Analysis of Argumentation in Nam Cao's story Chi Pheo based on Pragmatics Perspective

  • Nguyen Van Thao, Herman


The study of argumentation in a literary work of art is associated exclusively with a formal-logical (deductivist) perspective, according to which a good argument is the one which is deductively valid. The domain that aims at developing these knowledge and skills is termed as pragmatic logic (Ajdukiewicz, 2003). The applicability of pragmatic logic is quite controversial in analyzing and evaluating day to day arguments, particularly if these are applied in a realistic piece of writing, a short story, play or a novel. However, a pragmatic approach to reasoning and argumentation is the core concern of deductivism. It aims at the subject-matter, goals and methods of pragmatic logic. There are two arguments in this paper: first, there are a few crucial assumptions of pragmatic logic that harmonize with those accepted in argumentation theory; second, pragmatic logic is a legitimate tool in the study of argumentation. Nam Cao’s Chi Pheo is a story about farmers’ plight and brutal oppression of the feudal colonial society in the period before August Revolution. This study has collected instances of argumentation with pragmatic perspectives in the short story Chi Pheo with a view to analyze deductivism in its plot, characterization, motifs and such other attributes. The goal of this paper is to explain informally and give a taste of the scope that a novel or a short story might cover in order to adopt a Pragmatic approach to prove or disprove an argument