«DOI: 10.1515/jolace-2015-0013 Causative get-constructions in the dialogued passages in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels The Beautiful and Damned and ...»
Contextual assessment The context evidently shows that the speaker in the quotation (Baby Warren) has a stronger position than the hearer (Dick Diver). Baby’s superior status is realized by means of both verbal and non-verbal signals. Our analysis of the causative get in the present Case Study clearly demonstrates that we deal with a “masculine” get, used by a female character. It may be speculated that the “masculine” get in the present Case Study, which on other occasions is regularly used by male characters in the novel, is employed by the female speaker to maintain or emphasize her superior position over the male hearer.
Conclusion Our analysis refers mostly to the dialogued passages in the two novels. Generally, what we have found is that there is a clear pattern of how F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the causative get in his two novels in focus here. This patter is evidently of social nature. Get is, first of all, a characteristic of men’s talk, but it is also the expected form while female characters address male ones – this may be because females, while addressing males, tend to use “masculine” language; hence we label it as “masculine” get.
Moreover, we have discovered that there does not seem to be any particular pattern in either the speaker’s mood or the speaker’s attitude expressed that would trigger the use of the causative verb in question. However, what seems to be a well-defined tendency, when it comes to the speaker-hearer power relation, is that the speaker usually assumes a more superior position than the hearer when he or she uses the causative verb. What is very important is that the superiority in most cases is strongly associated with masculinity and it should always be viewed in relation to masculinity. Hence, we label the causative get not only as “masculine” but also as “superior”.
As can be seen above, we have established some very clearly-defined patterns as to the occurrence of the causative get in the dialogued passages in the two novels. One may be interested, why for the two novels, the above-mentioned patters are clearly established? To what extent the established pattern is caused by the fact that the author of the novels was a male? Or perhaps he was a skilful observer and masterfully depicted the language used by the two genders? It goes without saying that it very difficult, if not impossible at all, to answer those questions satisfactorily. Definitely, it would be interesting to compare our finings with other material, be it, fiction or actual utterances gathered in corpora presenting the language of the first half of twentieth century. This could undoubtedly shed some more light on the problem.
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Bibliographic note The present paper is a revised and elaborated version of the ideas presented in the author’s doctoral dissertation entitled English Periphrastic Causative Constructions as Gender-Based Expressions of Human Experience in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Novels ‘The Beautiful and Damned‘ and ‘Tender Is the Night’ (for details, see Gołąbek, 2015, in References).
Contact Rafał Gołąbek Kazimierz Pułaski University of Technology and Humanities in Radom 31 Chrobrego Str.
26-600 Radom, Poland Rafal.Golabek@wp.pl
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