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Title: Linguistic strategies in the representation of sexual violence : Norwegian narrative perspectives
Author: Pálsson, Steinvör
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis examines the subject of sexual violence in Norwegian-authored narratives. It explores ways in which the language of a text affects our reading of a narrative work that deals with rape and sexual abuse. Various linguistic techniques can serve to guide a reader’s responses to the physical and emotional processes of the characters and to the events in which they are involved. My aim is to show that in a narrative concerning sexual violence, the identification of specific lexical choices, foregrounded syntactic features and manipulations in point of view, is central to the reader’s interpretation of sexual abuse and its effects on the victim. Point of view is arguably of particular importance in the representation of sexual violence. Shifts in narrative viewpoint between the internal representation of a character’s consciousness and the external treatment of her sexual violation can serve to deepen our understanding of the physical and emotional trauma of the sexually victimised child or woman, while at the same time raising our awareness of the social and ideological context of her abuse. Our reading of a text about sexual violence should ideally entail a process of linking sexual abuse internally to the agents and victims in the narrative, and externally, to society’s attitudes towards sexual violence. The focus is largely on fictional texts, but factually-based narratives are also included. Two primary texts are foregrounded: Christian Krohg’s Albertine (1886) and Herbjørg Wassmo’s Huset med den blinde glassveranda (1981). I analyse several linguistic features of the representation of rape in these two novels and examine their shared and distinct narrative aspects, particularly in relation to point of view. The functions of point of view and other related narrative features are also analysed in the following texts: Mette Sundt’s Som igår, som imorgen (1990); Hanne Dahl’s Vannlijen (1999); Sverre Inge Apenes’s Fange hele livet (1988); and Trine Kolberg’s Jenta bak den gule stolen (1990).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available