• Stylistics is a critical approach which uses
the methods and findings of the science of
linguistics in the analysis of literary texts.
• Is not confined to the analysis of literature:
it can be applied equally to expository
prose, political speeches, advertisement
and so son.
• It thus assumes that the language of
literature is not a ‘special case’: on the
contrary, literary language can be
analysed just like any other kind to reveal
precisely how effects are created.
• Is, in a sense, the modern version of the
ancient discipline known as ‘rhetoric’,
which taught its students how to structure
an argument, how to make effective use of
figures of speech, and generally how to
pattern and vary a speech or a piece of
writing so as to produce the maximum
Stylistics Analysis
• Attempts to provide a commentary which
is objective and scientific, based on
concrete quantifiable data, and applied in
a systematic way.
Stylistics analysis
• Uses specialised technical terms and
concepts which derive from the science of
linguistics, terms like ‘transitivity’, ‘underlexicalisation’, ‘collocation’, and ‘cohesion’.
Stylistics analysis
• Stylistics makes greater claims to scientific
objectivity than does close reading,
stressing that its methods, and procedures
can be learned and applied by all.
Stylistic critics
• Describe technical aspects of the
language of a text—such as grammatical
structures—then use this data in
Stylistic critics
- Stylistics does not confine itself to the
analysis of literature and often juxtaposes
literary and other kinds of discourse, for
instance, comparing the linguistic devices
used in poetry with those of advertising
Stylistics critics
• Stylistics moves beyond ‘sentence
grammar’ to ‘text grammar’, considering
how the text works as a whole to achieve
(or not) its purpose (for instance, to
amuse, to create suspense, or to
persuade) and examining the linguistic
features which contribute to these ends.