《生活的艺术》中的英文修辞研究 Rhetoric Research in The Importance Of Life毕业论文
Lin Yutang is considered to be one of the scholars who has made the greatest achievements in the international dissemination of Chinese culture in the past 100 years. The Importance of Living is one of the most famous works of Lin Yutang in the West. At the same time, Mr. Lin Yutang is also an outstanding rhetorician, he is fluent in English and well aware of the tastes and preferences of Western audiences. He also deeply loves Chinese culture and is proficient in Chinese culture. However, previous studies of the book are mainly book reviews with affirmative comments on its introducing Chinese culture to the western world or on its influence of being a bestseller in America. Now more research on this book made in China focuses on its literariness and cultural communication, but there are relatively less research made from the rhetoric dimension. Therefore, this paper tries to analyze The Importance of Living from the perspective of rhetoric. So the author selects rhetorical methods which are frequently used in the essay such as paradox, metaphor and parallelism and explore the literary effects they create. What’s more, this paper will explore the link between Lin’s aesthetic values and rhetoric using from the aspects “Humor” and “Tragicomedy”. Finally, this paper analyses the two most important reason for the success of this book: rhetoric using and Chinese culture conveying.
Key Words: The Importance of living; Rhetorical devices; Lin Yutang
1. Introduction 1
2. Literature Review 2
2.1 Studies of rhetorical devices in The Importance of Living at home 2
2.2 Studies of rhetorical devices in The Importance of Living abroad 3
3. Main Rhetorical Devices Aopted in The Importance of Living 4
3.1 Parallelism 4
3.2 Paradox 6
3.3 Metaphor 7
4. Aesthetic Values Conveyed by Rhetoric Devices in The Importance of Living 9
4.1 Humor- First Style 9
4.2 Tragedy-Comedy-Compromise Style 10
5. Combination of Rhetoric Devices and Chinese Culture 12
5.1 Success of rhetoric devices 12
5.2. Success of the Chinese culture conveying 13
6. Conclusion 15
Rhetoric Devices in The Importance Of Living
Lin Yutang’s prose creates a spiritual palace that integrates wisdom, taste and knowledge with its ability to permeate the past and present. And Lin Yutang has a thorough knowledge of both Western and traditional Chinese. He writes about 60 books and thousands of articles throughout his life, advocating humor and spiritual literature. The Importance of Living, which is expanded on the basis of My Country and My People, is the top 52 best-selling books in the United States. It has been reprinted for more than 40 editions and has become the “book of pillows” for men and women in Europe and America, Setting off a “Lin Yutang fever.” around the world. This book has been translated into many languages and produced extensive and far-reaching influence in the world, which has makes him reach the peak of literary creation.
Lin Yutang tells the world how to enjoy life well in The Importance of Living. The words in it are quite fluent and beautiful. It is not difficult to discover that this is inextricably linked to various rhetoric methods used in his books. Throughout home and abroad, the study of rhetoric devices in The Importance of Living is limited. However, rhetoric plays an very important role in the great success or this book. Therefore, this paper will use rhetoric as an entry point to explore Lin Yutang’s aesthetic thoughts from two aspects. What’s more, the paper will analyse the reason behind the great reputation around the world of The Importance of Living .Hopefully, it will deepen people’s understanding of Lin Yutang’s using of rhetoric and the characteristics of his writing. At the same time, the author hopes it can also make up for the lack of research on Lin Yutang’s rhetoric devices.
2 Literature Review
The Importance of Living is a great success in America when published in 1937.Over the years, many scholars both from home and abroad have studied this book. Some of them explore its subtleties from a cultural perspective (Zhao Xiaoli, 2012), some analyze translations of nouns in the book from the perspective of translatology. (He Mengxin, 2018), and others explore the view of life in The Importance of Living( Tian Yaoshou, 2005 ).This section is to make a review to the previous research of this book from the perspective of rhetoric devices.
2.1 Studies of rhetorical devices in The Importance of Living at home
Domestically, there are some Chinese researchers casting their eyes on the rhetoric research on this book. Ding Qun(2015), from the Shandong Agricultural University, explores the concept of life-related conceptual metaphors in The Importance of the Living based on the Wmatrix corpus tool, Steen’s five-step metaphorical analysis and conceptual metaphor theory . Qi Zhendong(2009), focuses his attention on the western rhetoric in the Importance of Living , he carries out his research in three aspects. His research provides us a new perspective of western rhetoric devices in the Importance of the Living .Li Shaodang(2017), from the aspect of style rhetoric, points out the problems that different linguistic styles should pay attention to in the use of linguistic expression, and manifests a clear linguistic rhetoric consciousness of Lin Yutang. What’s more, Li Shaodang also analyses the rhetoric devices of Lin Yutang in her paper A Rhetorical Analysis on Humor Language of Lin Yutang’s Prose, which explores the rhetoric skills used in Lin’s books from seven aspects.
2.2 Studies of rhetorical devices in The Importance of Living abroad
However, research on The Importance of Living abroad mostly were book reviews with positive comments which conveyed Chinese culture to the western world as well as its influence of being a bestseller in America. Peter Precott (1937) says in New York Times, “After reading the book (The Importance of Living), I want to bow to every Chinese in the Chinatown”. Youngbill Kang (1937) comments on the book that Lin Yutang has told the readers how to live a good life from his observation to details in life rather than from philosophy and academy, and Lin Yutang’s critics on the lack of vitality in western academy because of overdone details are very accurate. “ Happiness is the real theme of the book, which he presents in an interesting and funny way. He makes us to be aware that we are true people standing on the true importance” ( Zhang Ruirui, 2013). Martha Bayles (1996) says, “The introduction of Lin Yutang hasn’t made a clear list of the mysterious oriental philosophy. On the contrary, what he brings us are living themes to pursue leisure crazily and to be appetizing and so on.” These are all book review made by western scholars among The Importance of Living.
3 Main Rhetorical Devices Adopted in The Importance of Living
In the book The Importance of Living, Lin Yutang uses many rhetorical methods to make the language more beautiful and vivid, and to better explain his philosophy of life. In the following passage, there are three most representative rhetorical devices used in this book, which need an in-depth study.
Parallelism is one of the most commonly used rhetoric device in English. It is widely used to begin conversations in poetry, prose, fiction, drama, and speech. A parallel structure is the formation of a whole by arranging two or more words, phrases, or sentences that have the same or similar structure and meaning. It is a rhetorical form that uses partially repeated methods to mobilize the sound, shape, and meaning of words to express the beauty of sentences. The parallel structure not only enhances the expressiveness, attractiveness, and appeal of language, but also makes it easy to recite, sing, remember, and circulate. It also has the features of neat structure, distinctive rhythm, concise expression, and prominent semantics, which can effectively enhance language skills. Parallelism is also widely used by Lin Yutang in The Importance of Living .The parallel structure is very clear and distinct in narrating and reasoning, such as follows: