The Implementation of the Actantial Model to Analyze the Narrative Structure of O. Henry’s “the Gift of the Magi”
Keywords:Actantial Model, Actants, Subject
The present study aims at analyzing the narrative structure of the famous short story “The Gift of the Magi” by implementing Greimas’s (1966) Actantial Model. “The Gift of the Magi” is written by O. Henry. It is quite enigmatic to find out the real subject of the story as both Della and Jim seem to be the subject and object at the same time. The Actantial model of Greimas is a wonderful framework to solve this puzzle. Therefore, the study tries to identify the real ‘subject’ of the story, analyzing the text of the story by applying Greimas’ model of Actantial. Not only this, but the study also identifies the other actants’ roles such as the object, the helper, the opponent, the sender, and the receiver in the story, their contribution to the narrative structure, the character and non-character actants and their role in the development of the plot. The textual analysis of the narrative, by the implementation of Greimas’ model, shows that Della is the real ‘subject’ of the story, Jim the object and the receiver both, the non-character actant ‘Christmas’ as the sender, Della’s passion of love and sacrifice as the helpers and her poverty as the opponent.
Arvidsson, A. (2006). Vladimir Propp's fairy tale morphology and game studies.
Aston, E. & Savona, G. (1991). Theatre as sign system: A semiotics of text and performance. Routledge
Azar, E., Abbasi, A., & Azad, V. (2014). The study of the narrative function of two stories
from Ilahi-nameh of Attar based on Greimas Pattern and Gerard Genette. Language Related Research, 5(4), 17-43.
Bal, M. (1985). Narratology: Introduction to the theory of narrative. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Bauman, Z. (1991). Modernity and ambivalence. Oxford: Polity Press.
Brown, R. H. (1985). Historical science as linguistic figuration. Theory and Society, 14 (5), 677–703.
Cooper, M. (2000). Being the “go-to-guy”: Fatherhood, masculinity, and the organization of work in Silicon Valley. Qualitative Sociology, 23 (4), 379–405.
Culler, J. (1975). Structuralist poetics: Structuralism, linguistics and the study of literature. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Dzikriya, U. (2019). Analysis of Actantial Model in Suzanne Collinsâ€™" The Hunger Games". Rainbow: Journal of Literature, Linguistics and Culture Studies, 8(2), 85-94
Edwards, D. (1997). Discourse and cognition. London: SAGE.
Greimas, A. J. (1966 ). Structural semantics: An attempt at a method. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
Greimas, A. J. (1987). On meaning: Selected writings in semiotic theory. (P. J. Perron, F. H. Collins, Trans.). London: Frances Pinter.
Greimas, A. J., & Courts, J. (1982). Semiotics and language: An analytical dictionary.
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Hasanah, U. (2014). Gender Meaning as Narrated in Toni Morrison’s Beloved: Greimas’
Actantial Analysis. MA Thesis. Jember University English Department Faculty ofLetters.
Hebert, L. (2006). Tools for Text and Image Analysis: An Introduction to Applied Semiotics.
Henry, O. “The Gift of the Magi.” 1905.
Henry, O. The Four Million. New York: Page & Company.1906.
Herman, D. (2000). Existentialist Roots of Narrative Actants. Studies in 20th & 21st Century
Literature, 24(2), 5. https://doi.org/10.4148/2334-4415.1484
Hébert, L. (2011). Tools for text and image analysis: An introduction to applied semiotics. Translated from the French version by Julie Tabler, version, 3, 2011.
Herman, D. (2000). Pragmatic constraints on narrative processing: Actants and anaphora
resolution in a corpus of North Carolina ghost stories. Journal of Pragmatics, 32(7),
Pabiona, H. Y. (2021). The Actantial Scheme of AJ Greimas In Paula Hawkins" The Girl On The Train": Structuralist Approach (Doctoral dissertation, Prodi Sastra Inggris).
Qasim, Z., & Qasim, A. (2022). Narratology and character functions of Sohni Mahiwal: An actantial analysis. Journal of Humanities, Social and Management Sciences (JHSMS), 3(1), 154-168.
Riyawati, B. (2011). The actantial and function structure analysis of three sohrt stories in the book of Karma and other stories by Rishi Reddi.
Schleifer, R., Davis, R., & Mergler, N. (1992). Culture and cognition: The boundaries of literaryand scientific inquiry. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Wang, Y. (2003). The discursive structures of totalitarian ideology. Dissertation, Iowa State University.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Languages, Culture and Civilization
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.