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Conversation analysis in the great gatsby movie
 

Conversation analysis in the great gatsby movie

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Conversation Analysis in The Great Gatsby Movie..

Conversation Analysis in The Great Gatsby Movie..

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    Conversation analysis in the great gatsby movie Conversation analysis in the great gatsby movie Document Transcript

    • A. BACKGROUND I choose the topic “Conversation Analysis in The Great GatsbyMovie” because I am interested in analysing the conversation in the movie. Ithink that conversation or spoken language has some uniqueness than writtenlanguage because there are shared situation and two-way interaction in spokenlanguage so I choose to analyze a piece of conversation in the movie “TheGreat Gatsby”. It is based on the novel written by the American author, F.Scott Fitzgerald. First published in 1925, It is set on Long Islands North Shoreand in New York City from spring to autumn of 1922. It has been filmedseven times. I analyze the third movie in 1974 because it is the most famousscreen version. I am curious to analyze the conversation between the maincharacters, Gatsby and Nick Caraway. I want to observe the turn taking,adjacency pairs and sequences in the conversation of The Great Gatsby movie.B. LITERATURE REVIEW Conversational Analysis was developed in the late 1960s and early1970s principally by the sociologist Harvey Sacks and his close associatesEmanuel Schegloff and Gail Jefferson. Conversational analysts attempt todescribe and explain the ways in which conversation work. CA takes “bottom-up” approach, starting with the conversation itself; it lets the data dictate itsown structure. CA looks at conversation as a line or ongoing event, thatunfolds little by little and implies the negotiation of cooperation betweenspeakers along the way, thus viewing conversation as a process. CA takes realdata and then examines the language and demonstrate that conversation issystematically structured. (Cutting, 2002:28) Let us now turns to the patterns of CA linguistics find emerge asinteraction unfolds. Typically, these are unwritten conventions about takingturns, and observable pairs of utterances. In the classic ethnomethodological 1
    • way, discourse analysts have observed how participants organize themselves totake turns at talk. In any piece of natural English discourse, turns will occursmoothly, with only little overlap and interruption, and only very brief silencesbetween turns (on average, less than a second). People take turns when they areselected or nominated by the current speaker, or if no one is selected, they mayspeak of their own accord (self-selection). If neither of these conditionsapplies, the person who is currently speaking may continue (Sacks et al. 1974).(McCarthy, 1991: 127) CA analysts say that there is a relation between acts, and thatconversation contains frequently occuring patterns, in pairs of utterancesknown as „adjacency pairs‟. They say that the utterance of one speaker makes acertain response of the next speaker very likely. The acts are ordered with afirst part and a second part, and categorised as question-answer, offer-accept,blame-deny and so on, with each first part creating an expectation of aparticular second part. This is known as preference structure: each first part hasa preferred and a dispreffered response. (Cutting, 2002: 30) Conversation analysts claim that as speakers are mutually constructingand negotiating their conversation in time, certain sequences, which arestretches of utterances or turns, emerge. These are can be pre-sequences,insertion sequences, and opening and closing sequences. Pre-sequences preparefor the ground for a further sequence and signal the type of utterance to follow.In the case of an insertion sequence, the pairs occur embedded within otheradjacency pairs which act as macro-sequences. Finally, there areconversational opening structures and closing structures. (Cutting, 2002: 31)C. ANALYSIS The text is taken from The Great Gatsby movie. The conversationhappens at Nick‟s house on Long Island. Gatsby wants to get information from 2
    • his neighbour, Nick Caraway after Nick met Jordan Baker. Actually, Gatsbyasked Miss Baker to speak to Nick about his relationship with Nick‟s cousin,Daisy and to ask Nick inviting Daisy to have tea in Nick‟s house so Gatsby canmeet Daisy. Gatsby wants to know about the tea invitation. This is the script ofthe conversation between Gatsby and Nick: Gatsby: Nick! Nick : Your place looks like the Worlds Fair. Gatsby : I was looking in some of my rooms. Nick : I spoke to Miss Baker. Gatsby: Yes? Nick : Ill call Daisy tomorrow and invite her for tea. What day would suit you? Gatsby: What day would suit you? I dont want to put you to any trouble. Nick : Come in out of the rain. Gatsby : No, I have to go back. What do you... Nick : What about the day after tomorrow? Gatsby : Well. I have to get the grass cut. Nick : You mean my grass. Gatsby : Right. Theres that other thing... Nick : What thing? Gatsby : Our business relationship. Nick : Any favours that I do for you dont need any payment. Gatsby : Well, thank you. Goodnight. 3
    • The first comment to make about this conversation is to emphasizethat the speakers are neighbours (Gatsby and Nick). The relation and thesituational context have a significant influence on how the conversation flows.They are friends but they have not been closer to each other because they havemet only twice before. The speakers do not know each other well. It can beseen that Gatsby do not ask directly about what he want to know and Gatsbythinks that what Nick will do may need payment. The purpose of the conversation is primarily transactional becauseGatsby wants to get some information from Nick but they do not talk directlyto the important information. They have lips service before they go to the mostimportant topic. A range of topics are covered, e.g. Gatsby‟s house, the teainvitation, rain, the day of the invitation, the grass and business relationship.The first speaker (Gatsby) speaks 9 times and the second speaker (Nick) speaks8 times. There are 17 utterances and 6 topics in one scene. The topics changevery quickly and in fact one topic is often dealt with in the space of 2utterances. The topics are introduced in 2 ways: statements - the topic of Gatsby‟s house: Your place looks like the World‟s Fair - the tea invitation: I spoke to Miss Baker. - the rain: Come in out of the rain. - the grass: Well, I have to get the grass cut. - the business realionship: There‟s that other thing... question - the topic of the day of the invitation: What day would suit you?Even when the form of the utterance looks like a statement, the loweringintonation at the end of the utterances such as “What do you...” and “There‟sthat other thing...” imply that that the speaker wants to ask or to tell something.Nick introduces more topics. He introduces the topics of Gatsby‟s house, thetea invitation, rain and the day of the invitation. The two men build theconversation together. Nick gives many information by statements and 4
    • questions. Besides, Gatsby also answer Nick‟s question. Gatsby allows Nick tointerrupt him. After the interuption, they come to the new topic of theinteruption. About the turn taking, actually one speaker waits till another speakerhas finished talking before he answer or contribute to the conversation. This isbecause they have not known each other well so they still respect each other.One speaker lets another speaker by the signal of low voice, slowing down andputting a question. However, the turns also contain overlap and interruption.The overlap happens in this utterances:Gatsby: What do you...Nick : What about the day after tomorrow?Gatsby: Well... I have to get the grass cut.Gatsby and Nick speak together at a time but Gatsby then answer Nick‟squestion although there is overlap.Then about the interruption, it happens when:Gatsby : Theres that other thing...Nick : What thing?Nick interupts and take turn from Gatsby but Gatsby allow Nick to interrupthim although he has not been finished speaking. Then, let us analyze of the adjacency pairs:1) Gatsby: Nick! Nick : Your place looks like the Worlds Fair. (compliment) Gatsby : I was looking in some of my rooms. (acknowledgement)Here, Gatsby calls Nick because he wants to speak with Nick. The second andthird utterances are adjacency pair. Nick‟s utterance is compliment of Gatsby‟shouse because the house is very big and beatiful. There are many people whohave party there so the house is very crowded. Then Gatsby acknowledge it bysaying he was looking in some of his rooms.2) Nick : I spoke to Miss Baker. (informing) Gatsby: Yes? (clarifying) 5
    • In this two utterances, the adjacency pairs are informing-clarifying. Nick wantsto inform that he has spoken to Miss Baker then Gatsby says Yes to clarify itbecause he wants more information and he wants to know what happens next.3) Nick : Ill call Daisy tomorrow and invite her for tea. What day would suit you? (question) Gatsby: What day would suit you? I dont want to put you to any trouble. (answer)Here, the adjacency pairs are question and answer. Nick asks about the bestday to have the tea invitation but Gatsby gives the answer with repeat Nick‟squestion to emphasize that he does not want to make Nick difficult to decidethe best day. He will follow Nick‟s decision anytime Nick wants.4) Nick : Come in out of the rain. (offering) Gatsby : No, I have to go back. (refusing)The adjacency pairs here are offering and refusing. Nick offer‟s Gatsby tocome in to his house but Gatsby gives dispreferred response. Gatsby refusesNick‟s offer.5) Nick : What about the day after tomorrow? (offer) Gatsby : Well. (acceptance)Here, the adjacency pairs are question and answer. Nick offers the day aftertomorrow as the best day to the tea invitation. Gatsby accepts Nick‟s offer bysaying “well”.6) Gatsby : I have to get the grass cut. (requesting) Nick : You mean my grass. (clarifying) Gatsby : Right.In the utterances, the adjacency pairs are requesting and clarifying. Gatsby sayslike that as a request to cut Nick‟s grass then Nick clarifies it. Gatsby says“right” as backchanelling to show Nick that his message is understood.7) Nick : What thing? (question) Gatsby : Our business relationship (answer)Here, the adjacency pairs are question and answer. Nick asks what thing thatGatsby wants to tell. Then Gatsby answers about their business relationship. 6
    • 8) Nick : Any favours that I do for you dont need any payment. (clarifying) Gatsby : Well, thank you. (thank) The adjacency pairs are clarifying and thank. Nick clarifies that he does not ask money for any favours that he does for Gatsby then Gatsby says thanks. Analysis of the sequences of the conversation shows that there are pre-sequence, insertion sequence, and opening and closing sequences. The pre- sequence that prepare for the ground for a further sequence and signal the type of utterance to follow is Nick‟s utterance “Your place looks like the Worlds Fair.”. Then, there is insertion sequence that happens in the italic utterances: Nick : .....What day would suit you? Gatsby: What day would suit you? I dont want to put you to any trouble.Nick : Come in out of the rain.Gatsby: No, I have to go back. What do you...Nick : What about the day after tomorrow? They talk about the best day to have the tea invitation, then the insertion sequence happens when Nick asks Gatsby to come in out the rain then they continue to talk about the topic of the the best day of tea invitation. The conversation also has opening sequence. It is opened after Gatsby calls Nick then Nick starts the conversation about Gatsby‟s house. These are the utterances: Gatsby: Nick! Nick: Your place looks like the Worlds Fair. After they finish the conversation, it is closed by Gatsby‟s greeting. Here is the closing sequence. Gatsby says thanks for Nick‟s help then he says good night. Look at Gatsby‟s utterances: Gatsby: Well, thank you. Goodnight. 7
    • D. CONCLUSION Conversation deals mainly with verbal exchanges of human beingsthat share an important part in social settings. Conversation always has somepurposes. It can be interactional purpose (used when people relate to eachother) or transactional purpose (used to pass on real information). We canknow many things by analyzing the key aspects of conversation. Before we dothe analysis, we should know the context of situation and the culture that theconversation happens. Analyzing the key aspects of conversation through turn-taking, adjacency pairs and the sequences is important thing to do. By doingthese analysis, we can explore the interaction and the purpose of conversationin depth and in detail.E. REFERENCESCutting, Joan. 2002. Pragmatics and Discourse: A resource book for students. London: RoutledgeMcCarthy, Michael. 1991. Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 8