Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education Issue 25
2022-03-01 発行

Coherence, Cohesion, and Social Reality in Joseph Conrad’s Chance

In this article, we draw on Widdowson’s concepts of cohesion and coherence in applied linguistics as well as Searle’s ideas on social reality to analyse Joseph Conrad’s novel Chance. The article is one of a series by the authors that explores how analytic philosophy, particularly in relation to speech acts and social reality, can be used as an aid to exploring Conrad’s Marlow stories, which are well suited to such analysis with their multiple and embedded narrations.
In the first part of the article, coherence and cohesion are used to investigate the complex construction of the book’s chapters, with consideration being given to cohesive links through locations and clock time. This is combined with research on the gestation of Chance and its connections to the three other Conrad stories that involve the fictional character Marlow. In the second part of the article, we use Searle’s distinction between institutional and brute facts to examine the unusual nature of money and the role of finance in the novel. We consider the fictional banking scandal and the financier de Barral in Chance, contrasting them to the non-fictional scandals and financiers that are the probable sources which were used for the story. In a final section, we discuss Chance as a possible graded reader, outlining its value as part of the Marlow stories, and noting some of the challenges it would present to twenty-first century language learners.
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