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Designing a New Structure of Text World Theory (TWT) Buchkatalog
Academic Paper from the year 2018 in the subject Speech Science / Linguistics, grade: 1, University of Malta, course: ENG 3016 Language and the Literary Mind, language: English, abstract: The present work takes a closer look at Text World Theory through analysing Margaret Atwood's novella "The Penelopiad". Text World Theory (TWT) analyses the mental representations human beings create when indulging in any kind of discourse, the written as well as the spoken one. It structures these mental representations in worlds which have a certain hierarchy between each other. Since Professor Paul Werth developed this theory in the 1980s and 1990s, it has been revised and restructured several times. The question arises whether the structure of TWT is still in need of improvement, as Werth's three-dimensional structure already proved to be unsatisfactory to some text-world researchers, like Joanna Gavins. To answer this question, I will look at the mental representation of worlds Margaret Atwood's novella "The Penelopiad" is able to generate. I am going to argue that this novella is proof that there can be more than one Text World (TW). From these TW, further types of worlds can be created, like Sub-Worlds (SW), Possible Worlds (PW) and in-Text Worlds (iTW), a term which I personally coined. I will try to prove that the major difference between TW and the other world types is the point of view from which they are told. As the size of the assignment does not allow to analyze the whole TWT structure of "The Penelopiad" in depth, I am going to concentrate on certain aspects only. First of all, it will be the structure in a whole that is going to be the focus and not the content of the single worlds. Furthermore, the parts which deviate from the traditional structure of TWT will be granted more attention than those which overlap it. Finally, only the worlds which are told from Penelope's perspective will be analyzed. This implies that the TW of the Maids (TW4) will just be mentioned, but not analyzed. Consequently, a lot of this topic will still be open for discussion. "The Penelopiad" is suitable for a TWT analysis as it is set in the particular domain of gender studies.