). The functional analysis of English: A Hallidayan approach. London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203538098.

Bohlin, K. (2005). Teaching character education through literature: Awakening the moral imagination in secondary classrooms. London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203299838.

Burton, D. (1982). Through glass darkly: Through dark glasses. In R. Carter (ed.), Language and Literature: An Introductory Reader in Stylistics (pp. 194-214). London: George Allen & Unwin Hyman.

Butt, D., Fahey, R., Feez, S., & Spinks, S. (2012). Using functional grammar: An explorer's guide. South Yarra, Australia: Palgrave Macmillan.

Conrad, J. (1986). Heart of Darkness in Joseph Conrad: Selected novels and stories. Middlesex: Hamlyn Publishing.

Derewianka, B. M. (2011). A new grammar companion for teachers. Australia: Primary English Teaching Association.

Dilworth, T. (2013). Dominoes and the Grand Piano in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The Explicator, 71(4), 325-327. doi: 10.1080/00144940.2013.842814.

Cobley, E. (2009). Modernism and the culture of efficiency: Ideology and fiction. Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press.

Eggins, S. (1994). An introduction to systemic functional linguistics. London: Pinter Publisher.

Emilia, E. (2014). Introducing functional grammar. Bandung: Pustaka Jaya.

Galef, D. (1989). The supporting cast: a study of flat and minor characters. Pennsylvania: Penn State Press.

Galef, D. (1990). On the margin: The peripheral characters in Conrad's “Heart of Darkness". Journal of Modern Literature, 17(1), 117-138.

Gerot, L., & Wignell, P. (1994). Making sense of functional grammar. Cammeray, NSW: Antipodean Educational Enterprises.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1971). Linguistic function and literary style: An inquiry in to the language of William Golding’s The Inheritors. In S. Chatman (ed.), Literary Style: A Symposium (pp. 330-365). New York and London: Oxford University Press.

Halliday, M. K. A. (1985). An introduction to functional grammar. London: Edward Arnold.

Hasan, R. (1988). The analysis of one poem: Theoretical issues in practice. In Birch, D. and O’Toole (eds.). Functions of Style (pp. 52-64). London: Pinter.

Hawkins, H. (1982). The issue of racism in "Heart of Darkness". Conradiana, 14(3), 163-171.

Hawthorn, J. (1999). Women in heart of darkness. Readings on Heart of Darkness. Clarice Swisher, San Diego: Greenhaven Press.

Hoeller, H. (2004). Ama Ata Aidoo's Heart of Darkness. Research in African Literatures, 35(1), 130-147.

doi: 10.1353/ral.2004.0015.

James, H. (1884). The art of fiction. Longman's Magazine, 1882-1905, 4(23), 502-521.

Kaur, S. (2015). Underpinning the ideology in Graham Greene’s short story a chance for Mr. lever- A transitivity analysis. Literary Endeavour, 6(4), 71-77.

Levenson, M. (1985). The value of facts in the Heart of Darkness. Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 40(3), 261-280.

Martin, J. R., Matthiessen, C. M. I. M., & Painter, C. (1997). Working with functional grammar. London: Arnold.

McIntire, G. (2002). The women do not travel: Gender, difference, and incommensurability in Conrad's Heart of Darkness. MFS Modern Fiction Studies, 48(2), 257-284. doi: 10.1353/mfs.2002.0032.

Meisel, P. (1978). Decentering "Heart of Darkness". Modern Language Studies, 8(3), 20-28.

Montgomery, H. S. S. M. (1993). Language, character and action: A linguistic approach to the analysis of character in a Hemingway short story. In G. Fox, M. Hoey & J. M. Sinclair (Eds.), Techniques of Description (pp. 143-158). London: Routledge.

Nikolajeva, M. (1998). Exit children's literature? The Lion and the Unicorn, 22(2), 221-236. doi: 10.1353/uni.1998.0028

Pinsker, S. (1981). Heart of darkness through contemporary eyes, or what's wrong with Apocalyse now? Conradiana, 13(1), 55-58.

Ross, S. (2004). Desire in "Heart of Darkness". Conradiana, 36(1/2), 65-91.

Shah, S. K., & Mubarak, A. (2019). Media discourse as representative of socio-cultural milieu of law and order in Pakistan: A critical discourse analysis of newspapers’ headlines about Model Town tragedy, Lahore, Pakistan Journal of Language Studies, 2(1), 1-13.

Simpson, P. (2004). Stylistics: A resource book for students. London: Routledge.

Stape, J. H. (1994). Flat and minor characters. English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 37(1), 104-106.

Stark, B. R. (1974). Kurtz's intended: The heart of Heart of Darkness. Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 16(3), 535-555.

Toolan, M. (1998). Language in literature: An introduction to stylistics. London and New York: Arnold.

Watts, C. (1983). “A bloody racist”: About Achebe's view of Conrad. The Yearbook of English Studies, 13, 196-209. doi: 10.2307/3508121

Watts, C. (2012). Conrad’s heart of darkness: A critical and contextual discussion. Amsterdam: Brill.

Woloch, A. (2009). The one vs. the many: Minor characters and the space of the protagonist in the novel. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Published

2019-09-30

How to Cite

Kaur, S. . (2019). Attribution of Transitivity Roles and Characterization in Heart of Darkness . Linguistic Forum - A Journal of Linguistics, 1(1), 26–31. https://doi.org/10.53057/linfo/2019.1.1.4