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Focalization and Narrative Voice in George Orwell’s Novel: The Road to Wigan Pier
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Volume 2, 2015
Issue 3 (December)
Pages: 17-25   |   Vol. 2, No. 3, December 2015   |   Follow on         
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Béchir Chaabane, Preparatory Institute for Engineering Studies of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia.
The problems facing genre during the period of the publication of The Road to Wigan Pier, that is, the 1930s, reflect the complexity of the situation, hence the problematic status of Orwell’s text. It is problematic due to the ambiguity of its status as a literary genre and the way it deals with vital issues facing intellectuals as part of the social structure. The text is subversive on many levels, especially on that of the form. In order to show some aspects of the author’s challenge of the conventional norms and methods of literary writing, a comparison between the writer’s original diary of the journey to the industrial North and the present book could be of great import. This reveals the author’s genuine intellectual ability to manipulate and rearrange the events and scenes of the story on the discourse level. The author’s manipulation and rearrangement of the story (the journey) events and scenes clearly reveals his potential literary creativity and imagination. Consequently, the exploration of the novel from a structuralist perspective does not aim at the pure application of some literary and critical approaches on Orwell’s text. This may be misleading since the investigation may fall in superficiality and simplicity. But each strategy deployed is actually a further contribution to the author’s general argument and a manifestation of the novel’s status as a creative and subversive text.
Fictionality, Structuralism, Focalization, Narrative Voice
Orwell, George. The Road to Wigan Pier. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd., 1982.
Genette, Gérard. Figures III. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1972.
Jahn, Manfred. Narratology: A guide to the Theory of Narrative. ‘http: // www. Uni-koeln. de /ame 02 / pppn. htm’ (04-11-2002).
Jouve, Vincent. La pratique du roman. Paris: Armand Colin, 2001.
Hunter, Lynette. “Communication and Culture.” George Orwell. The Search for a Voice. George Orwell. The Search for a Voice. Stony Stratford: Open University Press, 1984. pp; 45-69.
Williams, Raymond. Marxism and Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977. (See also Williams, Raymond, ed. George Orwell: A Collection of Critical Essays. “Observation and Imagination in Orwell.” Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice- Hall, 1974. pp. 52-61).
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