I Am My Demon

May 27, 2010

Of Origins and Navel Watching: The Navel as Story’s Core Concept

Filed under: Literary Analysis — iammydemon @ 1:37 pm
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Seeing the title of one of Nick Joaquin’s great works at first made me quite curious.  At first, by the title I thought it would be another work of magic realism like Juan Rulfo’s “Pedro Paramo” – it is not common that you would even hear any one with two navels, even in a fictional work.  But I was surprised that it was not what I expected. In fact, the story is beyond Connie Escovar, the woman who believed she had two navels.  It may be suffice to say that there are others who can be considered as having two navels themselves: Paco Texeira and Pepe Monson’s father.  What is more interesting though is the use of the navel as the core symbol running throughout the story.

The navel is the probably most ignored part of the body.  The end of the umbilical cord when we are born, it is our connection to our mother, who nourished us and kept us alive.  But once the cord is cut we are just left with a shallow hole (unless you have one of those called an “outie”).  We do not usually mind the navel, as it is so common that we believe it should always be there, but it becomes more palpable when you see no navel from someone at all.  The attention is riveted and you start asking questions.

The same thing happens with the story, “The Woman with Two Navels”.  We do not usually question what is so common among us: a place to live, a good home, a good family.  Yet something happens that jars us from commonality – a revelation of some sort, an action that we may not realize we are capable of doing, an expectation severely unmet – and we become unsettled.  Aspirations become mirages and we become lost, torn between what we were used to and what our ideals are.  The navel, symbolizing an origin or a beginning becomes lost in confusion among the three characters: Connie Escovar, Paco Texeira and the senior Monson.  Connie becomes confused that the affluence her family enjoys may be in the expense of other people; Paco seems to be uncertain between his marriage with Mary and his apparent desire towards Connie; Doctor Monson’s dream of returning to the Philippines becomes a nightmare when he finally sees the devastation on his old home.  They share a similar confusion, a similar helplessness in their situation.  The “two-ness” of their navels, symbolizing their normality – their “origins” – makes them unable to move forward and accept the new reality upon them.  They’re stuck, and to coin the corny phrase, “torn between two lovers”.  And in the story, this turmoil becomes the vortex in which the other characters whirl around.

What makes this story memorable is how the concept of the navel, the concept of familiarity and of origins, revolves around these characters who somehow through circumstance, attempts to return to normalcy.  Although, the attempt to do so makes it nearly tragic for some.  Incidentally, in Buddhism, the navel is considered one of the chakras or energy centers in the body.  With having two navels, which among them now should one focus on?  In the confusion lies the beauty.

Works Cited:

Joaquin, Nick. The Woman Who Had Two Navels. Makati: Bookmark, 1991.

Dr. Boeree, C. George. “The Basics of Buddhist Meditation”. Buddhist Meditation. –. Shippensburg University. 8 Feb. 2010 http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/meditation.html.

Franz Kafka’s Joseph K. – “’K Lang Ba Sya?”

Filed under: Literary Analysis — iammydemon @ 1:46 am
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Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” is a story about a man, Joseph K., who struggles to escape from his arrest yet finds in the course of events, does not manage to do so and is even executed for his “crime”.  But more interesting for me is just how he attempted (and failed) to wriggle his way out of his case and that maybe his own personality was a factor for his demise.

At first, Joseph K. in his situation was to be sympathized.  Who would want to wake up one morning to discover that you are being accused of something?  Despite the fact that he is considered “free”, in the sense that he could still go on his normal routine, yet the idea of being charged hangs over him like a miasma and he becomes uncomfortable under it as though he viewed it as an ”exile…often viewed as worse than death” (Matthew). And slowly other people would be aware of his situation as well: Frau Grubach, his uncle, and even strangers would be aware of it.  But in the course of the story, his inability to grasp the “laws” of the court and at the same time his conceited view that he would be able to get out of his predicament made him irritating, almost to the point of swearing at him when he talks of his case.  According to a paper by Maria Luisa Antonaya, there are actually three blunders Joseph K. did that played a part to his eventual death: his “acceptance” of the case, his inability to know the “rules” and his refusal to get help from those more knowledgeable than he (World Literatures).  But to why he did (or did not) so, was because of his arrogant naivety.

He was naïve because he was not aware of how the court system worked, but he was arrogant as well as he believed that his case can be solved or that he can find his way out of the system when he has no idea what is the charge against him in the first place.  Having no knowledge of what you are accused of is like swinging a sword blindly when you do not even know who your enemy is. His pomposity (and my subsequent dislike of him) was increased when he refused to accept the help that people were giving to him: Dr. Huld, Titorelli, Leni.  Joseph K. even the prison chaplain’s warning to him was dismissed.  The actual people who had a better idea of how the court system worked and would give Joseph K. a good chance at actual freedom were actually scoffed by him and their knowledge disregarded.

What could be a bigger arse than someone who refuses help?  Joseph K.’s failure to discern “court” procedures yet his haughty view towards his own limited capacity that he’d be able to resolve his case on his own facilitated in his own failure.  Even at his death, the indignity of the case to his reputation was all he focused, and for me, that is just pathetically sad and stupid.

Works Cited:

Antonaya, Maria Luisa. “The Trial, by Franz Kafka: Understanding Joseph K.’s failed case.” World Literatures.  12 Jun. 2007.  Suite101.  2 Feb. 2010 <http://european-literature.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_trial_by_franz_kafka&gt;

Kafka, Franz. The Trial. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1969.

Matthew, Jack. “Kafka’s Bureaucratic Nightmares.” April 1992. The Freeman. New York: The Foundation of Economic Education.  2 Feb. 2010 <http://www.theadvocates.org/freeman/920402.html&gt;.

October 7, 2009


Paul Mills, in his Routledge book “The Creative Writing Coursebook”, said that whenever characters interact, dialogue is one of the sure signs to happen (148).  Characters would interact with each other either through actions, or through speech.  And dialogue is one of the elements in a novel’s “believability” that the characters must be distinct in their speech and thoughts.  But there is also the challenge of making the dialogue be as close to real speech as possible.  Dialogue can really never imitate real speech.  As mentioned by Rib Davis, “conversational language…is a mess” (3).  Conversation is full of pauses, overlapping voices, sudden stops and false starts – and it is very difficult to translate that into paper, although there has been attempts, particularly in theatre, that this is done.  In contrast to actual spoken speech, written language is considered more formal and cleaner, so it is important for the fiction writer that he is able to bring dialogue as close to real speech without giving the reader headaches and confusion at the same time.

It is also said that through dialogue that characterization may develop (Pannecoucke), though it is not the main element, nor is it the initial one, to do so.  Dialogue helps in defining the character’s personality.  It also distinguishes one character from another, revealing even in dialogue what they value in life (Danner).  From this, dialogue also shows a particular view of the world (Davis 70).  And perhaps, it helps in even how they perceive and react to the situations they are in.  Dialogue is also one of the important ways in “moving” the story forward.

So how is this worked in The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner and Ulysses by James Joyce?  With these works being hailed as one of the masterpieces of modern literature, this paper will attempt to see how the element of dialogue helps in proving the claim given to them, particularly, how dialogue makes the characters as “real” inhabitants of the places they live in.  From chosen parts of dialogue, the paper will analyze in them – the tone, accent and, partly, the diction of the two novels that characterizes, or attempts to characterize, the individuals who are in them.  One reason why these two works were chosen was that they would present a good illustration of showing how accent works in fiction.  The aim of this paper is to give credence to how the writers made their characters alive in the manner of which they spoke, and also to have a better appreciation of the role of dialogue in fiction.

One of the elements that may be considered when writing dialogue is accent.  According to Heaton, “Accents are defined by phonological differences in how individuals or groups of individuals produce the linguistic segments comprising the same language” (1).  That is, in a language such as English, a particular person or group of persons will “speak” or pronounce English differently, (it would also depend on certain social factors like country, upbringing, and social status) – in such that the same language will sound different from different people or groups of people.  Accent plays a part in making the characters fit in the world they live in.  Unless intended by the writer, of course a character should “sound” like the people that live in that particular area.  It is not always possible that characters would have an accent – though it may also be claimed that everyone speaks with a certain accent no matter how typical the use of a language is (Heaton) – but with settings that have such unique places like Britain or India, where accent is very significant when using the English language, providing the accent in the dialogue may help in the “naturalism” of the character.

One example for this is William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury, which is about the Compson family, and their slow decline both as a family and as individual persons.  Not only is the decline of a personal nature, but also a decline of their familial status or prominence in the community, particularly as they are a Southern family that goes from way back.  And them being Southerners, their accent is different from that of other Americans, especially during the 1920’s.  A good example of who would have this “Southern” accent and with a distinct diction is Dilsey.  Though it is not to say that the other black American characters could not be considered with such an accent, it is with Dilsey that we see the most Southern nuances and inflections in her dialogue as she interacts with the Compson family.

Consider how Dilsey and Roskus speak in the first chapter of the novel, April 7, 1928:

“What you know about it.” Dilsey said. “What trance you been in.”
“Dont need no trance.” Roskus said. “Aint the sign of it laying right there on that bed. Aint the sign of it been here for folks to see fifteen years now.
“Spose it is.” Dilsey said. “It aint hurt none of you and yourn, is it. Versh working and Frony married off your hands and T.P. getting big enough to take your place when rheumatism finish getting you.”
“They been two, now.” Roskus said. “Going to be one more. I seen the sign, and you is too.”

It can be seen here that the dialogue is not that of standard English grammar.  The Southern accent, particularly for the African Americans during that time, was a mixture of the linguistic backgrounds of the slaves brought to America (The Language Samples Project).  One feature that may indicate of a Southern accent is the change of tense and agreement (Sidnell).  For example, when Dilsey mentioned,

“What trance you been in”,

the standard grammar would be “What trance have you been in?”  African American English is characterized by tense markers, in which some forms of the verb are altered or dropped and yet the same idea of the sentence is retained.

Another feature is the use of negatives, which in “common knowledge” is very distinctive of black American speech.  Another example is again from Dilsey’s

“It aint hurt none of you and yourn” and Roskus’

“Aint the sign of it laying right there on that bed. Aint the sign of it been here for folks to see fifteen years now.”

The Southern accent particularly uses the word ain’t to replace the standard havent’ or didn’t/doesn’t (Sidnell).  So if this were to be converted to “normal” English conversation, it may go like this:

“What do you know about it.” Dilsey said. “What trance have you been in?”

“I don’t need to be in a trance.” Roskus said. “There’s that sign on that bed right there.  The sign has been there for folks to see for fifteen years now. “
“I suppose it is.” Dilsey said. “It doesn’t hurt you and your own family, does it. Versh is now working and Frony is married and T.P. is getting big enough to take your place when you die of rheumatism.”
“There has been two signs now.” Roskus said. “There’s going to be one more sign. I saw the sign, and you have seen it too.”

Looking further into the “black” accent, it would seem that the blacks during that time (and may be continuing to present day) are much unreserved in their thoughts, and sometimes almost crude.  They will say what they want to say, despite during that time, most of the blacks were still uneducated.  And especially with Dilsey, who is a servant, seems to be more in control than the Compson family, evident in the way she speaks to Mrs. Compson when they were to go to Caddy’s wedding.  The assertiveness in her personality appears more dominant to Mrs. Compson’s prone to whining with the way she speaks.

“I’m afraid to.” Mother said. They came down the steps and Dilsey helped Mother in. “Perhaps it’ll be the best thing, for all of us.” Mother said.
“Aint you shamed, talking that way.” Dilsey said. “Dont you know it’ll take more than a eighteen year old nigger to make Queenie run away. She older than him and Benjy put together. And dont you start no projecking with Queenie, you hear me. T.P. If you dont drive to suit Miss Cahline, I going to put Roskus on you. He aint too tied up to do that.”
“Yessum.” T.P. said.
“I just know something will happen.” Mother said. “Stop, Benjamin.
“Give him a flower to hold.” Dilsey said. “That what he wanting.” She reached her hand in.
“No, no.” Mother said. “You’ll have them all scattered.”
“You hold them.” Dilsey said. “I’ll get him one out.” She gave me a flower and her hand went away. (14)

In contrast with James Joyce’s Ulysses, in which the two main characters, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, though both Irish, come from two distinct backgrounds.  Although, it is more difficult to ascertain the Irish accent in Ulysses because of the syntax and grammar, which is very close to that of standard English, wherein in The Sound and The Fury it is quite distinct from it.  But there may still be unique Irish grammar characteristics in the dialogue that may have been used.  Consider one of Leopold Bloom’s mental ramblings:

Squarepushing up against a backdoor. Maul her a bit. Then the next thing on the menu. And who is the gentleman does be visiting there? Was the young master saying anything? Peeping Tom through the keyhole. Decoy duck. Hotblooded young student fooling round her fat arms ironing. (76-77)

In his line, “And who is the gentleman does be visiting there?” wherein the does be plus a gerund form of the verb is indicative of Irish English, as a tense form of continuous present (O’Donovan).  The Irish language, Gaelic, has no to have verb, pertaining to the verb form does be identified more accurately as a consuetudinal or habitual present (Sullivan 203).  Though personally for this author, this tense form seems to be redundant as the verb –ing is already showing a continuous present form.

Also, perhaps we can distinguish the accent in Ulysses in the “rhythm” of the speech or the stress in some of the words in the dialogue used.  It is said that the Irish English, when spoken, has a more musical quality than that of standard English, either American or British.  Even is near vulgar arrangement of words, there is still that lilt that can be said as uniquely Irish.  Consider the scene where Leopold Bloom has reluctantly joined some men in a drinking pub, where one of the men starts rambling about “invaders” of Ireland, inadvertently offending Bloom with regards to his Jewish heritage:

—Their syphilisation, you mean, says the citizen. To hell with them! The curse of a goodfornothing God light sideways on the bloody thicklugged sons of whores’ gets! No music and no art and no literature worthy of the name. Any civilisation they have they stole from us. Tonguetied sons of bastards’ ghosts.  (159)

Looking at the simple stresses and un-stresses in the syllabication of the words in the dialogue, there are more stresses here than un-stresses (38 vs. 33).  This may not be true for the whole novel, where there may be more stresses then un-stresses, but it looks to be that having words that have stresses in them helps in putting more emphasis to the dialogue that they have.  Another explanation for the number of stressed words is that Irish generally speak fast (Irish accent).  And with the speed and number of stresses, they may give that brogue that the Irish are famous for.

And yet, for all of the endeavour to be “authentic” in accent when doing dialogue, a writer must be cautious in it as well.  In the case of The Sound and The Fury, the dialogue may also have the danger of being “stereotyped”, that is, that the way the dialogue is presented is what people outside of that place and time would expect for the characters to speak.  Ponder on this part in June 2, 1910 when Quentin speaks with Louis Hatcher about a lantern:

I said, “Louis, when was the last time you cleaned that lantern?”
“I cleant hit a little while back. You member when all dat flood-watter wash dem folks away up yonder? I cleans hit dat ve’y day. Old woman and me settin fo de fire dat night and she say ‘Louis, whut you gwine do ef dat flood git out dis fur?’ and I say ‘Dat’s a fack. I reckon I had better clean dat lantun up.’ So I cleant hit dat night.”
“That flood was way up in Pennsylvania,” I said. “It couldn’t ever have got down this far.”
“Dat’s whut you says,” Louis said. “Watter kin git des ez high en wet in Jefferson ez hit kin in Pennsylvaney, I reckon. Hit’s de folks dat says de high watter cant git dis fur dat comes floatin out on de ridge-pole, too.”
“Did you and Martha get out that night?”
“We done jest cat. I cleans dat lantun and me and her sot de balance of de night on top o dat knoll back de graveyard. En ef I’d a knowed of aihy one higher, we’d a been on hit instead.”
“And you haven’t cleaned that lantern since then.”
“Whut I want to clean hit when dey aint no need?”
“You mean, until another flood comes along?”
“Hit kep us outen dat un.”
“Oh, come on, Uncle Louis,” I said.
“Yes, suh. You do yo way en I do mine. Ef all I got to do to keep outen de high watter is to clean dis yere lantun, I wont quoil wid no man.”  (95-96)

Perhaps if not for the “preparation” of reading how Dilsey and the other servants speak in the previous chapter, this type of accented dialogue would be confusing.  Yet even with that, this part of the dialogue would be hard on the eyes.  This Louis Hatcher character would be typified as an actual Southern black slave: uneducated, good only for labour and menial work.  And yet there is the danger of following the accent, with the spelling to match the pronunciation and all, to the point of insensibility.  A question had been brought up in the panel discussion for this novel if the story would still have worked if the dialogue was turned into a more standard English.  Would it have been better if a suggestion or description of the accent was presented and not the accent in the dialogue itself (Reed)?  The answer for this writer would still have been no, as far as this novel is concerned.  Although one must be consistent in the spelling and grammar to lend the dialogue authenticity in terms of the characters’ nationality and/or ethnicity (Pannecoucke), it would still depend on the novelist on how far one can “get away” with it.  A number of factors would include, but not limited to, the historical period where the story is in, the intended reader for the novel, even the skills of the actual writer (Turco 101).  For The Sound and The Fury, the presentation of how they spoke worked to give more colour and vibrancy to them.  Faulkner also admitted that when he wrote the novel, there was a certain feeling of blasé towards it,

This is the only one of the seven novels which I wrote without any accompanying feeling of drive or effort, or any following feeling of exhaustion or relief or distaste. When I began it I had no plan at all. I wasn’t even writing a book. (from Introduction)

so perhaps unconsciously, he was deliberate in choosing the characters and how they spoke..  Another reason might be that during that time, it was fine to present dialogue of the blacks that way – perception towards the blacks were unfortunately not as good as perception today.  On the other hand, there is still another risk to face with the prospect of possible racism.  Some groups of people, if a novel similar to this has been written in contemporary times, may be offended and react negatively to it.  So with regards to portraying accent in dialogue, one should exercise proper research, practice and caution.

There may be problems in presenting accent in dialogue when you want to show the nationality of the character, but another way of doing that is to use slang in speech.  Slang, when used in the right situation and context, helps in making the characters more credible in presenting them where they are and how they live their lives.  Using slang properly in dialogue may help in presenting a more natural character to the reader, as though they really are of that time and place.

In The Sound and The Fury, the use of slang is mostly from the black servants, though there are a few that the Compsons use as well.  For example, the word “yessum” is a derivative from the actual phrase “yes sir” or “yes ma’am”.  It is interesting that a younger Caddy had said that actual word, when their Mother instructed her and Versh to “take good care of” Benjy (38); wherein Dilsey in another scene said the original phrase when Mr. Compson told her to mind the children (25).  It would have meant that even the “white” people, especially the young, would imitate the way their black servants would speak, albeit unconsciously or perhaps even deliberately, in order to sound “modern” or “cool”, which is a phenomenon that is happening up till now.  Another example is the phrase, “I reckon”, which at first glance would seem to sound formal.  An expression chiefly used by those in the Midland and Southern US, it means “to think or suppose” (Dictionary.com).  And perhaps the phrase was originally formal, as before the Civil War, the “white masters” needed to communicate with their “slaves” and those who were better off with being house servants were given authority to speak to the “lower” slaves (Sidnell).  Another particular slang is the word “gwine”, which Dilsey has mentioned several times throughout the book.  It is actually a present participle form of “going” (Free Online Dictionary), yet it is in the vernacular. It is also quite interesting that despite, or perhaps because of it, that it is a tense form, it is now absorbed and accepted in the English language (among others).

And in Ulysses, there is an array of slang words and phrases used.  Aside from the cornucopia of allusions from different countries, and because that the setting of the story is in Dublin, James Joyce also used vernacular from his home country.  It is not possible to have all of them mentioned in this analysis, but a few will be discussed, especially those that have been considered “acceptable” in the English language as well, just like the word “gwine”.

One interesting example is the slang “dogsbody” (Joyce 3), meaning someone who does odd jobs (Grifford 15).  Today, its connotation is just as debasing as it was before, mostly pertaining to workers that would not normally do “usual” work tasks, or those jobs that most people would not want to do.

Another term that was used in the novel was “paleface” (Joyce 3).  Normally, the origin of this slang has been given to the American Indians, where these people would usually associate the word to their English conquerors (Dictionary.com).  But this term has also been used by the Irish as also a derogatory term for the English, or more accurately the British (Grifford 17).  It is interesting that the Irish would use a term that the American Indians used wherein in fact, the Irish are just as pale as the British.

Another interesting slang phrase used in the novel is “silk of the kine” (Joyce 7).  It is actually a euphemism for Ireland, as the “most beautiful of cattle” (Grifford 21).  What is interesting is that they have used an animal to represent the significance of Ireland, and the cattle is truly important for the Irish.  In their early times, cattle are actually used as currency and even a status symbol (Clancy).  Just in any budding civilisation, cattle were given a high status not only because of their helpfulness to the farmer, but also as a source of food and income.

What do all these show?  Through the use of markers in grammar and slang, Joyce and Faulkner were able to present their characters, and ultimately the story, with vividness and life.  Dialogue should lead us into “believing” the characters in where and when they are, and having them speak as close to actual conversation and actual speech as possible, without us realizing the why of it, is an effective way of pushing the narrative forward (Pannecoucke).  The way dialogue should present itself, with accent and slang (if necessary for the plot) should not be glaringly obvious – and Faulker and Joyce did just that.  The dialogue was smooth and flowing, and the use of accent and slang helped in presenting the Southern-ness and Irishness of the two novels.  Though it may be argued that it may not be necessary to have done it this way, that is, that Joyce and Faulkner may have said that the characters spoke in a certain way.  But perhaps the old writers’ adage of “show, not tell” is being practiced here, and for these particular novels, it worked.

Dialogue is something that readers (and perhaps writers as well) may take for granted, focusing more in the plot and actual narrative, but maybe that is what dialogue is all about – a silent helper in pushing the story along.  As an aspiring writer, analysing these two novels in terms of their dialogue has helped in one’s own craft.  It may be that the style of narrative is already mainstream in contemporary times, but it is good all the same to see how these novels started it all, and how these works has helped, and is still helping, other writers like this author, to be better in their own writing skills.

Works Cited

Clancy, Shae. Cattle in Early Ireland. 2000. 2 April 2010 <http://www.applewarrior.com/celticwell/ejournal/beltane/cattle_early_ireland.htm&gt;.

Cull, Delphine. “Writing Believable Dialogue in Fiction.” 20 July 2009. Suite101. 25 March 2010 <http://writing-novels.suite101.com/article.cfm/writing_believable_dialogue_in_fiction&gt;.

Danner, Alexander. “Expressive Dialogue, Part One: Mannerisms and Word Choice.” 5 February 2006. ComixTALK. 19 March 2010 <http://comixpedia.com/expressive_dialogue_part_one_mannerisms_and_word_choice&gt;.

Davis, Rib. Writing Dialogue for Scripts. London: A&C Black (Publishers) Ltd., 1998.

Dictionary.com. paleface. 2010. 2 April 2010 <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/paleface&gt;.

Faulkner, William.  The Sound and The Fury.  NY: Random House, 1976.

Grifford, Don. Ulysses Annotated. CA: University of California Press, 1998.

“gwine.”  Free Online Dictionary. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 10 Mar. 2010. <thefreedictionary.com. http:// http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gwine>.

Heaton, Hayley E. “Charm or Harm: The Effect of an American Southern Accent on Attitude and Comprehension.” College of Arts & Sciences: Emory University, 21 April 2009.

Irish accent. 1998. 1 April 2010 <http://html.rincondelvago.com/irish-accent.html&gt;.

Joyce, James.  Ulysses.  NY: Random House, Inc.  1986.

Mills, Paul. The Routledge Creative Writing Coursebook. NY: Routledge, 2006.

O’Donovan, John. Full-text of: A grammar of the Irish language. 1 April 2010 <http://www.archive.org/stream/grammarirish00odonuoft/grammarirish00odonuoft_djvu.txt&gt;.

Pannecoucke, Michelle. “Developing Characters With Dialogue: Using Conversation in Fiction to Create Good Characters.” 13 November 2009. Suite101. 19 March 2010 <http://character-development.suite101.com/article.cfm/developing_characters_with_dialogue&gt;.

“reckon.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 10 Mar. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reckon>.

Reed, Dana. “How do you handle dialogue? Narrative?” 26 November 2004. AuthorsDen.com. 19 March 2010 <http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewArticle.asp?id=16091&gt;.

Rib, Davis. Writing Dialogue for Scripts. London: A&C Black Ltd., 1998.

Rimmon-Kenan, Shlomith. Narrative Fiction. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Sidnell, Jack. African American Vernacular English. 31 March 2010 <http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVKingEbonics802.html&gt;.

Sullivan, James P. “The Validity of Literary Dialect: Evidence from the Theatrical Portrayal of Hiberno-English.” Language in Society 9.2 (1980): 195-219.

The Language Samples Project. African-American English. 2001. 30 March 2009. <http://www.ic.arizona.edu/~lsp/AAEnglish.html&gt;

Turco, Lewis. The Book of Dialogue. NH: University Press of New England, 2004.

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