Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Research Background
Dubliners is a collection of fifteen short stories,written by James Joyce between1904 and 1907 and finally published in 1914.Dubliners is a representative work ofJames Joyce(1882-1941),an Irish novelist and poet,who contributed to the westernmodernism literature and is regarded as the pioneers of stream of consciousnessnovels.He is one of the most influential and important authors in the 20th century.Joyce had a twisting process to publish Dubliners,for it is suspected of blasphemyand defaming the reputation of certain Irish politicians and clergy.James Joyceorganized Dubliners according to the time sequence of childhood,adolescence,maturity,and public life.They form a naturalistic depiction of Irish middle-class andlower-class life in and around Dublin in the early years of 20th century.Joyce oncesaid,“My intention was to write a chapter of moral history of my country and I choseDublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the center of paralysis.I havetried to present it to the indifferent public under four of its aspect:childhood,adolescence,maturity and public life.The stories are arranged in this order.I havewritten it for the most part in a style of scrupulous meanness and with the convictionthat he is a very bold man who dares to alter in the presentment,still more to deform,whatever he has seen and heard”(Joyce 1996:134).
Although Dubliners consists of fifteen individual short stories,it conveys acommon theme,“paralysis”.Although Dubliners was published a century ago,studieson Dubliners still attract the attention of many scholars at home and abroad.In recentyears,different studies on Dubliners have been made with different purposes,however,most of them focus on the stylistic analysis studies.Therefore,the thesisanalyzes Dubliners from the systemic-functional perspective and focuses on one ofthe six processes proposed by Halliday,namely,mental processes,and investigatehow these mental processes reflect the protagonists’states of mind and convey thethematic meaning of Dubliners.
1.2 Research Objectives and Questions
There are two primary aims of the study.First,the study intends to take mentalprocesses in transitivity system as the theoretical basis to figure out the types ofmental processes in Dubliners,and then to add up the distributions of mentalprocesses in Dubliners.Second,the study explores how these mental processes reflectthe protagonists’states of mind,and thus convey the thematic meaning of Dubliners.
To make it concise and easy for readers of the thesis to read,in the data I labeled verbs and verbal groups representing perceptive mental processes as<p>,verbs andverbal groups representing cognitive mental processes as<c>,verbs and verbalgroups representing emotive mental processes as<e>,and verbs and verbal groupsrepresenting desiderative mental processes as<d>.
As the above research background and research objectives show,two researchquestions are put forward.The two research questions are as follows:
(1)What are the types and distributions of mental processes in Dubliners?
(2)What is the protagonist’s state of mind and how is the thematic meaningconveyed in Dubliners by using these types of mental processes?
Chapter Two Literature Review
2.1 Previous Studies on Transitivity Analysis in Different Texts
In transitivity system,one of the six processes are mental processes,and theother processes are material processes,relational processes,behavioral processes,andexistential processes.In the research area of discourse analysis,there are many studieson transitivity analysis in different texts.Thus,studies on mental processes in texts arefeasible.Before focusing on studies on mental processes in transitivity system,I willgive a literature review on transitivity analysis in different texts.
2.1.1 Previous Studies on Transitivity Analysis in Literary Works
Many scholars at home and abroad make studies on transitivity analysis inliterary works.In 1969,Halliday makes a transitivity analysis on William Golding’snovel,The Inheritors,and starts a transitivity stylistic analysis for literary works.Martinez(2001)analyzes the role of transitivity structure in construing experimentalresearch articles.He concludes that the distributions of six processes in transitivitystructure in the research articles manifests regularities that characterize the genre.
Chinese scholars also make transitivity analysis in literary works.Liu Shisheng,Shen Dan,Zhang Man,Jia Xiaoqing,Songhaibo,and Li Guoqing are of prominentinfluence.Liu Shisheng(1997)makes a transitivity analysis on James Joyce’s shortstory“Eveline”,which is collected in Dubliners.He points out that transitivityanalysis is not only applicable to realistic depictions of texts that have obvious rightsconflicts,but also applicable to abstract depictions of texts that including characters’psychological activities.Zhang Man(2002)makes a transitivity analysis on VirginiaWoolf’s The Mark on the Wall.Shen Dan(2006)and Jia Xiaoqing(2007)maketransitivity analysis in literary works and conclude that transitivity analysis contributes to the thematic meaning and characterization of literary works.SongHaibo(2005)studies the power relationship between characters in the novel throughtransitivity analysis.Li Guoqing(2005)tries to reveal the relationship betweentransitivity patterns and text genres by analyzing excerpts from The Old Man and TheSea,and demonstrates that different choices of transitivity patterns can be influencedby different text genres to achieve its communicative purpose.His transitivity analysison narrative texts and descriptive texts in the novel shows that the narrative genres arefeatured by a high proportion of material processes and the descriptive text as a genreis featured by a high frequency of relational processes.He concludes that transitivityanalysis is important to the identification of genres.
2.2 Previous Studies on Dubliners
Studies on Dubliners at home started in 1920s.In 1933,Chinese scholar FeiJianzhao first mentioned Dubliners in his article.In 1934,Fu Hudong published theChinese translation of“Couterparts”,one of the short stories in Dubliners,which isthe earliest Chinese translation of Dubliners.In the 1980s,under the influence of thereform and opening policy,China gradually picked up foreign literature research.During this period,studies on Dubliners were also put on the agenda,and a batch oftranslation results,as well as a small number special articles about Dublinersappeared.Some breakthroughs had been made in the research content,methods andperspectives on Dubliners at that time,however,text analysis on Dubliners were few.From the point of view on content,these articles mainly focused on the translationand introduction,the artistic form,and the ideological connotation of Dubliners.
Based on different perspectives,previous studies on James Joyce’s Dubliners canbe categorized as the following aspects,namely the traditional literary criticismstudies on Dubliners,linguistic studies on Dubliners,and studies on Dubliners fromother perspectives.
Chapter Three Theoretical Basis..........................15
3.1 Metafunctions of Language.......................................15
3.1.1 Ideational Metafunction of Language...............................16
3.1.2 The Other Two Metafunctions of Language..................15
Chapter Four Research Methodology.....................................22
4.1 Data Collection.........................22
4.2 Research Tools.............................22
4.3 Research Methods........................23
Chapter Five Results and Discussion..........................26
5.1 The Types and Distributions of Mental Processes in Dubliners........................26
5.1.1 Cognitive Mental Processes.........................27
5.1.2 Desiderative Mental Processes.......................................28
Chapter Five Results and Discussion
5.1 The Types and Distributions of Mental Processes in Dubliners
In the data,I labeled verbs and verbal groups representing perceptive mentalprocesses as<p>,verbs and verbal groups representing cognitive mental processes as<c>,verbs and verbal groups representing emotive mental processes as<e>,andverbs and verbal groups representing desiderative mental processes as<d>.
By identifying and coding verbs representing mental processes with the help ofAntConc 3.2.1,I can count out the distributions of mental processes in Dubliners.Thenumber of verbs representing mental processes is the number of mental processes,andthus each type of mental processes can be figured out.
There are four types of mental processes in the data:they are perceptive mentalprocesses,cognitive mental processes,desiderative mental processes,and emotivemental processes.Cognitive mental processes account for 48.63%,and perceptivemental processes account for 24.43%.These two types of mental processes take ahigher proportion than desiderative(accounting for 12.79%)and emotive(accountingfor 14.16%)mental processes.The types and distributions of mental processes are asfollows:
Chapter Six Conclusion
6.1 Major Findings of the Study
The study is based on Halliday’s(2014)classification of mental processes,andthe study on mental processes in Dubliners can reflect the thematic meaning ofDubliners.Specifically speaking,through the analysis of mental processes in the data,the common theme of the novel is highlighted.
(1)There are four types of mental processes in the data:They are perceptivemental processes,cognitive mental processes,desiderative mental processes,andemotive mental processes.Cognitive mental processes account for 48.63%,andperceptive mental processes account for 24.43%.These two types of mental processestake a higher proportion than desiderative(accounting for 12.79%)and emotive(accounting for 14.16%)mental processes.
(2)From micro perspective,I analyze the protagonists’states of mind with thehelp of mental processes under three aspects of the thematic meaning.That is to say,the“paralysis”theme of Dubliners is highlighted through in-depth analysis on thedata from three aspects,i.e.,religious paralysis,emotional and mental paralysis,and“paralysis”in social life.For the psychological activities of the protagonists aremostly depicted in the data,this study takes mental processes of the protagonists,whois served as the Sensers,as the main line.This enables us to highlight the thematicmeaning of Dubliners,i.e.,“paralysis”.