Content, Syntax, Punctuation – the Uses of Music in The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell Cover Image
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Content, Syntax, Punctuation – the Uses of Music in The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell
Content, Syntax, Punctuation – the Uses of Music in The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell

Author(s): Anna Krawczyk-Łaskarzewska
Subject(s): Cultural history, Theoretical Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Philology, British Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: ghost story; Gothic, music; soundscape; supernatural
Summary/Abstract: There are many ways in which music can be a meaningful part of a literary work, either as a crucial aspect of the plot, or a structural backbone of the given narrative, or a device which helps to get a better grasp of the dynamic between the characters in the story and to articulate its message. This article discusses the ways in which music and various other sounds are used in "The Old Nurse’s Story", arguably Elizabeth Gaskell’s most accomplished ghost tale. In particular, the complexity of the soundscapes in "The Old Nurse’s Story" is analysed in connection with the dominant narrative patterns of the tale, the characters’ feelings and emotions, and the frightening effect carefully crafted by the author. Furthermore, because of the traits typically associated with the literary Gothic, especially the Female Gothic, the story is also examined in terms of its subversive, patriarchy-smashing potential and its treatment of the supernatural phenomena.

  • Page Range: 57-65
  • Page Count: 9
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: English