Written by ASUMAN BIRDAL STYLISTIC ANALYSIS : “A CUP OF TEA” by K. Mansfield The common view that a literary text is likely to be comprehended better if it is studied in parallel with stylistic analysis which emphasizes the crucial role of the linguistic features of the text contributes much to the development of literary criticism. M. A. K.
Halliday is one of the text linguists who sees ‘grammar’ as a network of systems of relationships which account for all the semantically relevant choices in language, which is the standpoint of the stylistic analysis as well. In the light of M. A. K. Halliday’s discipline, I will try to analyse a piece of literary text written by Katherina Mansfield in the format of a short story titled “A CUP OF TEA” and try to criticise the text objectively in relation to its grammatical (functional) features .
Before this , I’d like to give a brief information about the content of the story. A. INFORMATION ABOUT THE STORY Scanning the story first, we come across with a rich couple named Rosemary and Philip leading an untroubled, desirable life and they seem to love each other since- we have no implication whether they love each other for money or not – and everything goes well in their lives. Rosemary spends money without getting into trouble and giving no reason or excuse to her husband in doing this.
Everyone in a society admires Rosemary not maybe for her beauty but for her remarkable features such as being interested in current movements from every aspects, seeming as an intelligent young woman, reading the modern books. Philip is not as bright as Rosemary but he makes himself realize as soon as he enters the story towards the end. Apart from the couple, there is a girl who meets Rosemary in a street by asking for money to have a cup of tea then is picked up by her to have a cup of tea at her home and begins to be directed by her.
We infer this from the fact that whenever Rosemary wants her to enter the scene she is there but when, at the last scene, Rosemary is jealous of her, the girl is easily disappearad without giving no sign for us to follow the reason of her disappearance. And we have one more character having a part in the story :the shopman. He is also under the effect of Rosemary; we can understand this from his polite behaviours which are made obvious in the text with circumstantial features. But he is the person also who utilizes by the weakness of her.
He tries to draw her attraction on the enamel box and succeeds it; he promises her to keep the box for her because he knows her and he knows that she will come to buy it; she has the power of money and gets whatever she desires without acconting for anything to anybody. Not only we encounter with her weakness in her dialogue with the shopman but also in her being jealous of Miss Smith when he utters lovely words for this girl and behaves as it is predicted by Philip who knows directing her and makes her behave as he desires taking advantage of her faulty character successfully.
In that sense Philip is an intelligent man and effective on Rosemary who is also obviously the symbol of possessive female by being jealous of the girl she has met in the street; so she has no self-confidence ,she is a little bit credulous. She asks directly-having no hidden meaning in her words- ‘Am I PRETTY? ’, which ironically reveals her ex-behaviours to Philip even she supposes that Philip is not aware of the truth. B. ANALYSIS
When we look at the story from the point of ‘transitivity functions’ included in the stylistic analysis which tell us about the language and its reflection on processes ,participants ,circumstantial functions we realize that main participant is ‘ Rosemary’ and most of the processes are acted by her. When we count all the sentences describing her or the ones in which she takes place we realize her dominancy at once. The other participants I’d like to analyse on this text -apart from ‘Rosemary’- are the girl,Miss Smith, and Philip.
Even though Philip hasn’t got as many turns as Rosemary and Miss Smith, I’d like to examine the processes of him in order to display the currents of events as a whole- he is the efficient figure in the sequences of events in the story-; in other words it is vital to handle it here to maintain the entirety of the text. To do this I will follow M. A. K. Halliday’s process in which ‘Ideational’, ‘Interpersonal’, ‘Textual’ Functions of language are daelt with in order to support all my commentations on Katherine Mansfield’s work.
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