Partridge India Author| Dr. Pratibha Verma
Partridge India introduces Dr. Pratibha Verma, author of A Sociolinguistic and Stylistic Study of the Novels of Charles Dickens.
I grew up in Patna, the capital of Bihar state in India in the house of my grandparents. The house was full of books. We loved, felt, smelt and breathed books. My grandparents were an indelible influence for my love of reading. My parents also encouraged me in this realm.
Much time has elapsed. I used to send my manuscripts typing on the typewriter. But requirement of the internet age is to send manuscripts to publishers according to formatting rules of the computer which I found quite formidable.
I am a mother of three two sons and one daughter –all married. I have worked as a college teacher in A.N. College, Patna Magadh University, Bihar, India in the department of English.
My research papers have been published in eminent journals, primarily on feminism, sociolinguistics and stylistics. My recent publication has been online: Shaw’s Pygmalion: Social Variation of Speech in London (Langlit, vol.2 issue 3, 2016. An International Peer Reviewed Open Access Journal). My paper in print form is on Booker Prize winner: Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things: A Study in Feminine Sensibility and Aspects of Style (Indian Women Writers, ed. R.K. Dhawan, Prestige, India, 2001).
From childhood I have been interested in fiction. Charles Dickens fascinated me with his dream like reality. What intrigued me was the quality of his realism tinged with a high degree of imagination. The conversation of his characters fascinated me, leading to their analysis that culminated in this thesis. If I examined the speech of characters how could the prose be left behind? Both are interpreted. I revelled in analyzing the intricacies of his delightful writing.
Meanwhile the subject of ‘sociolinguistics’ was in its inception. It is a study of the speech of man in relationship to his society. Since society and man had always interested me, I tried to find a relationship between the speech of Dickens’ characters and the society in which they lived. I discussed these ideas with late Dr P.B. Sharan, Head of the Dept. of English, Science College, Patna, who became my guide for this topic. I humbly acknowledge my utmost gratefulness to him in the progression of this thesis.
For the publication of the thesis through Partridge publication I am grateful to my son Ashwin Verma, son-in-law Amit Prasad, daughter Saloni and daughter in law Anusree for the help rendered to me. For initiating me to get the thesis published I remember gratefully the publishing consultant belonging to the team of Partridge Publication.
The book is divided into 7 chapters.
- Co-relation of the social class of Dickens’ character with his/her typical linguistic expressions.
- A stylistic examination of Dickens’ novels with his innovations and specialities.
Sociolinguistics, Conversational analysis, Social classes, Speech variation, Style shifting, Address-forms, Communication skills, Stylistics, Sequences, Cohesion, Implicature, Speech act.
Chapter 1 deals with the place of Dickens in the tradition of English novelists. I have attempted to contrast and compare him with other English novelists. I have also deciphered the influence of other fiction writers on his style.
Chapter 2 deals with Dickens as a social novelist with special reference to the 06 novels of Dickens I have selected for this writing.
Chapter 3 Meanwhile the subject of ‘sociolinguistics’ was in its inception. It is a study of the speech of man in relationship to his society. Since society and man had always interested me, I tried to find a relationship between the speech of Dickens’ characters and the society in which they lived. Speech variation is depicted here in inter-personal relationship, power, topic and situation.
Chapter 4 deals with the inter-relationship between Dickens’ social preoccupation and the linguistic expression of his characters.
Chapter 5 is a study of the style of Dickens prose. ’Stylistics’ was a new branch of learning to analyze language. I tried to examine the speech of characters on the grounds of style/stylistics, as certain features found universally. I have also investigated the prose of the novelist.
Chapter 6 has suggestion for further research. Since I have restricted my study to only 6 novels the remaining novels can be studied in the dimensions of sociolinguistics and stylistics I have also suggested that since most works on Dickens have been concerned with the lower class or the downtrodden, his upper class characters may be analyzed on sociolinguistic and stylistic themes. Critical work on the journalism of Dickens has been neglected which could be attempted. Dickens’ characters reveal themselves also through letter writing. This phenomenon of their personality could also be examined.
Appendix is another chapter showing the co-relationship between the speech of Dickens’ characters and their letter writing skill.
Chapter 7 Select Bibliography
In this age of knowledge explosion and busyness I humbly suggest one should take out time for dreaming. Being in the midst of nature has its own rewards. Pristine creation is a sublime teacher, leading us gently to a peaceful soul and creativity for those who savour it.