Exploring the State of Unbalance within the topical and heterotopical spaces at the core of story

Mahshad Jalalpourroodsari*, Sarah Catherine Household Ilkhani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines one of the ways in which narrativity as a complex concept is rooted in almost simple notions which support it at its basic levels. The discussion here would be devoted to the concept of the minimal story (récit minimal) which is defined as being part of the surface narrative syntax of every discourse in general and Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in particular. It will be seen how the play’s content signs are converted via the minimal story and how the supporting pillars of this discourse are grounded in elementary types of narrative programmes which cement the trajectory (Note 1) of meaning at its surface stratum. The basis of this research is the semiotic theory proposed by the French structuralist semiotician Algirdas Julien Greimas as the founder of Paris School of semiotics. It will be seen how the story can arrange itself from its end and how the whole narrative process may possess a temporal and syntactic orientation which forms the bare structure around which the whole story is weaved. This paper attempts to shed some light on the inner fluctuations at the heart of Ibsen’s play accommodating an orientational schema which the semioticians would call the nucleus of all narrative systems. Therefore, in this article, an introduction of the basic concepts will be followed by an analysis of the turbulences affecting the main figures/actants (Note 2) inhabiting the minimal story of Ibsen’s discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Change
  • Correlated contents
  • Heterotopical space
  • Inversed
  • Minimal story
  • Permanence
  • Posited content
  • Temporal
  • Thematic axis
  • Topical


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