Style has often been understood both too broadly and too narrowly. In consequence, it has not defined a psychologically coherent area of study. In this chapter, Hogan first defines style so as to make possible a consistent and systematic theoretical account of the topic in relation to cognitive and affective science. This definition stresses that style varies by both scope and level—thus, the range of text or texts that may share a style (from a single passage to a historical period) and the components of a work that might involve a shared style (including story, narration, and verbalization). This chapter also addresses a second question—what purposes are served by style? There are three key functions of style: 1) the shaping of story understanding, 2) the communication of thematic concerns (i.e., concerns that extend beyond the work to values in the world), and 3) the arousal and modulation of emotion. Hogan illustrates the main points of this chapter by reference to literary works, prominently Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.
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