Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Research in Wonderland

I've started to do some research about the general topic of my thesis--language in relation to thought. Professor Burton pointed out the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis to me in a comment on a post from a little while ago, so I decided to do a bit of additional research on the theory itself. I found a few articles about the theory and its relevance today, as well as, to some extent, its use in literature, so I think that will be really helpful.
Working thesis: Although Anthem and Through the Looking Glass vary greatly in terms of genre and subject matter, both novels feature the use of language itself as a means of controlling the characters therein.

Works Consulted
Carroll, Lewis. “Through the Looking-Glass.” Alice in Wonderland (Norton Critical Edition).
3rd ed. Ed. Donald J. Gray. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. Digital file.
Full text of one of the primary texts that I am analyzing for this paper. Includes “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” as well as several critical essays which may or may not be helpful for my argument.

Imai, Matsumi. “Rethinking the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: Role of Language in Shaping
Thought.” Kyoiku Shinrigaku Kenkyo/The Japanese Journal of Psychology, 71.5 (2000):
415-433. Print.
An article about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that looks specifically at examples found in literature, which would be very helpful in solidifying and supporting my argument.

Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. United Kingdom: Secker and Warburg, 1948. Print.
Classic dystopian novel that directly addresses the issue of language and control, written a decade after Anthem. Well-known reference used to introduce my argument.

Rand, Ayn. Anthem. Waiheke Island: The Floating Press, 2009. Digital file.
Full text of one of the primary texts that I am analyzing for this paper. Dystopian novel that emphasizes, in part, the power of language to control thoughts, and thereby people, and thereby a civilization.

Robins, Robert Henry. “The current relevance of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.” Communication
and Cognition, 6.2 (1973): 37-44. Print.

Another article explaining the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (the relation between language and thought) and its relevance today. Could be very useful in supporting my thesis about this relationship.

Next, I plan to investigate the novels themselves a little more specifically, particularly in terms of the language if I can find any sources that focus on language use within these novels.

Also, I did a little bit of research for Adam. I found a rant from an enthusiast about how much he does not like Joseph Campbell's monomyth theory; perhaps this will be a good source for counterargument ideas.

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