A CRITICAL LINGUISTIC APPROACH IN A NARRATIVE OF THE CAPTIVITY AND RESTORATION OF MRS. MARY ROWLANDSON

Abstract

Author(s): zlem ZEN

Fowler and Kress argue that linguistic meaning in a text is inseparable from ideology: “... a critical linguistic approach is not concerned with developing a theory of language which is specific to literary texts only, but attempts to theorize language as ideology with respect to all texts...” (qtd. in Birch, p.155). Critical linguistics focuses on the significance of context in the study of language and the relationship between ideology and linguistic structures. It maintains that language does not only reflect reality, but socially constructs it, placing a particular worldview and value system. Mary Rowlandson’s A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson is both an adventure story and Puritan quest to be saved from sins. This paper intends to demonstrate how language reflects ideology and can thus be used as an instrument of power and control in Rowlandson’s narrative. It will also focus on not only her own ideological perspective but also inconsistencies through which the meaning based on her captivity and restoration breaks away. Thus, in her textual quest for her subjective clarity, the writer/narrator uses binary oppositions to build her Puritan idelogy based on her own subjectivity.

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