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Subject: ways of expressing the sentence

came into the lounge presently and caught sight of me.’ [26, 357] where ‘Burton’ in relation with the predicate ‘came’ represents the affected Subjects and in combination with the predicate ‘caught’ – the agentive Subject.

‘A sort of sigh passed through those men crowded together..’ [27, 231] where ‘ a sort’ represents the instrumental Subject.

‘She stared into his blue eyes as if they were open windows.’ [25, 527] where ‘she’ carries the agentive function of the Subject.

‘The tears streamed from Anne’s eyes, she rushed to the door and ran out.’ [25, 533] where ‘tears’ and ‘she’ represent in both cases the agentive Subject.

‘We shook hands.’ [26, 359] where ‘we’ represents the affected Subject.

‘He gave a little mild chuckle and he looked at me with those kind and candid blue eyes of his.’ [26, 360] where ‘he’ represents the agentive Subject in both cases.

Thus, the cases of the agentive and affected Subjects, classified from the functional point of view, and the simple Subjects, classified from the structural point of view, constitute substantially 99% of the Subject, distinguished in fiction of W.S. Maugham.

2.2 Ways of Expressing Subject in American Fiction

Works of American fiction, examined in the given project are ‘The Book of Grotesque’ by Sherwood Anderson, ‘The Magic Barrel’ by Bernard Malamud, ‘The Gift of the Magi’ and ‘The Last Leaf’ by O. Henry.

Investigating American literature, we should mention that the same Subject features, distinguished in the works of the British fiction, are kept here as well. Still some peculiarities of the Subject are evidenced in comparison with British fiction.

Proceeding from the classification of the Subject from functional and structural points of view, we can identify that surely, the simple (Classification 1) and agentive (Classification 2) are essentially distinguished.

‘A carpenter fixed the bed so that it would be on a level with the window.’ [21, 8] where ‘carpenter’ carries the agentive function and meanwhile has a simple structure.

‘Man made the truths himself and each truth was a composite of a great many vague thoughts.’ [23, 12] where ‘man’ represents the simple and agentive Subject whereas ‘truth’ performs the affected function in a simple structure.

‘The matchmaker appeared one night out of the dark fourth-floor hallway of the gray stone rooming house…’ [24, 380] where ‘the matchmaker’ represents a simple Subject carrying the agentive function.

‘Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag.’ [23,12] where ‘Della’ is a simple Subject with an agentive function.

‘The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them.’ [23,18] where ‘the magi’ is again a simple Subject with an agentive function.

Still, another types of the Subject are also distinguished.

‘Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail.’ [23,17] where the simple Subject ‘Jim’ carries the affected function.

‘John’s eyes were open wide.’ [22, 100] where the simple Subject ‘John’s eyes’ carry the affected function.

‘The thing to get at is what the writer or the young thing within the writer, was thinking about.’ [21, 10] where the construction in the role of the Subject ‘the thing to get at’ is complex in its structure.

‘Her face deeply moved him.’ [24, 404] where the simple Subject ‘her face’ performs the instrumental function.

‘An odor of frying fish made Leo weak to the knees.’ [24, 408] where the simple Subject ‘odor’ displays again the instrumental function.

‘The idea alternately nauseated and exalted him.’ [24, 412] where the simple Subject ‘the idea’ performs the instrumental function.

‘But, surprisingly, Salzman’s face lit in a smile.’ [24, 390] where the simple Subject ‘Salzman’s face’ carries the affected function.

‘Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass.’ [23, 12] where the simple Subject ‘she’ displays the affected function.

The only peculiarity of American fiction in comparison with the British one in the Subject investigation is that the instrumental function of the Subject appears on the pages of the examined stories.

The ways of expressing the Subject also maintain similar features of being presented by a noun or pronoun (esp. personal) in nominal case in the examined stories of American fiction.

‘She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard.’ [23, 12] where she is personal pronoun in the Subject role.

‘After the doctor had gone Sue went into the workroom and cried a Japanese napkin to a pulp.’ [22, 100] where ‘the doctor’ and ‘Sue’ represent Subjects expressed by a common and a denominative nouns in nominal case.

‘The old man listed hundreds of the truths in his book.’ [21, 12] where ‘the man’ is the Subject expressed by a common noun in nominal case.

‘By remembering it I have been able to understand many people and things that I was never able to understand before.’ [21, 12] where the Subject is expressed by the personal pronoun ‘I’.

Still, some cases where the subject is expressed by numerals, interrogative and demonstrative pronouns are also noticed.

‘Who can love from a picture?’ mocked the marriage broker.’ [24, 414] where the Subject ‘who’ is expressed by the interrogative pronoun.

‘This is my baby, my Stella, she should burn in hell.’ [24, 412] where the Subject ‘this’ is expressed by a demonstrative pronoun.

‘Hundreds and hundreds were the truths and they were all beautiful.’ [21,12] where the Subject is expressed by cardinal numerals.

The Subject is undoubtedly maintained in American fiction as well.

The notional ‘it’ is noticed much oftener in comparison with the formal ‘it’ as it is witnessed in British fiction as well.

‘Well, it is the weakness, then,’ said the doctor. [22, 100] where the subject ‘it’ is notional and denotes a thing expressed by a predicative noun.

‘It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her.’ [23, 12] where the Subject ‘it’ is notional and denotes a definite object mentioned before.

‘No, it wasn’t a youth, it was a woman, young, and wearing a coat of mail like a knight.’ [21, 10] where the Subject ‘it’ is again notional and denotes a thing expressed by predicative noun.

The introductory features of ‘there’ are kept on the pages of the American fiction as well.

‘There are only five left now’ [22, 102]

‘There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room.’ [23, 12]

Thus, the Subject features in American fiction are predominantly similar to the ones kept in British literature; the only noticed peculiarity is the instrumental function of the Subject.


On the basis of the theoretical and practical investigation of the Subject within the framework of distinguishing its features in American and British fiction conforming to the examined theory, we have reached the following results of the research work:

The Subject justifies its definition of being ‘the main part of a two-member sentence which is grammatically independent of the other parts of the sentence and on which the predicate is grammatically dependent’ in combination with all the other characteristics mentioned by different grammarians of any languages practically throughout the investigated fiction.

Classifications of the Subject presented in two variants reflect that from structural point of view, simple and complex types of the Subject are predominantly used. From functional point of view, the agentive and affected role of the Subject is generally maintained. Vivid examples proving the present conclusion are presented in Chapter Two.

Ways of expressing the Subject vary mainly surely between the nouns in nominal case (these examples constitute the majority part of expressing the Subject), personal pronouns (that also present a vast percentage of the examples where they are in the role of the Subject), demonstrative, interrogative, indefinite pronouns are of less often frequency.

Numerals are also used in the role of the Subject, these cases are mainly characteristic of the colloquial dialogues.

Infinitive and gerundial constructions possess a rather high index of frequency usage identified in the investigated fiction.

Concerning ‘it’ Subject, the results of the investigations prove to state that generally the notional type of ‘it’ is practiced in the role of the Subject. Formal type of ‘it’ Subject is used much more moderate.

Regarding the other parts of speech that also can be used in the role of the Subject, that is substantivized adjective or participle, any part of speech used as a quotation, a group of words which is one part of the sentence, i.e. a syntactically indivisible group are less preferred both by the American and British writers within the given project.

In reference to the feature differences in the usage of the Subject in American and British fiction, we can surely state that both cultures prefer to use common features of the Subject. The only characteristic of the American fiction touches the fact that instrumental function of the Subject is used a little oftener whereas British writers keep 100%-preference to the Subject expressed by nouns and personal pronouns.

The implemented investigation will be elaborated in the subsequent thesis of the next year based on the fiction of the John Galsworthy (‘The Forsyte Saga’) where detailed internal research analysis will be executed.


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