Identifying Characters Using Transitivity: A Stylistics Study of “I Stand Here Ironing”
The study is about the application of the transitivity system, one of lexico-grammar used in a Systemic Functional Grammar’s theory, to analyze a literary work “I Stand Here Ironing”. Considering that many previous researchers were interested in studying the short story from literary approach, I purpose to give an alternative perspective of tracking the characterization of the main characters using the SFG theory. The data are the text of “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Lerner Olsen (1961). They are analyzed using the concepts of the transitivity system and field situation. The result shows that the author of the short story used material process more than the other processes to construct that the main characters did activities in the domestic and physical domain. The mental process is used to depict the characters’ feeling and attitude. The relational process is used to characterize the characters explicitly. Related to the socio-cultural context, the analysis comes to the conclusion that the such characterization is constructed to criticize the patriarchal domination in America in the time of publication.
Keywords: transitivity system; characterization; field of discourse; feminism literature
- Bao, Zhongming, and Mindan Wei. 2016. “A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Mother-daughter Relationship in “I Stand Here Ironing””. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol. 7 (2). March 2016. page 340-344. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17507/jltr.0702.12
- Li, J. 2007. “Dual personality of Emily— A new exploration of "I Stand Here Ironing"”. Journal of Qiqihar University, vol. 6. 2007. Page 91–92.
- Colston, H. 2011. “The helplessness of a mother in "I Stand Here Ironing"”. http://www.lssc.edu/faculty/holly_larson/Shared%20Documents/I%20Stand%20Here%20Ironing%20Draft%201.pdf (accessed 6/8/2015).
- Jafni, Nur Fatin Syuhada Ahmad, and Ida Baizura Bahar.2014. “Feminine Mystique and the Patriarchal World in Tillie Olsen’s I STAND HERE IRONING” Journal of Language and Communication, vol. 1(2). September 2014. Page 249 – 260.
- Fairclough, Norman. 2001. Language and Power (2nd edition). London: Longman.
- Simpson, Paul. 2004. Stylistics: A Resource Book for Students. London: Routledge
- Fludernik, M. 2009. An Introduction to Narratology. London: Routledge.
- Fairclough, Norman. 2003. Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. Londn: Routledge
- Halliday, Michael A.K. and Christian Matthiessen . 2004. An Introduction to Functional Grammar (3rd ed.). London Arnold
- Martin, J.R. and David Rose.2007.Working with Discourse: Meaning Beyond the Clause. (2 Ed). London: Continuum.
- Olsen, Tillie Lerner. 1961. “I Stand Here Ironing ”.