LITERARY MOTIF OF PAIN: THEORY AND METHODS OF LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32589/2311-0821.2.2020.223249

Keywords:

motif of pain, cognitive narratology, corpus analysis, conceptual metaphor, conceptual metonymy

Abstract

The article provides a thorough review of the theory of a literary motif and its modern adaptation in terms
of cognitive narratology and cognitive stylistics in order to introduce methods of linguistic analysis into the research
of the motif of pain in works of American and British modernists. Pain depiction in a literary text is studied
by encoding unpleasant emotions while using methods of conceptual metaphor and metonymy, as well as corpus
analysis. The research presupposes five stages: a) analysis of the keywords in the text which are either
pain-indicative or pain-descriptive; b) corpus analysis of lemmas “pain”, “hurt” and others pain-related words;
c) reconstruction of conceptual metaphors and metonymies of PAIN; d) reconstruction of narrative patterns
of the motif of pain; e) analysis of affected character's profile. The initial research suggests the following:
i) the motif of pain has a tendency to be marked by descriptive and indicating verbal units which are widely used
in the medical field; ii) conceptual metaphors and metonymies of PAIN tend to be less prototypical in a literary
text than those in a natural language; iii) the motif of pain appears in a literary narrative through a set of images
and actions zoomed on the characters' traumatic unpleasant experience; iv) the two main sets of narrative
events, that are structurally indicative of the motif of pain are believed to exist. The first set revolves around
any explicit traumatic experience, with the latter becoming a salient point of the plot, while the second set
resorts to depicting a more implicit process of a character accumulating discomfort and emotional trauma
in the studied novels.

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