Repetition and Reactance in Graham’s "Underneath" Poems

Roghayeh Farsi

Abstract


The present paper gives a detailed analysis and interpretation of 16 poems in Jorie Graham's collection, Swarm (2000), which bear "UNDERNEATH" as their main titles. The poems are marked with different types of repetition such as graphological repetition, word, phrase, and sentential repetition, semantic repetition, and syntactic repetition. The study draws on Lakoff and Johnson's theories on metaphor and Brehm and Brehm’s reactance theory. It is argued "underneath" is a conceptual (orientational) metaphor which signifies a state of being limited, lack of control and freedom, and loss of power. The paper investigates the speaker's reactant behavior in "Underneath" poems, seeking a way to restore her lost freedom. Reactance behaviors can be skepticism, inertia, aggression, and resistance. It is concluded despite her thematic inertia, representing her submission to the oppressed state, her stylistic reactance reflected in repetitions, innovations, and disruptive diction stands for her attempts to regain her lost control.

 


Keywords


Graham, repetition, reactance, "UNDERNEATH", poetry

Full Text:

PDF

References


Baym, N. (2003). Ed. The Norton anthology of American literature. Shorter sixth edition. New York & London: Norton & Company.

Becker, A. L. (1984). Biography of a sentence: A Burmese proverb. In Edward M. Bruner (Ed.). Text, play, and story: The construction and reconstruction of self and society, 135-55. Washington: American Ethnological Society. Rpt. Prospect Heights: Waveland Press.

Becker, A. L. (1979). Text-building, epistemology, and aesthetics in Javanese shadow theatre. In A. L. Becker & A. Yengoyan (Eds.). The imagination of reality. Norwood: Ablex, 211-43.

Becker, A. L. (1982). Beyond translation: Esthetics and language description. In H. Byrnes (Ed.). Contemporary perceptions of language: Interdisciplinary dimensions. Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics 1982. Washington: Georgetown University Press, 124-138.

Brehm, J. W. (1966). A theory of psychological reactance. New York: Academic Press.

Brehm, S., & Brehm, J. W. (1981). Psychological reactance: A theory of freedom and control. New York: Academic Press.

Dehnad, V., & Farsi, R. (2016/December). Reactance and proactance in developing: The directional duplex model. Paper presented at the Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Modern Approach in Humanities, Tehran.

Dowd, E. T., Milne C. R., & Wise S. L. (1991). The therapeutic reactance scale: A measure of psychological reactance. Journal of Counseling and Development 69, 541-545.

Dowd, E. T., & Wallbrown, F. (1993). Motivational components of client reactance. Journal of Counseling and Development 71, 533-538.

Dowd, E.T., Wallbrown, F., Sanders, D., & Yesenosky, J. M. (1994). Psychological reactance and its relationship to normal personality variables. Cognitive Therapy and Research 18 (6), 601-612.

Finnegan, R. (1977). Oral poetry: Its nature, significance, and context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fox, M. (2011). The 3 types of psychological resistance that cause you to lose sales. Fictionfreesales.com. Accessed January 05, 2017.

Graham, J. (2000). Swarm. New York: The Ecco Press.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1967). Notes on transitivity and theme in English. Part 2. Journal of Linguistics 3, 199-244.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. London: Longman.

Jahn, D. L, & Lichstein K. L. (1980). The resistive client: A neglected phenomenon in behavior therapy. Behavior Modification, no. 4: 303-320.

Jakobson, R., & Pomorska, K. (1983). Dialogues. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Johnstone, B. (1987). An introduction. In B. Johnstone (Ed.). Perspectives on repetition. Special issue of Text 7 (3), 205-14.

Knowles, M., & Moon, R. (2006). Introducing metaphor. London: Routledge.

Kovecses, Z. (2010). Metaphor: A practical introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Labov, W. (1972). The transformation of experience in narrative syntax. In Language in the inner city, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 354-96.

Levav, J., & Zhu, R. (2009). Seeking freedom through variety. Journal of Consumer Research 36, 600-610.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (2003). Metaphors we live by. London: University of Chicago Press.

Meyers-Levy, J., & Zhu, R. J. (2007). The influence of ceiling height: The effect of priming on the type of processing that people use. Journal of Consumer Research 34(2), 174-186.

Moss, S. (2016). Psychological reactance theory. Sociotests.com. Accessed January 5, 2017.

Spiegelman, W. (2005). How poets see the world: The art of description in contemporary poetry. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tannen, D. (2007). Talking voices: repetition, dialogue, and imagery in conversational discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wang, Shih-ping. (2005). Corpus-based approaches and discourse analysis in relation to reduplication and repetition. Journal of Pragmatics 37(4), 505-40.

Wortman, C. B., & Brehm, J. W. (1975). Responses to uncontrollable outcomes: An integration of reactance theory and the learned helplessness model. In E. Berkowitz (Ed.). Vol. 8 of Advances in experimental social psychology. New York: Academic Press.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.6p.223

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.