ERIC Number: ED217370
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Internal and External Evaluation in Literary Narrative.
A theory of textual processing signals--cues to guide the response of any reader to a narrative text--can be evolved from Gerald Prince's theory of reading interludes and William Labov's work on narrative evaluation. An examination of these signals in two personal experience narratives written by students in remedial and freshman writing courses and in a narrative passage from Philip Roth's "Defender of the Faith" suggests that textual processing signals could serve as a heuristic for teaching certain aspects of narrative writing. Labov describes several forms of narrative evaluation. Evaluative commentary can be either external (explicit commentary) or internal (evaluative statements embedded in the story). Sentence Internal Evaluative Devices are even more deeply embedded than Internal Evaluative Commentary. These include three kinds of intensifiers--expressive phonology, repetition, ritual rejection--and six verb phrase comparators--futures, negatives, commands, questions, modals, and comparatives. It is not the frequency of evaluators that distinguishes the Roth passage from the students' writing, but its sophisticated layering or doubling of Sentence Internal Comparators. These conclusions suggest the usefulness of textual processing signals in the teaching of narrative prose. (JL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Labov (William); Reader Text Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Wyoming Conference on Freshman and Sophomore English (10th, Laramie, WY, July 6-10, 1981). Parts may not reproduce clearly.