The Female Protagonists in Thackeray’s Vanity Fair : A Corpus Linguistic Study of Keywords, Collocations, and Characterisation
Sammanfattning: This essay uses corpus linguistic methods to study aspects of the novel Vanity Fair by W M Thackeray. The aim is to study the way Thackeray chose to describe his two female protagonists, Rebecca Sharp and Amelia Sedley. This is accomplished by a closer study of keywords in Vanity Fair, created by using a reference corpus consisting of thirteen novels by Victorian authors. These keywords are used to define semantic fields related to the novel. Keywords from the semantic field closest to the protagonists are studied in context. In addition, adjectives that collocate with the names of the protagonists are analyzed to compare the characterization of each woman. The study indicates that Thackeray has used fewer adjectives to describe Amelia than Rebecca, but that he has used these more frequently, which may cause readers to form a stronger mental picture of Amelia’s character sooner than they do for Rebecca’s.
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