C. I. F., XXIII-XXIV (1997-1998) 233-255
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: A COGNITIVE ANALYSIS
Mª Sandra Peña Cervel
Universidad de La Rioja
RESUMEN: Este artículo pretende ofrecer al posible lector un nuevo punto de vista de la novela Orgullo y prejuicio. Nos gustaría postular que un análisis en la línea cognitiva arroja nueva luz acerca de la explicación de las relaciones que se establecen entre los personajes principales. Tales constructos cognitivos como las metáforas y los esquemas de imagen (ver Johnson, 1987; Lakoff, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996; Lakoff & Johnson, 1980 y Lakoff & Turner, 1989) están de tal modo grabados en nuestra mente que Jane Austen los ha utilizado de un modo inconsciente. Además proponemos que toda la novela se puede resumir gracias a la metáfora EL AMOR ES UN VIAJE, tal como la postula Lakoff (1993).
ABSTRACT: The present paper attempts to provide the potential reader with a new viewpoint of the novel entitled Pride and Prejudice. We would like to postulate that an analysis along the lines provided by Cognitive Linguistics sheds new light on the explanation of the relationships that hold between the main characters. Such cognitive constructs as metaphors and image-schemas (see Johnson, 1987; Lakoff, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996; Lakoff & Johnson, 1980, and Lakoff & Turner, 1989 for discussion) are so engraved in our mind that Jane Austen has made use of them unconsciously. Furthermore, we put forward that the whole novel is likely to be summarized by means of the LOVE IS A JOURNEY metaphor, as postulated by Lakoff (1993).
An analysis of literary works can be carried out from different points of view which will vary with the critic’s aims and ideology. An analysis along the lines provided by specific linguistic theories has seldom been attempted. I shall try to show that this type of analysis sheds light on the understanding of a literary work. In this connection, this paper attempts to be a demonstration of the applicability of an analysis of literary works by means of some of the conceptual tools provided by Cognitive Linguistics1. This linguistic school appeared around the mid 1970s. Since 1. One example of the possibility of applying this linguistic theory to the analysis of literary works has been carried out by Pérez (1997). This author has applied some of the tools provided by Cognitive 233
Mª SANDRA PEÑA CERVEL
its inception, studies on the way our conceptual systems are organized have been given special prominence. With the mentioned aim in mind, it is our intention to analyze from a cognitive perspective some of the aspects of Jane Austen’s 18th century novel Pride and Prejudice2.
According to Cognitive Linguistics, we conceptualize reality in terms of a number of cognitive constructs called Idealized Cognitive Models or ICMs. Among these, metaphor and image-schemas are prominent. I shall attempt to show that Jane Austen makes use of them in an unconscious way. Lakoff (1989, 1990) and other proponents of Cognitive Semantics have shown that metaphors and image-schemas pervade our experience to such an extent that we make unconscious use of them in our everyday life. There is evidence in the novel of these pervasive phenomena and we shall attempt to make them explicit. For instance, the analysis of the characters and their interrelationships will reveal the underlying presence of some of these constructs.
In order to carry out our task, we shall take as our basis the work carried out by such leading cognitive linguists as Lakoff (1987, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996), Lakoff and Turner (1989), Lakoff and Johnson (1980), Johnson (1987), Taylor (1989), as well as the interesting insights in Fornés and Ruiz de Mendoza (1996), Ruiz de Mendoza (1996), Pérez (1997) and even some ideas I have already put forward in previous work on Cognitive Semantics (see Peña 1996, 1997a, 1997b). First, we shall proceed to define such notions as prototype, image-schema, schematic enrichment,...
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