An Introduction to the Language of Literature by N. F. Blake (auth.)

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By N. F. Blake (auth.)

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Extra info for An Introduction to the Language of Literature

Sample text

Presumably through the captivation of the baronet she became a lady, but the process of being raised is not made to seem an explicit part of her own action. She did not captivate Sir Thomas in order to be made a baronet's lady; the use of the passive suggests that this elevation followed naturally and without her having to make any moves in that direction. The occurrence of had the good luck may suggest that Maria Ward was not a schemer, and her good fortune was indeed a matter of chance rather than the result of a well-laid plan.

The two extensions to each verb, up and on, help to underline the boyish nature of the activity expressed. The difference between had come upon him and appeared is that the former indicates a Group Structure: The Other Groups 47 single action, whereas the latter suggests something which is a continuing feature. Although these few comments do not exhaust all that might be said about the verb forms, they perhaps provide a model for what verbs can tell us and how they mould our response to the text.

After a series of stative verbs, we have in the second paragraph a variety of different tenses. In addition there are several participial forms in -ing used as modifiers and as heads of verbal groups. These forms echo one another, but also introduce an element of immediacy as though they reflect the boy's own visual response. Her gold hair was shining reflects both his attitude and his response to her more clearly than Her gold hair shone would do, for that would seem little more than straightforward description.

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