Bolesław Prus created the character of dr. Szuman as representing intelligentsia, a doctor and a scientist. This article recreates these roles linguistically via an analysis of the selected fragments of the novel such as the protagonist’s statements and the narrator’s comments as well as other characters’ utterances and “inside stories” taken from Ignacy Rzecki’s memoir.
For the presentation of his characters the author used, first and foremost, concrete nouns, and only rarely abstract nouns as well as verbs as the entire novel is written in the journalistic style. Epithets are used only occasionally, mainly with regard to the creation of the protagonist’s appearance. The doctor’s eccentric demenanour is emphasized by the verbs and adverbial participles used to depict nonverbal expressions which Bolesław Prus utilizes in his book. The narrator’s and Rzecki’s statements provide us with the source material concerning the verbs and word combinations related to the doctor’s activities. The creation of the characters of the doctor and the scientist also comprises their: lexicon-related idiolect characteristics such as professionalisms, or scientifi c abstract lexicon; syntactical/inflection-related phenomena such the dominance of hypotaxis over parataxis, rhetorical questions, or simple compound sentences and; semantic/stylistic phenomena such as comparisons, metaphors, and irony. The linguistic-stylistic devices used by Bolesław Prus served to make the creation of dr. Szuman as a representative of intelligentsia, a doctor and a scientist more real and probable.