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The literary analysis theory.docx
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The Chronotop

Any literary text has its own way of time and space organization, which is called the chronotop, or the setting. It is usually established at the beginning of a literary work, in the exposition, but relevant details may also appear in the work.

The following issues belong to the chronotop analysis:

  1. The type of the time denotation

  1. "present-oriented", or "absolutive" – referring to the moment of immediate perception of the outward reality by the narrator,

  2. "non-present-oriented,", or "non-absolutive" which can be of two kinds:

      • relative - which correlates two or more events showing some of them as preceding the others, or following the others, or happening at one and the same time;

      • factual – which di­rectly states the time of an event, or conveys this meaning in terms of historical landmarks.

  1. The type of the place denotation

  2. The chronotop and the plot:

    • the events can either develop in a definite chronological order

    • the events can be given on the same time plane, as if "moments stopped";

    • the events can have the "mapping" approach, like a trip to different destinations.

  3. The chronotop and the plot structure: the transition from one structural part of the plot to another can coincide with the change of time and place.

  4. The chronotop and vocabulary: in the text under study there can also be some historisms, archaisms, realia relevant for the time and place denotation.

The plot ahd its structure

The plot is a series of events in which the characters participate. The writer arranges the events ordering them as he wants. The events in the plot do not always involve physical movement; the movement may be psychological. The writer chooses events that have special meaning in relation to the message of the story.

The plot always involves characters and conflict.

Conflict in fiction is the opposition (or struggle) between forces of characters. Conflicts are classified into external and internal.

Types of external conflicts

  1. Man against man.

  2. Маn against nature.

  3. Man against society or man against the established order in the society, when the individual fights his social environment openly, or when there is a conflict between the individual and the estab­lished order: a conflict with poverty, racial hostility, injustice, exploitation, inequality.

  4. The conflict between one set of values against another set of values. These sets of values may be supported by two groups or two worlds in opposition.

Internal conflicts, that is "man against himself", take place within one character. They are shown through his thoughts, feelings and intellectual processes. The internal conflict does not exclude the external world, it is always reflected in the contradictions of the character's nature. The internal conflict, within an individual often involves a struggle of his sense of duty against self-interest.

The plot of a literary work may be based on several conflicts of different types.

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