Exploring the Coalescence of Language and Literature through A Stylistic Analysis of Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo's “When It's A Grey November In Your Soul”

Veronico N. Tarrayo*
Ph.D Student, The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, the Philippines.
Periodicity:January - March'2018
DOI : https://doi.org/10.26634/jelt.8.1.13944


This paper argues that in interpreting literary pieces, language and literature should team up for their mutual benefit. Based on this assumption, this study explores the interface between language and literature by examining along stylistic lines the flash fiction piece “When It's A Grey November In Your Soul” written by Cristina Pantoja Hidlago, a renowned Filipino author. Using Leech and Short's (2007) schema, the present study attempts to decipher the language code of the said literary text in terms of the following features: lexical categories, grammatical categories, figures of speech, and context and cohesion. The analysis proves that specific textual features could lend themselves well in interpreting the text. Among the lexical categories are group of words that indicate confusion (i.e., semantic field); predominant use of concrete nouns, special use of proper nouns, and abstract nouns referring to social and psychological states; adjectives denoting sense perceptions (visual descriptions, mostly colors); and specific verbs indicating speech acts. On the other hand, these grammatical features contribute to text interpretations are interrogative sentences and minor sentences (i.e., sentence fragments); predominant use of simple sentences; use of the literary present in general, and punctuations (i.e., em dash and ellipsis). Lexical repetition and alliteration are found to be effective figures of speech in comprehending the flash fiction piece. As for context, the flash fiction piece employs the first-person narration with Direct Speeches (DS), one Free Direct Speech (FDS), Free Direct Thoughts (FDT), and one Indirect Thought (IT). Repetition, recurring motif, and linkage as cohesion elements help elucidate the effects and meanings the writer intends to evoke in the story. The implications of the present study for literature and language teaching are also discussed.


Fiction, Flash Fiction, Literary Interpretation, Philippine Literature, Stylistics

How to Cite this Article?

Tarrayo, N. V. (2018). Exploring the Coalescence of Language and Literature through A Stylistic Analysis of Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo's “When It's A Grey November In Your Soul”. i-manager’s Journal on English Language Teaching, 8(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.26634/jelt.8.1.13944


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