From within the closet: Intentional fallacy and affective fallacy in Frances Burney's "The Witlings"

Date
1997-12-30
Authors
Threatt, Sophiabeverley I.
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Abstract

This thesis utilizes W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley's intentional fallacy and affective fallacy to explicate the interpretations of Frances Burney's first play The Witlings. Chapter 1 chronicles Burney's works, introduces her associates and familial background, and places their interpretations of her authorial intention under a critical study.

Chapter 2 discusses how the principles of intentional fallacy are portrayed via the interpretations offered by Burney's "daddies." This chapter focuses on letters exchanged among family members that disclose how their interpretation of her comedy combines the author's biography and social status in order to persuade her to suppress the piece.

Chapter 3 utilizes affective fallacy to analyze the effects of the play that are expressed through the responses of her family members and friends. This study concludes that the interpretation of a text becomes a sign which in the unending process of semiosis can receive a further reading, interpretation, or re-evaluation.

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Keywords
W. K. Wimsatt, Language, literature, and linguistics, Monroe Beardsley, Frances Burney, British and Irish literature, Rhetoric
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