英美作家墓志铭中的价值观分析_英语论文.docx
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Values in Epitaphs of British and American Writers

Abstract

Epitaph is often the most accurate overview and evaluation of the dead. In various historical and cultural contexts, the epitaph expresses people’s cognition to themselves, to the society and even to the world, and reflects the life concept, ideological culture, mode of thinking and even values of nations. Taking the epitaphs of six famous writers from Britain and the United States as corpus, this paper analyzes British and American values reflected in those epitaphs, and further explores the similarities and differences between British and American values.

This paper consists of four parts. The first part introduces the concept and development of English epitaphs, and relationship between values and epitaphs. The second part analyzes the epitaphs of three famous English writers: Shakespeare, Bernard Shaw and Charles Dickens, to show the national values of British, such as politeness, self-discipline, modest, a sense of humor, individualism, tolerance and honesty. The third part analyzes the epitaphs of three American famous writers: Hemingway, Mark Twain and Helen Keller to show American national values, such as individualism, self-reliance, equality of opportunity, competition and material wealth. The fourth part explores the similarities and differences between British and American values reflected in epitaphs. Finally the paper comes to the conclusion that epitaphs really reflect various national values and owing to the different history and culture there are indeed some similarities and differences between British and American values.

The author hopes this research may help readers to be familiar with English epitaphs and western values reflected in epitaphs so as to facilitate their cross cultural communication.

Key words: English epitaphs; American writers; British writers; values

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