linguistics - structure and meaning in literary discourse

Ph.D.
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Thesis Statement: In a profound understanding of the structure and meaning of the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, it is fundamental to comprehend the relationship between the several subplots and the overall structure of the novel.
Issue 4: The relationship…

Introduction

Throughout the novel, the novelist has been careful in adroitly interlinking the different subplots. The novel mainly deals with two parallel plots: the love relation between Charles Darnay and Lucy Manette and the historical events connected with French Revolution. However, there are several other underlying subplots distributed throughout the three Books of the novel. They include the story of the great sacrifice by the good-for-nothing lawyer Sydney Carton, the comparison between the two cities of London and Paris, the atrocities of the aristocrats etc along with the stories within story such as the imprisonment of Dr. Manette, the story of Madame Defarge. The overall setting of the novel is based on these interconnected subplots which contribute to the each other as well as to the meaning of the novel in general. The novelist has been effective in presenting the major themes of the novel through the literary device of setting. It means that the setting of the novel which incorporates the interrelated subplots functions as a literary device to the novelist in his ultimate conveyance of the major themes. Therefore, the subplots in A Tale of Two Cities work in relation to each other to reveal the major themes of the novel. In other words, different subplots and the structure of the novel has significant role in the transference of the themes and meaning. As George Newlin establishes, “The success of A Tale of Two Cities … can be attributed to Dickens’s artful setting of a touching human story against the background of the world-shaking events of the French Revolution, and to its powerful, universal themes.” (Newlin, 1) There is pertinent relation between the setting and the meaning in A Tale of Two Cities and the novelist proficiently selects the subplots which contribute eventually to his literary goal. Therefore, subplots in the novel cannot be comprehended in isolation. Rather, they are deeply contrived so as to ...
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