This chapter attempts to summarize the observations and findings of the present study in the light of the aims and objectives stated in the first chapter. Five speech acts in the novels The Heart of Darkness (1897) , Lord Jim (1900), The Nigger of Narcissus (1897) and The Secret Agent (1907) by Joseph Conrad have been thoroughly studied and examined within the framework of Searle’s (1969) typology of speech acts. The speech act analysis of the novels under consideration has been done on the basis of the interpersonal relations of the addressers and addressees. The context in which the characters move is also taken into consideration while analysing and interpreting the highly marked speech acts. Various speech acts were selected from the novels and analysed against the speech act theory as discussed in chapter two. The aim was to make explicit some of the aspects of the speech acts employed in the world of each novel under the study. The relevant terms and concepts in pragmatics have been applied to make the analysis authentic and trustworthy. On the basis of the analysis of selected speech acts/utterances, the researcher has come out with certain observations and findings of the present research as follows:
5.2 Major Findings
1) It has been observed that Joseph Conrad’s novels narrate story form social points of view from the perspective of speech acts of the characters.
2) It is noticed that characters in novels not only narrate their experiences but the psychology of white people.
3) It is also seen that Conrad’s novels represents anything through symbols and images which are helpful for analysis of his novels
4) It is noticed that there are ample of examples of various forces laid down by Searle to analyse the novels.
5) The conversation illustrates the use of interrogative and declarative speech acts respectively, which occurs between Marlow and other characters.
6) It is seen that acts like stating, suggesting, denying, complaining, etc. in all the novels under the study employ the assertive speech acts.
7) To understand the relationship between the structure and the function due to the importance of the ISAs, here an attempt is made to study the gap between what is said and what is meant. The study takes into account the context of the novels, the background knowledge, the author’s intention and the knowledge of the previous Us. Contexts in
ISAs play an important role in the analysis of the linguistic interactions of the characters.
8) It is seen that the study takes into consideration Searle’s five sub-speech acts of illocutionary acts. Searle classified illocutionary acts into five SAs. The selected novels of Conrad are studied by applying these five illocutionary speech acts, namely assertives, commissives, directives, expressives and declaratives. The aim of the analysis of ISAs is to reveal the hidden intentions of the characters as well as the novelist’s intentions.
9) It is seen that expressive speech acts express psychological states such as feelings or attitudes about particular state of affairs. This category includes apologizing, complaining, praising, etc.
10)Speech act theory is one of the useful and effective tools in interpreting the literary discourse especially fictional discourse. The best way to interpret and comprehend a novel is to treat the utterances as speech acts.
11) It is noticed that Searle’s typology of speech acts is immensely helpful
in categorizing the utterances into five major types, according to the illocutionary forces, such as assertives, commissives, expressives, directives and declaratives. The study of speech acts in the novels, with an intention of understanding the characters and their motives, has
proved a convenient approach and has helped to prove the hypothesis. The analysis of the selected utterances in the selected novels reveals the intentionality of the characters as understood by their hearers. It also reveals the authorial intentions.
12)A novelist tends to use language suitable to the characters moving in the socio-cultural milieu. Therefore, studying the utterances using the Speech Act Theory is a unique way of discovering a new meaning and eventually arriving at an authentic interpretation. To understand
language, one must understand the speaker’s intention and the context. Since language is an intentional behaviour, it should be treated like a form of action.
13)It is revealed that the speech act theory is useful for studying the interpersonal relations of the characters. Selected linguistic utterances from the above novels can be interpreted with immediate context and authorial intentions and purpose.
14)It is observed that the contextual information is indispensable for the authentic interpretation of the utterances in the novels. The complete meaning can be drawn when one succeeds in linking the utterance with the context. One cannot arrive at appropriate meaning unless one takes into account the context of the utterance as well as political, religious background into consideration.
15) In the chapter three and four, the novels were analysed within the
framework of the five major speech acts as per Searle’s typology. The analysis of the selected utterances has revealed that every utterance is a goal oriented or purposeful activity. The characters, by performing an intended act, usually perform other acts as well, because each major speech act contains a wide range of sub-acts such as stating, threatening, urging, commenting, reporting, thanking, deploring, denying, predicting and so on.
16)All utterances perform the locutionary, illocutionary and except some examples, they also bring about perlocutionary effect on the listener.
The achievement of perlocutionary effect on the listener is the most important aspect of linguistic communication, because bringing about changes in the state of affairs and creating impact on the listeners is the ultimate goal of using language. For example, act of threatening. In linguistic communication, it is the ultimate goal of the speaker that assumes primacy.
17)The topics of conversation, deictic and referential expressions also play a significant pragmatic role in carrying information concerning the fictional world at large.
18)The socio-cultural context in which the characters of the novel are placed can be best understood through the speech acts. For example, in the novel Lord Jim, the question of Jim’s unheroic height is explained with full of meaning. Through this utterance, the reader can better understand the socio-cultural context of the characters in the novel. We come to know about how the society behaves with a confidentless person in society as well as his state of mind is indicated with the help of it.
19)It has been found that assertive speech acts are the most dominant acts in the Lord Jim. They comprise a large number of sub-acts such as affirming, believing, denying, suggesting, criticizing, concluding, predicting, disagreeing etc. The assertive speech acts state the condition of Lord Jim, son of clergymen and young man of romantic imagination who dreams but fail to intact.
20)It is noticed that Declaratives, on the other hand, though predominantly used in legal and institutional contexts, are the least frequent speech acts. Such utterances are founded in the novel Lord Jim when he visits the court for trail.
21)It is observed that Assertives also depict the dominance of one character over the other. They reflect the superiority and inferiority complex of characters towards each other. For example, in The Heart of Darkness,
Kurtz always dominates African savages. This asserts the colonial power of white over others.
22)It is realized that through the assertive speech acts, we come to know that the Orientals i.e. whites always criticize the black people by addressing their race. For example, Kurtz who is supposed to enlighten the Africans but never mingles with local people and also discriminates them.