Forms of address as a mean of expressing social conflict in the Mikhail Bulgakov’s “Heart of a Dog”

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In the speech of characters artistic work, reflecting significant extra-linguistic events reflected historical time and space. Difficult period in post-revolutionary Russia is marked not only by economic problems but also language, one of which is associated with the development of a new system of appeals. The ability of a person to use cases in the implementation of the communications is evidence of its formation as a full-fledged member of society. In “Heart of a Dog” M. Bulgakov, which tells of the formation of a new man, discursive justifiability of various addressing forms are obvious: on one hand, they are an indicator of social stratification, and on the another - to show the socio-ideological confrontation of the Transfiguration and Shvonder. The article discusses the address in the speech of the main characters of the novel, noted the high relevance of pragmatic and discursive weight, which accentuates shown by the author social conflict between the new government and its environment - such as Sharikov and other “proudly” using a form of comrade in its new senses (‘equal’, ‘associate’), and the adherents of the old values - culture, respect to each other, correct and smooth treatment of people and appeals to them. Special attention is paid to the use of forms of dealing with words comrade, citizen, sir, mister , and the reaction of recipients to these forms of address, evidence of mutual rejection of rules of etiquette that are characteristic of the representatives of the proletariat and the intelligentsia. In conditions of ideological and political confrontation, appeals are able not only to characterize the level of cultural and intellectual development regulating the choice of forms of appeals, taking into account different criteria, but also to indicate the place occupied by the speaker in the socio-political orientation system, to express an attitude toward the ideological opponent, they become one of the instruments of influence.

About the authors

Zhang Di

Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
7-9, Universitetskaya emb., Saint-Petersburg, Russian, 199034

PhD student in Saint Petersburg State University; Interests: linguoculture, paremiology, semantics


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