Daddy-Long-Legs analysis

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27 March 2016

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The text under analysis is a passage from an epistolary novel written by a well-known American writer Jean Webster. She was active politically and socially, and often included issues of interest in her books. This book is written in belles-lettres style. The story has a narrative presentation and the subject of the extract is drown from life. The author places herself in the position of the main character. The main character is a Judy. The novel episode by episode describes the life of Judy in the College. It’s unfolded through the first person narration (an “I-story”), as it’s written in the form of letters of Judy to Mr. Daddy-Long-Legs, a rich man whom she has never seen. This extract is the first letter of Judy to Mr. Smith. The style of the letter is informal.It is written in emotional tone,what corresponds definite difficulties for translation.

The language of this letter is full of syntactical means. There is example of gradation : ‘It seems strange for me to be writing letters to somebody you don’t know. It seems strange to be writing letters at all’.We can reproduce it with the help of such grammatical transformation as transposition : . The translator can use the following grammatical transformation ,for example, replacement:1)when we change Active Voice on Passive Voice, e.g. Before leaving yesterday morning, Mrs. Lippett and I had a very serious talk.- Перед моим отъездом, вчера утром, у нас с миссис Липпетт состоялся серьезный разговор.2) When we change a noun on the verb, e.g. I will write you a description- Я опишу Вам его. By translation the embedding can be used, e.g. I will write you a description later when I’m feeling less confused- Я опишу Вам его позже, когда пройдет мое первое замешательство.

There is an example of conversion, when we use the replacement, e.g. …having somebody take an interest in me after all these years, makes me feel as though I had found a sort of family.- Тот факт, что кто‑то заинтересовался мной после всех этих лет, вызывает во мне такое чувство, словно я обрела нечто вроде семьи. There is an idiom, which one can translate with the help of phraseological equivalent, e.g. a great deal-много.

The author uses such lexical expressive means as antonomasia.It is presented here by the so-called “speaking names”, which intrduce informality into the letter and difficulties for translation,e.g. Daddy-Long-Legs -Длинноногий Папочка (daddy — разг. папа, папочка; тж. daddy-long-legs — долгоножка /насекомое/; паук-сенокосец) ; Dear Kind-Trustee-Who-Sends-Orphans-to-College- 1)уважаемый добрый-попечитель-который-отправляет-сирот-в-колледж;2) Дорогой Добрый‑Попечитель‑Посылающий‑Сирот‑в‑Колледж; Mr. Girl-Hater –1)Мистер Женоненависник, 2) Мистер Противник Девушек; Mr. Rich-Man- 1)Мистер Богач, 2) Мистер Толстосум. There are also some prope names, which should be transcribed , e.g. Mrs. Lippett- миссис Липпетт, John Smith- Джон Смит, John Grier Home- приют Джона Грира(Грайера).

The lexical expressive means as similie can be find,e.g. I feel like a fire horse all of the time- я все время чувствую себя, словно лошадь перед стартом/ я чувствую себя пожарной лошадью все время. The author achieves the humorous effect because of so-called Speaking Names and funny tone of the whole letter, for example ,a rethorical question: “Why couldn’t you have picked out a name with a little personality?»- « Почему вы не выбрали имя с хоть чуточкой индивидуальности?» The writing style helps us to understand better the chaming character of Jerusha Abbott, her naive and witty thoughts and ideas.The translator should keep the atmosphere of the text and retain all syntactical and lexical expressive means.

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StudyScroll. (2016). Daddy-Long-Legs analysis [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 6 December, 2023]

"Daddy-Long-Legs analysis" StudyScroll, Mar 27, 2016. Accessed Dec 6, 2023.

"Daddy-Long-Legs analysis" StudyScroll, Mar 27, 2016.

"Daddy-Long-Legs analysis" StudyScroll, 27-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). Daddy-Long-Legs analysis. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

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