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DEIXIS IN THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER PLAY TEXT BY STEPHEN VINCENT BENET

Januari 10, 2010

People as a human being are inseparable from making errors. They can make errors in different ways, for example in making perception. This thesis is based on deixis in the Devil and Daniel Webster play text by Stephen Vincent Benet. In reading literary works, sometimes we get difficulties in comprehending the works or facing misunderstanding in interpreting the messages as like in the dialogue of the play. The theory of deixis is chosen because deixis is used to point thing in order to make clear what a writer means. The researcher chooses the Devil and Daniel Webster play text to be analyzed because the researcher assumed that in the Devil and Daniel Webster play text there are kinds of deixis which can be analyzed. And, this play text is categorized as old text, because there are some words considering difficult to be understood. The researcher chooses the supporting characters because the researcher concludes that supporting characters have an important role in the story. If there are no supporting characters the change will be drastically.
This study uses a descriptive qualitative research design in which the data are taken from the Devil and Daniel Webster play text by Stephen Vincent Benet, because the data collected are the subject’s experiences and perspective.
The findings of this study are the three types of the person deixis, namely the first person deixis, the second person deixis, and the third person deixis are mostly used in The Devil and Daniel Webster play text since the writer of play text wants to show the participants in the speech event. Moreover, the time deixis often appears in The Devil and Daniel Webster play text, because the writer of play text wants to express the time when the event occurs. Meanwhile, the place deixis also often appears in The Devil and Daniel Webster play text, because the writer of play text wants to explain the location at the points of utterance. Then, social deixis and discourse deixis rarely appears in The Devil and Daniel Webster play text.

People as human being created by God have strength and weakness. One of weakness is making errors. People as human being are inseparable from making error. It means that making error cannot be avoided by every person in daily life. People can make errors in different ways. For example, when they are talking, writing or make a perception. In reading, speaking and writing, people use language as tool of communication. Reading is a one of communication form using language. In reading, people could make errors in making perception of certain statement because some factors. This is because every language has certain roles or structure as component.
In reading literary works, sometimes we get difficulties in comprehending the works or facing misunderstanding in interpreting the messages as like in the dialogue of the play. As Cook (1989: 59) states that dialogue is one of the fundamental structuring principles of all discourse written and spoken alike. To analyze the play text, the theory of deixis is chosen because deixis is used to point thing in order to make clear what a writer means.

The researcher chooses the Devil and Daniel Webster play text especially in the supporting characters to be analyzed because the researcher assumed that in the Devil and Daniel Webster play text there are kinds of deixis which can be analyzed. And, this play text is categorized as old text, because there are some words considering difficult to be understood. Besides, the researcher concludes that supporting characters have an important role in the story. These characters may not seem very important, but usually we would notice it if we were (watch a movie) again, and they were not there. Usually the change would be drastically.
Knowing more about literature can be obtained from the authors and their works. There are many good authors and one of them is Stephen Vincent Benet who wrote The Devil and Daniel Webster. Benet was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer. He won the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for “John’s Brown Body”, the epic Civil War poem that recounts John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry, and his novels include The Beginning of Wisdom (1921), Young People’s Pride (1922) and James Shore’s Daughters (1934). Beginning in the 1930 Benet worked occasionally in Hollywood, but he was primarily a poet and short story writer; his last collection of poems, Western Star won him a second Pulitzer in 1944. His short story “The Sobbin Women” was the basis for the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). Over the next decade, Benet’s reputation was built principally on his short stories, most notably The Devil and Daniel Webster, a retelling of the Faust legend in decidedly American terms, encompassing the history and legends surrounding the American Revolution and the post-Andrew Jackson era; the piece was just as popular and successful as John Brown’s Body had been. Benet, however, remains one of the most fascinating literary figures of the early 20th century, and the continued popularity of the movies adapted from his work.
Universities students have done the studies of discourse analysis from different perspectives. There are some researchers who studies on the same field. Hasanah (2004) discussed deixis of headlines published by Kompas during general election 2004. Wahyuningtyas (2004) studies deixis of advertisement published in The Jakarta Post. In addition, Khoirot (2005) investigated deixis on Romeo and Juliet novel by William Shakespeare. Moreover, Hana (2006) studied of deixis used in Garfield comic strips in The Jakarta Post.
Based on these previous studies, we have known that there are many researchers who have investigated on the same field, but they have different objects. However, in this research, the researcher takes a literary work, namely ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster’ play text in order to comprehend of the communication in English. In this study, the researcher will analyze ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster’ play text using five kinds of deixis theory proposed by Levinson.

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