Facial colouring body language in Jane Austen

Smith, Alexandra Margaret (2022). Facial colouring body language in Jane Austen. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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This thesis reports a corpus stylistic study of the facial body language (FBL) descriptions focusing on facial colouring body language (FCBL) in Jane Austen’s (JA’s) novels Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion. The focus is on the verbal and non-verbal exchanges between three female characters and their future husbands. FBL is an important tool in Austen’s inventory of techniques that influence her capacity for characterisation, contribute to authenticate fictional characters and create the ‘lifelike’ nature of her celebrated speech presentation. The application of corpus stylistic techniques also reveals lexico-grammatical and phraseological patterns which provide evidence that body language presentation performs a ‘contextualising’ function in literature (as defined by Mahlberg 2013). The thesis proposes an original classification system for describing the social contexts in which FBL is used. This system makes it possible to show that the key protagonists engage with each other and multiple characters in a variety of social contexts. The classification system helps reveal themes regarding the employment of FBL, including aspects of gender which both support and refute assertions made by literary critics. In particular, this thesis presents a detailed and novel investigation of what is described as a ‘body temperature cline’, which centres on words such as blush.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12215


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