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First of all, I would like to express my deepest thanks to my supervisor-the Dean of the Foreign Language Department, Mrs Tran Thi Ngoc Lien,
M.A who has lectures and instructions which help me a lot in completing this
study.
At this stage of research accomplishment, I would like hereby to extend my
profound gratitude to my supervisor Mrs Nguyen Thi Thuy Thu, MA from
whom I have received enormous kindness and guidance.
Also, I am very grateful to all the teachers at the Foreign Language English
Department and Modern Languages, Hai Phong Private University for their
interesting and useful lectures which have built in me a firm foundation with
immense ideas for my fulfillment of this paper.

khoa_luan_a_study_on_irony_in_some_o_henrys_short_stories

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BỘ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO
TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC DÂN LẬP HẢI PHÒNG
——————————-
ISO 9001 : 2008
KHÓA LUẬN TỐT NGHIỆP
NGÀNH: NGOẠI NGỮ
HẢI PHÒNG – 2010
HAIPHONG PRIVATE UNIVESITY
FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT
———————————-
GRADUATION PAPER
A STUDY ON IRONY IN SOME O’ HENRY’S
SHORT STORIES
By:
Hoàng Anh Tuấn
Class:
NA1002
Supervisor:
Nguyễn Thị Thúy Thu, M.A.
HAI PHONG – 2010
BỘ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO
TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC DÂN LẬP HẢI PHÒNG
————————————–
Nhiệm vụ đề tài tốt nghiệp
Sinh viên: ……………………………………………………Mã số:……………………….
Lớp: ………………………..Ngành:…………………………………………………………..
Tên đề tài: …………………………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………..
…………………………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………..
Nhiệm vụ đề tài
1. Nội dung và các yêu cầu cần giải quyết trong nhiệm vụ đề tài tốt nghiệp
( về lý luận, thực tiễn, các số liệu cần tính toán và các bản vẽ).
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2. Các số liệu cần thiết để thiết kế, tính toán.
..
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..
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3. Địa điểm thực tập tốt nghiệp.
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CÁN BỘ HƯỚNG DẪN ĐỀ TÀI
Người hướng dẫn thứ nhất:
Họ và tên:…………………………………………………………………………………
Học hàm, học vị:………………………………………………………………………..
Cơ quan công tác:………………………………………………………………………
Nội dung hướng dẫn:………………………………………………………………….
Người hướng dẫn thứ hai:
Họ và tên:…………………………………………………………………………………
Học hàm, học vị:………………………………………………………………………..
Cơ quan công tác:………………………………………………………………………
Nội dung hướng dẫn:………………………………………………………………….
Đề tài tốt nghiệp được giao ngày 12 tháng 04 năm 2010
Yêu cầu phải hoàn thành xong trước ngày 10 tháng 07 năm 2010
Đã nhận nhiệm vụ ĐTTN Đã giao nhiệm vụ ĐTTN
Sinh viên Người hướng dẫn
Hải Phòng, ngày tháng năm 2010
HIỆU TRƯỞNG
GS.TS.NGƯT Trần Hữu Nghị
PHẦN NHẬN XÉT TÓM TẮT CỦA CÁN BỘ HƯỚNG DẪN
1. Tinh thần thái độ của sinh viên trong quá trình làm đề tài tốt nghiệp:
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2. Đánh giá chất lượng của khóa luận (so với nội dung yêu cầu đã đề ra
trong nhiệm vụ Đ.T. T.N trên các mặt lý luận, thực tiễn, tính toán số
liệu):
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
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3. Cho điểm của cán bộ hướng dẫn (ghi bằng cả số và chữ):
..
..
..
Hải Phòng, ngày .. tháng .. năm 2010
Cán bộ hướng dẫn
(họ tên và chữ ký)
NHẬN XÉT ĐÁNH GIÁ
CỦA NGƯỜI CHẤM PHẢN BIỆN ĐỀ TÀI TỐT NGHIỆP
1. Đánh giá chất lượng đề tài tốt nghiệp về các mặt thu thập và phân tích tài
liệu, số liệu ban đầu, giá trị lí luận và thực tiễn của đề tài.
2. Cho điểm của người chấm phản biện :
(Điểm ghi bằng số và chữ)
Ngày………. tháng……… năm 2010
Người chấm phản biện
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First of all, I would like to express my deepest thanks to my supervisor-
the Dean of the Foreign Language Department, Mrs Tran Thi Ngoc Lien,
M.A who has lectures and instructions which help me a lot in completing this
study.
At this stage of research accomplishment, I would like hereby to extend my
profound gratitude to my supervisor Mrs Nguyen Thi Thuy Thu, MA from
whom I have received enormous kindness and guidance.
Also, I am very grateful to all the teachers at the Foreign Language English
Department and Modern Languages, Hai Phong Private University for their
interesting and useful lectures which have built in me a firm foundation with
immense ideas for my fulfillment of this paper.
In particular, my special thanks go to my parents who have, as it always
goes, encouraged and supported me so much in all respects.
Last but not least, I should also express many thanks to my dear friends
who have shared with me a lot during my studies and my research work as
well.
Hai Phong, June 2010
Student
Hoang Anh Tuan
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I: INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………….. 1
1. Rationale ………………………………………………………………………………… 1
2. Aims of study ………………………………………………………………………….. 2
3. Methods of study……………………………………………………………………… 2
4. Scope of study …………………………………………………………………………. 2
5. Design of study ……………………………………………………………………….. 3
PART II: DEVELOPMENT ………………………………………………………. 4
CHAPTER ONE: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND ……………….. 4
I. Word ………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
1. Definitions of words ……………………………………………………………… 6
2. Types of word ………………………………………………………………………. 6
2.1. Simple words …………………………………………………………………. 6
2.2. Derived words ………………………………………………………………… 6
2.3. Compound words ……………………………………………………………. 6
II. Word meaning ………………………………………………………………………… 7
1. Definitions of meaning …………………………………………………………. 7
2. Types of meaning …………………………………………………………………. 9
2.1. Lexical meaning …………………………………………………………….. 9
2.1.1. Direct meaning ………………………………………………………. 9
2.1.2. Indirect meaning ……………………………………………………. 10
2.2. Grammatical meaning …………………………………………………….. 11
III. What is irony? ……………………………………………………………………….. 14
1. Definitions of irony …………………………………………………………….. 16
2. Types of irony ……………………………………………………………………. 16
2.1. Verbal irony ………………………………………………………………… 16
2.2. Situational irony …………………………………………………………… 16
2.3. Dramatic irony …………………………………………………………….. 16
3. Irony in use ……………………………………………………………………….. 16
3.1. Irony art ………………………………………………………………………. 16
3.2. Comic irony ………………………………………………………………… 17
3.3. Metafiction ………………………………………………………………….. 17
3.4. Post-irony ……………………………………………………………………. 17
3.5. Irony as finite, absolute negativity………………………………….. 18
CHAPTER TWO: THE EXPRESSION OF IRONY IN SOME O’
HENRY’S SHORT STORIES ……………………………………………………. 20
I. Verbal irony …………………………………………………………………………….. 20
II. Situational irony ……………………………………………………………………… 25
III. Irony of fate …………………………………………………………………………… 30
IV. Dramatic irony ………………………………………………………………………. 33
V. Tragic irony ……………………………………………………………………………. 36
CHAPTER THREE: THE COMPARISON BETWEEN IRONY USED
IN O’ HENRY’S SHORT STORIES AND ONE USED IN NGUYEN
CONG HOAN’ S ……………………………………………………………………….. 38
I. Verbal irony …………………………………………………………………………….. 39
II. Situational irony ……………………………………………………………………… 42
III. Dramatic irony ………………………………………………………………………. 43
PART III: CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………… 45
REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………….. 46
I. INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
Irony is a special rhetorical figure used to express the opposite meaning or
one‟s negative attitude to something, therefore, irony always concludes the
clear expression and maybe excessiveness. The listener often receives the
over-praises or opposite ones, s/he needs to be praised while receives a
blame, and needs a criticism but receives a praise. Particularly, the speaker
shows the illogical statement, for instants presented below:
[1:1] A mother knows her son gets good mark, she is very happy but keeps
calm and says that “Chó ngáp phải ruồi thôi mà”.
[1:2] When Brazilian midfielder Richardo Kaka won the FIFA prize for the
best player in year 2007, in an interview, his mom said that her son was a
lucky man and fortunately gained this prize. However, in reality, Kaka tried
his best and deserved for this prize.
[1:3] “Nó làm như nó đẹp giai lắm. Các cô con gái Hà Nội ai cũng phải
lòng nó” (27:165)
In two examples above, two mothers want to heighten their sons but use
the understatement to show their purposes. And in the example [1:3], the
speaker uses “đẹp giai lắm” and “phải lòng nó” to ironize the appearance of
the person called as “nó”.
Through the examples above, irony really proves its worth not only in
daily communication but also in literature, especially in novels and short
stories. Many authors in over the world used irony to show their points of
view and achieve successes. Because of time limit and a student‟s
knowledge, so I just focus on irony in literature, typically, a famous
American author O. Henry with many ironies in his stories.
Choosing this subject, I hope that it will be useful to learners of English,
and to whoever loves English literature and O. Henry.
2. Aims of the study
This paper aims at:
– Presenting, classification, sources, problems in English
– Outlining some pairs of irony
– Irony used in O‟ Henry‟s short stories
– Comparing irony used in O‟ Henry‟s and one used in Nguyen Cong Hoan
3. Scope of the study
Due to time limitation, the writer‟s knowledge and to make the study easy
to understand and obtain the learners awareness of the wide use of irony, the
writer focuses on analyzing the irony used in some O‟ Henry‟s short stories.
4. Method of the study
This Graduation paper is carried out with view to help learners understand
irony in use and in literature (through O. Henry‟s stories). The American
writer from his real life stored and bequeathed for the next generations the
big property. This study is fulfilled due to the materials collected from
different sources to give the theoretical background such as introduction
about words and word meaning as well as O. Henry‟s writings. Then, an
analysis on irony in English including definitions of irony, classification,
sources and its problems is used
5. Design of the study:
This study consists of three parts of which the second is the most important
one:
– Part one is the INTRODUCTION to the study, it states the background, the
scope of the study, the method of the study and the way to collect data.
– Part two refers to the main content that consists of three chapters.
The first chapter is the theoretical background. It focuses on some general
definitions about lexicology, words, and word meaning which relate to irony.
The second chapter stresses on irony in English including definitions,
classifications, sources and its problems, and the expression of Irony in some
O‟ Henry‟s short stories.
The third chapter states a small comparison between irony used in some O‟
Henry‟s short stories and one used in Nguyen Cong Hoan‟s.
– Part three is the CONCLUSION of the whole study.
PART II: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER I: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
I. WORDS
1. Definitions of the words
The term “word” is used to specify an intermediate structure which is
smaller than a whole phrase and yet generally larger than single sound
segment. Therefore, word may be defined differently.
Firstly, word is a unit of speech that, as such, serves the purposes of human
communication. Thus, word can be defined as a unit of communication.
Secondly, the word, viewed structurally, possesses several characteristics.
A word is the smallest free form (an item that may be uttered in isolation with
semantic or pragmatic content) in a language, in contrast to a morpheme,
which is the smallest unit of meaning. A word may consist of only one
morpheme (e.g. wolf), but a single morpheme may not be able to exist as a
free form (e.g. the English plural morpheme -s).
Typically, a word will consist of a root or stem, and zero or more affixes.
Words can be combined to create other units of language, such as phrases,
clauses, and/or sentences. A word consisting of two or more stems joined
together form a compound. A word combined with an already existing word
or parts of a word form a portmanteau.
Word may refer to a spoken word or a written word, or sometimes, the
abstract concept behind either. Spoken words are made up of phonemes, and
written words of graphemes
(
According to Greek, lexis means words and logos mean study or science of
words. So, lexicology is a study or science of words. The word is, therefore,
the central important element in lexicology.
According to Hoang Tat Truong (1993:11), word is defined “A word is a
dialectical unit of form and content, independent unit of language to form
a sentence by itself”; for example, “book, bookish, go, eat,…” and so on.
Each word here can stand independently and it still has meaning.
According to Jackson and Amvela (2005:50), word is considered “an
uninterruptible unit of structure consisting of one or more morphemes and
which typically occurs in the structure of phrase”. The morphemes are the
ultimate grammatical constituents, the minimal meaningful units of language.
For example, the different forms of the verb “learn”, i.e. learn, learns,
learning, learnt are separated words grammatically; similarly, the plural, the
plural possessive and the possessive of the word “baby”, all are represented
by the pronunciation /beibiz/ but spelt babies, babies‟, baby‟s respectively.
Word may be defined differently depending on whether the focus on its
representation, the thought which it expresses or purely formal criteria. Word
can be defined basing on the phonological, lexical, grammatical points of
view and semantics. However, the definition of word according to Hoang Tat
Truong (1993:11) seems to be the most satisfactory.
Words in English can be classified as the lexical and grammatical ones.
Lexical words including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs have fairly
independent meaning and may be meaningful even in isolation or in a series.
It also referred to a “lexeme”. A lexeme is a lexical unit of the vocabulary.
The term “lexeme” is sometimes used to denote a lexical word and this helps
avoiding confusion with the term “word” in general. In contrast, grammatical
words including articles, prepositions, and conjunctions, forms indicating
number or tense and so on do not automatically suggest any identifiable
meaning.
2. Types of words
Simple words, derived words and compound words are three types of
word, according to Hoang Tat Truong.
2.1 Simple words
A simple word consists of a roof morpheme:
[1:4] E.g: Chalk, tall, girl
2.2 Derived words
A derived word is one that consists of a root and one or more derivational
morphemes:
[1:5] E.g.: Marvelously, engineer, comfortable…
2.3. Compound words
A compound word is one that has at least two roots, with or without
affixational morphemes:
[1:6] E.g.: keyboard, iron-mound, object-ball, wishy-washy…
Words are often considered linguistic sign, similar to natural and
conventional signs. They do not have meaning but rather are capable of
conveying meanings to those who can perceive, identify and interpret. Words
go together to form sentences which are capable of conveying meanings-the
meanings of the individual words and the meaning that comes from the
relation of those words to one another. The linguistic “sign” is a mental unit
including two faces, which cannot be separated: a concept and an acoustic
image. The term “sign” is quite a general expression that can refer to
sentences, clauses, phrases, words or morphemes and an alteration in the
acoustic image must make a difference in the concept and vice versa. Since
the word is a linguistic sign, a discussion of “word meaning” focuses on the
relationship between the two faces of the sign.
II. WORD MEANING
1. Definitions of meaning
There are many ways to definite the word meaning, let‟s study this one:
Meaning is a notion in semantics classically defined as having two
components:
– Reference, anything in the referential realm denoted by a word or
expression, and
– Sense, the system of paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships between
a lexical unit and other lexical units in a language.
(
m)
Meaning can be more or less described as a component of the word
through which a concept is communicated, in this way endowing the word
with the ability of denoting real objects, qualities, actions and abstract
notions.
(Nguyen Manh Hung, 2006:43)
For example:
[1:7] A dove and the olive branch mean the peace
(
The dove and the olive branch, or a dove carrying an olive branch in its
beak, are ancient symbols of peace. Olives are naturally associated with
peace because, practically speaking, one cannot cultivate an olive grove in a
war zone. Many years of peace are necessary to grow olive trees, which take
several years to produce their first fruit (and can live for 500 years). Farming
itself is a peaceful occupation, but the olive has special qualities that can be
associated with peace and harmony
[1:8] That red flag means danger
(Nguyen Hoa, 2001:7)
In saying this, one would not normally be implying that the flag had plans
to endanger anyone; one would be pointing out that it is being used to
indicate that there is danger in the surrounding environment, such as the use
of explosives in a nearby quarry or deep lakes. Similar to the red flag use of
the verb “mean”, in one respect at least is its use in:
[1:9] Smoke means fire
(Nguyen Hoa, 2001:8)
In two examples above, one thing is said to be a sign of something else:
from the presence of the sign, are flag or smoke, anyone wi

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