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Conspicuous SilencesImplicature and Fictionality in the Victorian Novel$
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Ruth Rosaler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769743

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769743.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 December 2021

Unspoken Desires

Unspoken Desires

Representations of Semiconsciousness and Control

(p.86) 2 Unspoken Desires
Conspicuous Silences

Ruth Rosaler

Oxford University Press

Chapter Two discusses fiction authors’ adoption of implicature to represent characters’ semiconsciousness of or denials of information. The lack of explicit reference to this information in the description of a character’s thoughts mimetically illustrates the character’s lack of consciousness. While these implicatures are often similar to free indirect discourse, sometimes only a striking lack of information is present in a narrative, rather than the particular nuances of a given character’s language that definitively make up free indirect discourse. In Chapter Two, representations of courtship in mid-Victorian novels are used in case studies which discuss the portrayal of characters’ lack of self-awareness. ‘Falling in love’ is often represented as an unconscious process in the Victorian novel, and authors use implicature to communicate both characters’ unconsciousness and the feelings of which they are unconscious. The chapter discusses George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss and Anthony Trollope’s Orley Farm.

Keywords:   Anthony Trollope, courtship, fictionality, George Eliot, implicature, unconscious, Victorian

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