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Literature as ConductSpeech Acts in Henry James$
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J. Hillis Miller

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225378

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823225378.001.0001

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Lying against Death: The Wings of the Dove

Lying against Death: The Wings of the Dove

(p.151) Chapter 4 Lying against Death: The Wings of the Dove
Literature as Conduct

J. Hillis Miller

Fordham University Press

This chapter analyzes the use of the concepts of death in Henry James's The Wings of the Dove using the speech act theory. It suggests that all language has an ineluctable referential function and that reality refers to something that the activity of referring makes people presume to be real, extralinguistic. James used reality in his work as a synecdochic piece of its language and a snippet of the entire texture. This chapter also discusses the actions and speeches made by the novel's characters in relation to the concepts of death and reality.

Keywords:   The Wings of the Dove, Henry James, speech act theory, literary analysis, death in literature, language

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