Jakobson's Passing Analysis

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As we read through Passing, it’s critical to first understand Jakobson’s model of communication between the author and the reader as it plays an important role throughout the novella. Roman Jakobson, a structuralist theorist, came up with a map demonstrating how thoughts, ideas, and content get communicated throughout the reading process. To begin, the adresser, the author, sends a message to the addressee, the reader, which contains referential context ready for the addressee to code and then, creates a contact as connections become created through the text and soon, a relationship is made between the two (Parker 335-336). In this case, we can even view this model as a character or narrator being the adresser as they are the ones conveying…show more content…
Through Irene’s consistent change of indirect and direct discourse, it often leads some readers to have a hard time understanding what is being communicated and come to certain assumptions. From the very start, Clare sends countless letters to Irene in hopes to confide with one another after their unexpected encounter. In the letter, Clare directly discourses “for I am lonely, so lonely...cannot help longing to be with you again...it’s like an ache, a pain that never ceases” (Larsen 7). The loneliness, pain, and ache Clare psychologically feels describes the emotive functions of the text as it goes beyond the conative discourses. Clare wants the reader to feel the same pain she feels and by doing so, she illustrates her emotions detailed enough, that it would persuade any reader to immediately be interested in her desire for help. Before Irene even decides to read the letter, she already senses danger and anxiety as she indirectly discourses the letter to be “sly...bore” (Larsen 1) and “foolish” (Larsen 7). Even though Irene was stubborn and hesitated to open the letter, she still felt curious and soon, read
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