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Literal and Figurative

  • Joe Bray
Chapter
Part of the Language, Style and Literature book series (LSL)

Abstract

This chapter investigates another commonly-held critical opinion: that Jane Austen is distrustful of figurative language and prefers literal forms. Although it is true that those characters who do speak with double tongue in her fiction do come in for censure, especially in Mansfield Park, this chapter argues that towards the end of her career, in her final, unfinished work, Austen experiments with new forms of figurative expression. Focusing especially on the figure of metonymy, Bray demonstrates a preoccupation in the fragment Sanditon with names and what they signify. In this text, he shows, names carry far-reaching associations and frequently generate a confusing swirl of points of view which disrupts the literal, surface narrative.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joe Bray
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EnglishUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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