عنوان مقاله [English]
‘We’ narratives possess a unique structure which remarkably differs from narrative structures in stories told through the first-person singular or the third-person points of view. From this perspective, one may consider the plural narrator as the technical sum total of the aforementioned points of view. In line with this claim, this paper aims to discuss the different aspects of the ‘we’ pronoun as the narrator in creating diverse narrative potentials. To reach such a goal, we handpicked and reviewed a number of contemporary Persian stories narrated by ‘we’ pronoun. The analysis of the narrative pattern of these stories proves that the expansion of the plot is affected by the relation between the ‘pronoun’ and the referencing process, ‘singularity’ and the narrative mood concept, and ‘plurality’ and the addition as well cohesion in characterization. Each of these possibilities strengthens narrative organicism and forms and advances the structure of the story. In addition, apart from justifying the selection of ‘we’ pronoun by the narrator, the article offers a conventional categorisation of the stories narrated in such a structure.
Logically, the pronoun ‘we’ is defined as the first-person plural pronoun. This pronoun, when applied by the narrator, provides a point of view known as the ‘we’ narrator/ ‘we’ narrative which because of the nature of the pronoun can trigger doubt, suspense, or ambiguity. The implicit nature of this pronoun might problematise narrator identification so that the reader might need to read the story more carefully than usual to follow the plotline and the referencing process. Furthermore, the plurality of the pronoun increases the risk of misunderstanding. In addition to occasional uses in classical Persian literature, this point of view has been used in a number of contemporary Persian stories which can be studied from different aspects among which is the study of the first-person plural pronoun as the main point of view in the stories.
In linguistics, deictic words are studied separately under semantics or pragmatics. However, since a separate explanation of the semantic or pragmatic aspects might not be possible or preferred, an eclectic combination is adopted here to study the applications of ‘we’ pronoun in narration.
Considering the fact that the article can progress in accordance with the logical definition of ‘we’, this article studies the three notions of the first-person singular, pronoun, and the first-person plural. Also, through an inductive method and in line with the common linguistic terminologies, the article studies the effects of these three domains on the narration process and provides examples of contemporary Persian stories.
4.Discussion and Analysis
The stories which employ the ‘we’ pronoun for narration possess a wide range of narrative tools for expanding the plotline. These tools can be analysed from different perspectives:
Pronoun: The referential capabilities of this word provide different depths to the story. Firstly, ‘we’ is considered a pre-referent pronoun which, in the standard usage, necessitates the presence the referent. If the process works, the explanation of the pronoun will be inductive. On the other hand, the text will be ambiguous if the pronoun is mentioned without the referent and the referent is explained in the texture of the story in accordance with the author’s preferences. In addition, a pronoun can refer to more than one referent and this makes it a perfect tool for the author to create ambiguities. Another aspect is the domain of the ‘we’ narrator which can be inside the story so the narrator and the reader can make a unified ‘we’.
First-person: The pronoun’s referentiality can be decoded through showing or telling. We can classify ‘we’ narrators into internal and external categories. The story introduces the active ‘we’ narrator by showing, but when ‘we’ narrator is outside of the story, the identification domain is limited to the point of view of narration because ‘we’ becomes a spectator and the unveiling process is bound to the understanding of where ‘we’ stands. At this point, the narrator can unveil himself or leave the reader in doubt and uncertainty. In the stories in which ‘we’ narrator is subjective, there would be a surplus of confusion and ambiguity.
First-person plural: Although ‘we’ narrator stories can have multiple narrators, they maintain their unity under ‘we’ pronoun. This happens when the author aims to write a story which is complicated and subjective in nature. The plurality of narration covers the limitations caused by time, space, and the characters’ consciousness.
In conclusion, one can assume that the narrative capabilities of ‘we’ narrator reside in the innate characteristics of the first-person pronoun which make it possible to create vastly different stories. This point of view can expand narrative substructure, enhance the rhetorical qualities of the text, and create an ambiguous and paradoxical context. But the most comprehensive and important function of ‘we’ is that it offers the potential of the first-person singular and omniscient narrator in unison and this makes it the perfect tool in innovative modes of storytelling.
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