Free Indirect Speech with Quotation Marks in Austen's Works

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I will think about how typographic conventions for speech representations in the eighteenth century influenced on the development of Free Indirect Discourse [FID] of this period.
FID for both speech and thought presentations is generally regarded as a style which enables smooth shifts between the narrative and dialogues/thoughts in the third person narrative. The reader is guided by the author/narrator to read the passage presented in FIS smoothly, thanks to its lack of quotation marks as well as the verb of saying and the attribution of the subject (such as ‘Tom said/thought’), while it retaining the third person and the past tense in the same manner as in the narrative. Modernist writers employed FID in combination with other styles for ‘the stream of consciousness’ so that the reader can feel closely with the protagonist’s train of thoughts. Virginia Woolf is one of the most successful writers in the experiment of this narrative technique. M. B. Parkes, an authority in palaeography, states that ‘Woolf exercises greater control [than her precursors] over her readers’ responses by means of punctuation.’(1) In the passages presented in FID, the narrator does not intervene in the reader but silently encourages her to experience a character’s inner thoughts.
Although the standard of FID is thus characterized by the absence of quotation marks, passages presented in Free Indirect Discourse for speech presentations [FIS] in Jane Austen’s works are sometimes enclosed with quotation marks. FID passages have an ambiguous voice of the narrator and a character conflated with. However, when FID is used for an apparent speech of a character (chiefly within a dialogue with other characters), in order to help the r...

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... her time (as quotation marks would not usually be used for IS). He views this convention as a transitional process in terms of the use of inverted commas as quotation marks. In Austen’s works, FIS is sometimes enclosed with quotation marks, which style is more visibly distinct than FIS without quotation marks embedded in the narrative. Furthermore, IS on rare occasions is also enclosed with quotation marks. (Like the standard IS, the subject and the verbs of saying, such as ‘he said’, are specified in such a sentence.) Therefore, in addition to the standard range of speech presentations among DS, FIS and IS, there is a wider range of speech presentations in Austen’s work including ‘IS’ (as a kind of proto-FIS) and ‘FIS’. This inconsistency of the convention of the use of inverted commas as punctuation marks could become a hint to understand the development of FIS.

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