Language Construction in Evelina.

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Language Construction in Evelina

When closely scrutinizing the dedication section to the authors of the monthly and critical reviews, we found that the author of Evelina, Frances Burney, uses a satiric and sarcastic tone in her text. The surface manner is that of flattery yet the underlying manner is that of mockery of the critics. It does not take a critic to discover the two separate modes of writing yet it is in this hybrid construction that the author receives praise and differentiation. "The liberty which I take in addressing to You the trifling production of a few idle hours," (Burney 52). Burney capitalizes You, a way of putting the critics up on a pedestal, yet the reader is bound to question the sincerity of this praise. She then juxtaposes this by putting her own novel down by calling it a trifling production. This heteroglot and hybrid construction carries on to her novel.

In letter IV (from Mr. Villars to Lady Howard), multiple voices can be found. Mr. Villars' description of Miss Evelyn varies from one paragraph to another. First, Mr. Villars says; "this artless young creature, witless young creature, with too much beauty to escape notice, has too much sensibility to be indifferent to it" (Burney 64). Mr. Villars is trying to portray the essence of Miss Evelyn's beauty and elaborates onto saying that she is aware of her own beauty and is a sensible girl. Towards the end of the letter, Mr. Villars writes; "You must not, Madam, expect too much from my pupil. She is quite a little rustic, and knows nothing of the world; and tho' her education has been the best... I shall not be surprised if you should discover in her a thousand deficiencies of which I have never dreamt" (Burney 65).