Indirect discourse

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Indirect discourse, as opposed to direct discourse, presents a character's speech or thoughts in the third person.

Contents

Definition

Indirect discourse typically involves some sort of qualifying information about a characters speech or thoughts as opposed to merely the reproduction of them, which is the job of direct discourse. Indirect discourse can also include narrator's commentary, or a more complete attempt to capture and/or interpret the mood or manner of the character's speech instead of the speech only. Third person pronouns are a strong indicator of indirect discourse.

Examples

"Baby Suggs kissed her on the mouth and refused to let her see the children. They were asleep she said and Sethe was too ugly-looking to wake them in the night. She took the newborn and handed it to a young woman in a bonnet."

-Toni Morrison, Beloved

Critical Debates

{is the term contested, challenged, defined differently, etc.?}

Related Terms

discourse, direct discourse, free indirect discourse

References

Prince, Gerald. Dictionary of Narratology

Keen, Susan. Narrative Form.

Herman, David and Manfred Jahn, Marie-Laure Ryan. Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory.

Martin, Wallace. Recent Theories of Narrative.

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