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Represented Speech




There are three ways of reproducing actual speech: a) repetition of the exact utterance as it was spoken (direct speech), b) con­version of the exact utterance into the relater's mode of expression (indirect speech), c) representation of the actual utterance by a second person, usually the author, as if it had been spoken, whereas it has not really been spoken but is only represented in the author's words (represented speech).

There is a device which conveys to the reader the unuttered or inner speech of the character, presenting his thoughts and feelings. This device is termed represented speech. The representation of the actual utterance through the author's language is called uttered repre­sented speech, and the representation of the thoughts and feelings of the character -unuttered or inner represented speech.

The term direct speech is used to distinguish the words of the character from the author's words. Direct speech is a quotation. It is in­troduced by a verb like say, utter, declare, reply, exclaim, shout, cry, yell, gasp, babble, chuckle, murmur, sigh, call, beg, implore, comfort, assure, protest, object, command, admit. All these words help to indicate the intonation with which the sentence was actually uttered Direct speech is always marked by inverted commas, as any quotation:

"You want your money back, I suppose," said George with a sneer "Of course I do—I always did, didn't I? - says Dobbin.

Direct speech is used in the publicistic style as a quotation. The introductory words in this case are usually the follow­ing: as... has it, according to....

It is used to depict a character through his speech.

We have indirect speech when the actual words of a character pass through the author's mouth in the course of his narrative and undergo certain changes. The intonation of indirect speech does not differ from the rest of the author's narrative.

"Marshal asked the crowd to disperse and urged responsible diggers to prevent any disturbance which would prolong the tragic force of the rush for which the publication of inaccurate information was chiefly responsible."

There are rules according to which direct speech can be converted into indirect. They indicate what changes must be introduced into the utterance due to change in the situation. Thus the sentence:

"Your mother wants you to go upstairs immediately" corresponds to "Tell him to come upstairs immediately."

When direct speech is converted into indirect, the author not interprets in his own way the manner in which the direct speech was uttered. Indirect speech does not reproduce the actual emotional colouring of the direct speech and may distort it unrecogniza­bly.



In order to convey the actual utterances of characters in emotive prose, a new way to re­present direct speech came into being— represented speech.

Represented speech is form of utterance which conveys the actual words of the speaker through the mouth of the writer but retains the pecu­liarities of the speaker's mode of expression.

Represented speech exists in two varieties: 1) uttered represented speech and 2) unuttered or inner represented speech.

11.4.1. Uttered Represented Speech

Uttered represented speech demands that the tense should be switched from present to past and that the personal pronouns should be changed from 1st and 2nd person to 3rd person as in indirect speech, but the syntactical structure of the utterance does not change.

"Could he bring a reference from where he now Bias? He could,"

"A maid came in now with a blue gown very thick and soft. Could she do anything for Miss Freeland? No, thanks, she could not, only, did she know where Mr. Freeland's room was?”

This manner of inserting uttered represented speech within the au­thor's narrative is not common.

"His heart was, besides, almost broken already; and his spirits were so sunk, that he could say nothing for himself but acknowledge the whole, and, like a criminal in despair, threw himself upon mercy; concluding, 'that though he must own himself guilty of many follies and inadvertencies, he hoped he had done nothing to deserve what would be to him the greatest punishment in the world.'"

Here again the introductory 'concluding' does not bring forth direct speech but is a natural continuation of the author's narrative. The only indication of the change is the inverted commas.





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