e.g. "The whole London knows it". (p.32)
The author means people living in London, but not the city as itself. Through the combination of metonymical details and particulars Wilde creates the effect of powerful upper-class society. The scope of transference in metonymy is much more limited than that of metaphor, which is quite understandable: the scope of human imagination identifying two objects on the grounds of commonness of one of their innumerable characteristics is boundless while actual relation between objects are more limited. This is why metonymy, on the whole, is a less frequently observed stylistic device than metaphor.
Oscar Wilde does not pay much attention to metonymy. But his metonymies have a great potential power. They reach the emotional reliability, which creates the effect of reader's presence in the literary world. Metonymical details and particulars sometimes serve the so called "evidences" of the actions and feelings of the heroes.
As a brief conclusion we can say that Oscar Wilde resorts to the use of a greatnumber of stylistic devices in his plays.
For Wilde language is the most important way for expression of his thoughts and feelings. According to the examples mentioned above, we can see that Wilde's language is very expressive and vivid, and at the same time it is plain and understandable to any reader.
3. Syntactical expressive means and stylistic devices.
The expressive means of a language exist as a certain system of literary devices within the literary form of the common language. The system of expressive means of language differs from that of another, not in the existence of some device but in the role which this device plays, and the place which it occupies in this system.
The syntactical level plays an important role in the system of language expressive means. Generally speaking, the examination of syntax provides a deeper insight into the stylistic aspect of the utterance.
Stylistics takes as the object of its analysis the expressive means and stylistic devices of the language which are based on some significant structural point in an utterance, whether it consists of one sentence or a string of sentences.
The problem of syntactical stylistic devices appears to be closely linked not only with what makes an utterance more emphatic but also with the more general problem of predication. As is known, the English affirmative sentence is regarded as neutral if it maintains the regular word order, that is subject - predicate - object (or other secondary members of the sentence, as they are called). Any other order of the parts of the sentence may also carry the necessary information, but impact on the reader will be different. Even a slight change in the word order of a sentence or in the order of the sentences in a more complicated syntactical unit will inevitably cause a definite modification of the meaning in the whole. An almost imperceptible rhythmical design introduced into a prose sentence or a sudden break in the sequence of the parts of the sentence, or any other change will add something to the volume of information contained in the original sentence.
Unlike the syntactical expressive means of the language, which are naturally used in discourse in a straight-forward natural manner, syntactical stylistic devices are perceived as elaborate designees aimed at having a definite impact on the reader. It will be borne in mind that any stylistic device is meant to be understood as a device and is calculated to produce a desired stylistic effect.
The first syntactical expressive means used by Oscar Wilde is inversion.
According to Prof. Kurkharenko V.A., inversion is very often used as an independent stylistic device in which the direct word order is changed either completely so that the predicate (predicative) precedes the subject, or partially, so that the object precedes the subject - predicate pair.27
According to Prof. Galperin I.R. the stylistic inversion aims at attaching logical stress or additional emotional colouring to the surface meaning of the utterance. Therefore, a specific intonation pattern is the inevitable satellite of inversion.28
Although Oscar Wilde doesn't pay much attention to such expressive means as inversion, he also resorts to its usage in his plays. Here are some examples of inversion from Wilde:
e.g. "Told me she that entirely disapproved of people
marrying more than once." (p. 53)
"Except amongst the middle classes I have been told".
"But so am I." (p.261)
"Let go us into the house". (p.331)
These sentences comprise the simple and common models of inversion. It is very important to know that inversion as a stylistic device is always sense-motivated; and it depends on the context. These inversions are used by the author for more expressiveness and for showing the feelings of his characters in a certain situation.
The next syntactical expressive means is a repetition. As the word "repetition" itself suggests, this unit of poetic speech is based upon a repeated occurrence of one and the same word or word group.
According to Prof. Galperin I.R., repetition as a syntactical stylistic device is recurrence of the same word, word combination or a phase for two and more times.29
So, repetition is an expressive means when a certain word or a phrase is repeated for several times. It is an expressive means of language used when the speaker is under the stress of strong emotion. It shows the state of mind of the speaker as in the following example from Wilde:
e.g. "I love you - love you as I have never loved any living
thing. From the moment I met you I loved you, loved
you blindly, adoringly, madly!" (p.51)
Here we can observe the inner state of the hero, his emotions, his great feeling of love.
e.g. "My boy! My boy! My boy!" (p. 168)
In these words repeated for several time we can guess the great emotional background. Wilde has a graphic eye and the use of repetition which as it may seem is one of the weak expressive means helps us to be closer to the hero, to understand his feelings. Depending on the position of a repeated unit occupied in the sentence there are four types of repetition: anaphora, epiphora, framing and anadiplosis. The first function of repetition is to intensify the utterance.
Here are some more examples of repetition:
e.g. "Oh, Arthur, do not love me less, and I will trust you more. I will
trust you absolutely."(p.88)
"Do not hold me, mother. Do not hold me- I'll kill