Multidisciplinary Approach to the Texts: Semiotic Analysis of the Process of Meaning Construction in O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi
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Semiotics covers a broad range of subjects since it has an enchanting multidisciplinary frame from language and culture to philosophy and science. Whatever the subject area is, the primary purpose of semiotics is the signification of all types of signs produced by societies. Language and literature which reflect the cultural richness of societies are the critical outcomes of that production process. Those disciplines are firmly relevant to the field of semiotics since they are formed with linguistic and non-linguistic signs. Regarding the analysis of the products, it is considered to gather various methods and combine them rationally to examine the texts with a multifaceted approach. Accordingly, it is determined to analyze the production process of the semantic universe of O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi in this study. The research has been carried out by taking advantage of the data from narratology and semiotics. Primarily, the text has been evaluated within the scope of narratology; first, it has been attempted to account for the narrative considering the theory of enunciation and then to put forward the basic structure of the text according to Larivaille’s five-staged narrative profile. Subsequently, in the analysis of the text, it has been made use of literary semiotics; at this point, the constituent elements of the narrative in different semantic stratums have been scrutinized as part of Paris School’s semiotics trajectory. In this regard, we had the opportunity to observe the formative elements of the text at the surface and deep levels of meaning and to explain how these elements are articulated with each other to create the fiction of the narrative as a meaningful whole. Greimas’s four-staged narrative programme, actantial schema, and semiotic square have been practiced in the analysis of the formative elements taking place at various meaning levels of the text. As a result, it has been attempted to find answers to the questions of how O. Henry created the semantic universe of the text, and of what the role of culture was in the creation of meaning in this universe.