Discourse In Dorothy Parker's 'You Were Perfectly Fine'

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Щербакова Евгения ГПН 0-9-6 The piece of discourse under analysis is shaped in the form of a text belonging to the literary style which makes up a short story written by Dorothy Parker “You were perfectly fine”. The story describes a day after a party. A young man does not remember any details of the previous night, as he got quite drunk, and a girl fills in the gaps in his memory, making him surprised and puzzled. The pragmatic aim is to ironically depict the possible consequences of a merry alcohol party – shame and memory loss, as well as to mock the social stereotypes of the first half of the twentieth century. The story is shaped in the form of a dialogue with rare embeddings of narration, that reflect the state of the…show more content…
The young man is anxious to get a clear picture of his behavior, realizing that it could have been indecent the night before. He asks many questions, implies a lot of interjections (“My God”, “Oh, Lord”) and constantly reproaches himself for being a fool (“I was comical”, “I made such a fool of myself”). The girl on the contrary tries to prove that he was “perfectly fine” (“You were all right”, “You were awfully amusing”, “You were wonderful”), trying to comfort him, though the scenes she reminds him of are far from being decent. She also uses quite a number of negative constructions (“Not a thing”, “You didn’t do a thing”) to object his self-condemnation. So, the girl is obviously trying to win the young man’s attention, being…show more content…
She describes emotionally their ride in the taxi, using exclamatory sentences and evaluative lexis, showing the extreme importance of the ride and putting pressure on the man (“You were so serious”, “trees were shining so”, “so happy”, “It would kill me if…”). Through the repetition of the word “never” the reader understands, that it is not the usual way of the young man’s behavior (“I’d never known”, “You never knew before”). Possibly the girl has invented the whole story, having taken advantage of his memory loss, as getting married profitably was extremely important for a girl nearly a century ago. In addition she praises him (“You said such lovely, lovely things”), so that the man could not deny her

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