Tag Archives: Plot

An Aristotelian Narratological Reading of Rumi’s Masnavi-Ma’navi (Published)

Narratology is one of the theories that study the narrative and narrative structure to reveal some deeper and hidden aspects of ancient and contemporary texts. Research into the narratological study of ancient Persian stories, particularly tales of Rumi’s Masnavi-Ma’navi, is limited primarily to theories of Twentieth Century narratologists such as Genette, Kenan, and Chatman with regard to different dimensions such as temporality of narrative, excluding Aristotle’s theories on plot. While plot constitutes one of the important narratological terms in literary criticism, it is necessary to study its role in Rumi’s tales. There are just two studies, by Tavakoli and Bamashki, who had drawn upon Aristotle’s ideas about an effective plot in Masnavi Ma’navi. Nevertheless, their studies cease to realize that the Aristotelian concepts of peripeteia and anagnorisis are properly applicable to Rumi’s classical narrative poetry. Hence, this study presents a narratological study of the interior plot of the selected stories from Masnavi-Ma’navi, namely “The merchant and the parrot,” “The snake and the snake-catcher,” and “Students and their teacher,” in the light of the two Aristotelian concepts.

Keywords: Anagnorisis., Aristotle’s Poetics, Masnavi-Ma’navi, Narratology, Peripeteia, Plot, Rumi


This paper foregrounds the notion of dynamic protagonist in Festus Iyayi’s two novels. Idemudia and Iyere are seen as protagonists of dynamism whose volte-face as the plots unfold is orchestrated by their new experience, knowledge and maturity. Idemudia who starts off as an idealist with rose tinted spectacles fashioned from the mill of inexperience later becomes a life-beaten but introspective realist who has come to appreciate that life’s sacrifices come in different forms. Similarly, Osime Iyere who initially sees humanity in the federal troops and undiluted savagery on the Biafran side during the civil war later comes to see the two sides in the war as nothing but murderers and rapists of defenceless civilians. His contention, therefore, is that the war is actually a huge conspiracy of the blood-sucking bourgeoisie on both sides against the masses in general who can only be saved by a neutral third army with membership from both sides. In conclusion, the paper states that by artistically placing the two protagonists in the two novels where their experiences invest them with the correct education toward combating the oppressive alienating disorder in the society Iyayi’s thesis is clear: the masses must be correctly educated about the nature of the society in order to wage a meaningful war against its crushing lopsidedness.

Keywords: Bourgeoisie, Dynamism, Masses, Plot, Protagonists, Society

From Silence to Story: How Discursive Functions of Silence Affect Our Reading of a Story (In Persian Literature) (Review Completed - Accepted)

This paper examines different types of ‘silence’ as meaningful absence that leaves a trace behind. This trace is meaningful due to the absence of some lines within a text. As a marker of silence, the trace is introduced in various forms. The study of meaningful silence in literature as discourse shows that this marked silence is present in any text with the aid of discursive indicators. Any text communicates meaning through combinations of words and lack thereof, i.e., silence. Silence, in fact, has an interactive role and it is also employed as a discursive technique in literature to produce a narrative and plot.

This study explores the functions of written silence in fictional world. The main questions are: what are the different types of written silence, and what discursive functions do they serve in literary narratives? We regard written silence as a marker of the intentionally disregarded signifiers. The systematic use of silence is always directed towards leaving specific effects, while also impacting the author’s style of writing. The paper delineates and analyzes this kind of silence in five Iranian short stories in terms of three types. Consequently, these types will be discussed on three axes to study the structure of narrative and the creation of the elements of a story such as complication, denouement, suspense, atmosphere and setting by means of silence. Each types of silence have its specific function in fiction.


Keywords: Interactive, Narrative, Paradigmatic, Plot, Silence, Syntagmatic