Causative get-constructions in the dialogued passages in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels The Beautiful and Damned and Tender Is the Night as gender-conditioned structures

Rafał Gołąbek 1
  • 1 Kazimierz Pułaski University of Technology and Humanities in Radom, Poland

Abstract

It goes without saying that in modern sociolinguistics there is a consensus with regard to the fact that the language of males and females differs. The initial sections of the article briefly address the peculiarities of gendered speech as to provide a theoretical background for checking whether the causative get is used similarly or differently by men and women in the two of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels: The Beautiful and Damned and Tender Is the Night. The basic expectation formed is that the motifs for triggering the use of causative get are of social rather than structural nature. Before the analysis is carried out, the group of the English periphrastic causatives are sketchily characterized. Generally, what has been found is that there is a clear, socially-motivated pattern of how F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the causative get in the dialogued occurrences in his two novels. Get is a characteristic of men’s talk, but it is also the expected form while female characters address male ones - hence the verb is labelled as “masculine” get. Moreover, it has been discovered that there does not seem to be any particular pattern in either the speaker’s mood or the speaker’s attitude expressed that would trigger the use of the causative verb in question. Yet, what seems to be a well-defined tendency, when it comes to the speaker-hearer power relation, is that the speaker usually assumes a more superior position than the hearer when he or she uses the causative verb. The superiority in most cases is strongly associated with masculinity. Hence, what is postulated is that the causative get is labelled not only as “masculine" but also as “superior”.

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