Delineating two exclusive views on power of choosing & modal dynamics of double performances

Mahshad Jalalpourroodsari*, Sarah Catherine Household Ilkhani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article endeavors to make use of the theories presented by French semiotician Algirdas Julien Greimas, in order to demonstrate the main structural exchanges inherent within some of the critical choices and acute performances at the heart of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. In this study, the syntagmatic exchange structures and the paradigmatic structures of gift and test which are at work within the narrative line of the play are discussed and exteriorized so that there can be a better apprehension and appreciation for the internal path of signification concerning the relation of the main couple actants (Note 1) in this discourse. It will be seen how the power to choose of the protagonists of exchange or loci of exchange structures might be exercised or overlooked and how one may devalorise and negate an offer of exchange based on the way it is modally interpreted. This study will contemplate on the manner in which one’s voluntary renunciation of rights may metamorphose into a manipulative and deceptive dispossession of that right, when actants get involved in parallel programmes which are complementary and at the same time contradictory to one another. Thus, through adopting such a perspective towards the choices made and the dilemmas faced by the main actants of Ibsen’s discourse, one gets the chance to have a more tangible canvas on which to draw Nora and Torvald’s change of hearts and malfunctioning transactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Appropriation
  • Attribution
  • Dilemma
  • Dispossession
  • Double performance
  • Exchange structure
  • Free choice
  • Overmodality
  • Power of choosing
  • Renunciation
  • Valence
  • Veridictory modality


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