Entrapped by words: Semiotic studies of Thomas Hardy’s novels

Entrapped by words: Semiotic studies of Thomas Hardy’s novels DENNIS KURZON* Part One The Mayor and two performatives By way of introducing this semiotic study of Hardy's novels, I shall analyze two scenes from the beginning of The Mayor of Casterbridge, which Hardy published in 1886. These two scenes illustrate those pragmalinguistic features of the novels I shall be concerned with in this work. The two scenes are the wife-sale in Chapter I and the oath-taking in Chapter II. However, for purposes of exposition, I shall deal with these scenes in the reverse order, starting with the oath-taking. After selling his wife and his daughter at the fair at Weydon Priors, and falling asleep in a drunken stupor, Michael Henchard, the hero of the novel, wakes up and regrets his action of the previous day. He at first blames his wife for letting him go through with the auction, but on sobering up he realizes that it 'was of his own making, and he ought to bear it' (The Mayor, p. 841). Before going out to look for his wife and little daughter, he decides to take an oath, 4a greater oath than he had ever sworn before'. Arriving at a church, Henchard enters and goes up http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Semiotica - Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique de Gruyter

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Walter de Gruyter
ISSN
0037-1998
eISSN
1613-3692
DOI
10.1515/semi.1993.95.3-4.261
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

DENNIS KURZON* Part One The Mayor and two performatives By way of introducing this semiotic study of Hardy's novels, I shall analyze two scenes from the beginning of The Mayor of Casterbridge, which Hardy published in 1886. These two scenes illustrate those pragmalinguistic features of the novels I shall be concerned with in this work. The two scenes are the wife-sale in Chapter I and the oath-taking in Chapter II. However, for purposes of exposition, I shall deal with these scenes in the reverse order, starting with the oath-taking. After selling his wife and his daughter at the fair at Weydon Priors, and falling asleep in a drunken stupor, Michael Henchard, the hero of the novel, wakes up and regrets his action of the previous day. He at first blames his wife for letting him go through with the auction, but on sobering up he realizes that it 'was of his own making, and he ought to bear it' (The Mayor, p. 841). Before going out to look for his wife and little daughter, he decides to take an oath, 4a greater oath than he had ever sworn before'. Arriving at a church, Henchard enters and goes up

Journal

Semiotica - Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotiquede Gruyter

Published: Jan 1, 1993

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