Diction and narration in I. Compton-Burnett's novels (1925-1939)

McCormick, CM 2016, Diction and narration in I. Compton-Burnett's novels (1925-1939) , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Diction and Narration in I. Compton-Burnett’s Novels (1925 – 1939) Compton-Burnett (1884 – 1969) wrote the nineteen novels of her canon between 1925 and 1969. Compton-Burnett wrote retrospectively: her settings were the large country houses of the upper middle class during the late Victorian era and the early years of the twentieth century. Critiques of her work have often taken the form of challenges to what has been perceived as excessive dialogue and a consequent lack of description, narrative, and exposition. This thesis will analyse the many devices of Compton-Burnett’s diction which, subtly but powerfully, succeed in conveying to the reader that which more conventional novelists achieve by means of their lengthier passages of narration, description, and exposition; it will contend that despite the preponderance of dialogue the narrative voice is not only audible but strongly so; it works to support, amplify, and enrich the dialogue and hence make clear the narrative position. Thus the narrative voice is not as detached as has been supposed: it should be heeded. Looking back with a penetrating and ironic eye, and informed of the progress of the landed gentry by the passage of time, the novelist discerns the undercurrents which worked to subvert the status quo, thus bringing about the beginnings of the dissolution of the upper middle class and subsequent movements during the twentieth century. She focuses on the significance of the Church, specifically the Anglican Church, on traditional gender roles, and on the effects of large-scale societal changes and developments on this class.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2016 09:42
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 14:10
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/38474

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