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  1. Chapter 3 Analysis of a Sample B. A. Thesis 山东滨州学院外语系

  2. Chapter 3 Analysis of a Sample B. A. Thesis • The sample thesis: • Title: The Stream-of-Consciousness Technique in WangMeng’s The Butterfly • Subtitle:—as seen through a comparison with Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse

  3. Outline • Thesis sentence: • By using the stream-of-consciousness technique, Wang Meng is enriching the Chinese way of novel writing rather than flouting it. • I. There has been a heated debate on Wang Meng’s literary techniques, the point at issue being whether the author is flouting or enriching the Chinese way of novel writing by using the

  4. stream-of-consciousness technique. • II. The stream-of-consciousness technique is a literary technique widely used in twentieth century fiction. • A. The stream-of-consciousness technique attempts to represent the thoughts of a character as they flow through his or her

  5. mind without regard to logical argument or narrative sequence. • B. Thoretical influences upon this technique mainly come from three men: William James, Sigmund Freud, and Henri Bergson. • C. The stream-of-consciousness technique came into being through a gradual process.

  6. III. As writers using the stream-of-consciousness technique, Wang Meng and Virginia Woolf share certain characteristics of form while differ in their ways of looking at the inner reality and developing a plot. • A. Similarities between Wang Meng and Virginia Woolf can be seen in three respects:

  7. subject matter, disappearance of the author, and treatment of time. • B. Differences between the two authors are obvious. • 1. While Virginia Woolf holds that the inner reality is more important, Wang Meng places more stress on the outer world.

  8. 2.Wang Meng tells a detailed and coherent story in The Butterfly, whereas Virginia Woolf provides no plot in To the Lighthouse. • IV. Wang Meng is NOT flouting the Chinese way of novel writing; on the contrary, he is enriching it by borrowing the western stream-of-consciousness technique while putting stress ont the outer world and developing a complete plot.

  9. Analysis of the Sample Thesis 1.The Topic The topic of the paper is relevant, well-chosen, and appropriately restricted. A research paper studying the influence of a western literary technique upon a major contemporary Chinese writer would work adequately for a thesis as required of a Chinese college graduate in English.

  10. The significance of the paper is further enhanced by the particular writer chosen for the study, since Wang MENG IS IN FACT THE PIONEER IN CONTEMPORARY Chinese literary history who made the first attempt in this direction and htus evoked a nation-wide discussion concerning the guiding principles for the development of contemporary Chinese literature.

  11. As the title of the paper clearly indicates its major concern, the subtitle helps to define the method and scope of the study, restrictiing the paper to a manageable scale. 2. The Thesis Statement • The thesis statement of the paper reveals the

  12. author’s “position” in the debate of Wang Meng’s employment of the stream-of-consciousness technique. It expresses the central idea which controls the direction of the entire discussion. • It is to be noticed, however, that the thesis statement presented in the outline is not explicitly • stated in the introduction of the paper.

  13. 3. The Introduction • The page begins with a brief introduction to Wang Meng as a major contemporary Chinese writer and the controversy around his recent daring literary attempt. These introductory remarks lead the reader transitional paragraphs. However, they do not seem to satisfy the

  14. expectation of an experienced reader of research papers in two respects. • First, although the transitional summary is effective in extracting major points from the detailed comparison, the second paragraph does not work so well in preparing the reader for the conclusion as the first paragraph does.

  15. Having summed up the similarities between Wang Meng and Woolf in their use of the technique, the first paragraph ends appropriately with a generalization regarding the advantages it has given to Wang Meng’s writng. But the second paragraph simply stays at the differences, with no attempt to make a point out of them.

  16. Thus, the reader is left with a question concerning Wang Meng’s emphasis on the outer world and a complete plot in relation to his contribution to the Chinese way of novel writing.

  17. Second, the author of the thesis does not seem to realize that though the conclusion of a research paper may begin by re-stating the central idea, it is generally expected to go beyond that, bringing the reader to a broader perspective. He assumes the central idea to be the conclusion perhaps on the belief that it is not really a “re-statement.”

  18. Obviously, he is led to this misunderstanding by his suspense treatment of the central idea in the introduction. The weakness of the conclusion can be seen in the author’s reliance on the use of capital letters for a concluding effect.

  19. The following revision attempts at the correction of these two fallacies: • Having compared Wang Meng’s The Butterfly with Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, we are able to see that Wang Meng does borrow tecniques from certain western writers. His subject matter is, in many ways,

  20. similar to that of Virginia Woolf. Also, like Virginia Woolf, he uses interior monologues and soliloquies with the conception of the interior time. And with this subject matter, the devices of interior monologue and soliloquy, and the notion of duration, he is able to portray the mental wounds of duration, he is able to portray

  21. the mental wounds of the people cause by the “cultural revolution” with great truthfulness, minuteness, and vividness. • But Wang Meng does not confine himself to the western stream-of-consciousness technique. The inner reality is the most important thing in Virginia Woolf’s work, whereas Wang Meng

  22. places more stress on the outer world; in Virginia Woolf’ work there is no plot to speak of, whereas in Wang Meng’s work the story is clearly told. These differences cannot be disregarded in viewing the controversy about Wang Meng’s current literary experiments, because a literary work with an emphasis solely on the inner world and without a recognizable

  23. Plot would go too far from the Chinese literary tradition, and consequently, be rejected by the Chinese reading public. • With The Butterfly and other experimental works, Wang Meng is indeed contributing to the Chinese way of novel writing in the sense of successfully adapting a western literary technique

  24. to the service of reflecting a Chinese literary eontext. But on a deeper level, his successful experiments have a much greater significance. With the downfall of the “gang of four,” China is redoubling her efforts in making up for the losses caused by the “cultural revolution.” But • Because of its ideological touchiness, literature

  25. still remains, to a great extent, a taboo for the modernization drive. This will inevitably hinder China’s cultural development. In fact, Wang Meng’s pioneering attempt voices the long-suffocated desire of Chinese writers to develop the Chinese literary tradition, and marks the beginning of a new era in contemporary Chinese literature.

  26. Thank you ! 山东滨州学院外语系