Paper Example on Narrative Stylistics

Published: 2021-08-16
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Harvey Mudd College
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Narrative stylistics involve formal and critical analysis of texts in relation to structural linguistic or known traditions. In essence, it pertains to the analysis of texts based on the structures and the levels of the theoretical understanding. The focus is normally on the various media and the language of the narrative. Additionally, it delves into the narrator or the storyteller to determine whether the content is fictional or factual (Rosenberg, 205). The narrators are either the first person, who are usually the heroines or the heroes of the story, or the implied author. For example, Cinderella comes out as the heroine in the story, as she navigates different difficulties to emerge the happiest in the end, unlike the sisters who die for wanting to marry a seemingly cruel prince.

The study involves a narrative discourse, which mainly entails the description and the mastery of activities in order to form ideology (Pier, 2015). For example, at the beginning of the narration the audience thinks that the fairytale would end with marriage between Cinderella and the prince. However, as the narrative proceeds, the prince comes out as a brute and the audience then changes their feelings. The relief is when Cinderella marries a gentle countryside jam maker. It means that part of the narrative discourse, the audience somewhat had a vague idea of the narrative being a fairytale, particularly when the Cinderella had that wonderful dance with the prince. Closely related to the discourse is the narrative plot, which mainly addresses the complexity of the problems. In the text, the plot changes to the point that the audience does not understand whether the story would have a good ending, and whether the Cinderella would finally have a reward for refusing to follow her sisters evil ways. The twist in the plot creates suspense that inevitably keeps the audience glued to the narrations.

Key elements of Narrative Stylistics

The first element is the characterization based on events and the ensuing actions. To this end, the main aim is to match up the development of the various characters with the events and actions in the story (Wu, 2017). For example, at the beginning the prince comes out as a noble and loving person who cares for humanity and the well-being of others. However, as the story progresses he turns into a brute who murders Cinderellas sister by decapitating them. The second type of characterization mainly explores the mode of narration and the narrators opinion or the characters supposed features. For example, it is clear that the narrator does not like Cinderellas sisters while he has much adoration for Cinderella who is quite humble.

The other element of narrative style is the socio-linguistic code, which is mainly the expression through language, implied or spoken, the cultural, linguistic, or historical setting that informs the story (Nemoianu, 2014). In addition, it also depicts the setting of novel in terms of time and the geographical location. Culturally, it is evident that people in the novel value leadership and that is why most women fancy the idea of getting married to a prince. Leadership is revered and the leaders are expected to act with decorum and a degree of humanity. That is why Cinderellas perception of the prince changed instantly when he turned into a brute. The final element is inter-textuality, which is the art of allusion. To this end, the narrator may borrow from other texts or allude to the work by other writers or renowned characters.

Analysis of the Narrative Style of the Book (Revolting Rhymes-Cinderella)

The mentioned book uses both the autodiegetic and the heterodigetic types of narration. The former is the less dominant since the character rarely tell the story (Ufot, 2014). However, the first person narration is rampant throughout the novel. For instance, Cinderella tells the fairy mother that she wished to be at a party and dancing with a prince. The latter narration is common since the author tells the story from his own perspective. He literally narrates the story to the audience. There is narrative discourse throughout the story. As mentioned earlier, narrative discourse refers to the process of formulating an ideology based on the characters actions and the ensuing events. The main ideology in the novel is the fact that good things happen to good people while the bad people always make fatal mistakes. Cinderella, who is humble and charming, ends up marrying a decent man, while the sisters are killed in the most horrible way imaginable.

The plot of the narrative is evidently complex and is different from the conventional fairytales of the past. In the conventional fairytales, the beautiful, or the girl with the desired character often end up marring the prince, and then they live happily ever after. Such is not the case in the book, as Cinderella charms the prince with her beauty, but needs up marrying another man (Roald, 1995). While it is fairytale, the plot seems intricate, as it is not obvious form the onset that Cinderella would marry the humbler and well-mannered jam maker.


Nemoianu, A. M. (2014). Time, Tense, and Narrative Style: Linguistic Insights from Contemporary Narrative Discourse. International Journal, 2(3), 99-114.

Pier, J. (2015). At the Crossroads of Narratology and Stylistics: A Contribution to the Study of Fictional Narrative. Poetics Today, 36(1-2), 111-125.

Roald, D. (1995) Cinderella, in Revolting Rhymes, London: Puffin Books, pp.5-7.

Rosenberg, A. (2015). Style in African Literature: Essays on Literary Stylistics and Narrative Styles ed. by JKS Makokha, Ogone John Obiero, and Russell West-Pavlov. Comparative Literature Studies, 52(4), 867-869.

Ufot, B. (2014). Narrative Stylistics: A Study of the Narrative and Discourse Strategies in Omotosos Just before Dawn. English Linguistics Research, 3(1), 28.

Wu, J. (2017). Carters Feminist Revision of Fairytale: The Narrative Strategies of The Company of Wolves. Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 10(1), 53-67.

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