عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Today, the study of narrative works in terms of form and structure is considered as an important issue in the field of narrative studies. At the beginning of the twentieth century, contemporary critics and theorists, including Vladimir Propp, Grimas, Todorov, Philip Hamon and others, offered differing views on the concept of narrative personality and its functions. Propp, one of the most important Russian formalists, made a new breakthrough in the functions of narrative characters. Examining fairy tales, he came to the conclusion that these stories have thirty-one functions and seven types of characters, all of which have a special connection with the main theme of the story. Propp believed that there was an inseparable connection between the apparent structure and the theme of each story, and that, in general, every story theme is achieved through the connection between its details and its functional components.
Even today, some narrative scholars believe that, by shifting Propp's functions and eliminating others, Propp's theory can be applied to all stories, including Arabic stories. Using his method in the study of the literature of nations, aspects of the art of storytelling, one realizes that it has been neglected in traditional criticism. In addition, some theorists such as Dundz believe that Propp's analysis should be used to delve into the structure of literary formats such as novels and plays, comics, cinematic storytelling, and the like.
The story "Beirut's Tavahin" by Lebanese author Tawfiq Youssef Awad is one of the political-ideological Arabic novels that deals with issues such as protesting the unrest caused by the Lebanese civil war and racial discrimination in that country. The character element, as one of the main elements of this story, has a colorful role in conveying the themes desired by the author. Considering the theme and the structure of the story of "Tavahin Beirut" in terms of the function of the characters, this paper intends to analyze the story based on Propp’s method in order to shed light on the new features and the dimensions of the characters introduced in this story.
Methodology: The present study uses the descriptive-analytical method to examine the adaptation of Propp's method regarding the performance of the characters in the story of "Beirut Tavahin" by Yousef Awad.
Results and Discussion: After the story "Beirut's Tavahin" is examined based on Propp's approach, the answers are found to two research questions. Regarding the extent and the way the character works from Propp's point of view in the story of Tavahin Beirut, it can be said that although this story is similar to the structure of fairy tales in terms of narrative construction, character function and some formal features, only nineteen character functions can be considered sequentially. These functions include Absence, Prohibition, Deficiency, Violation, Linker moment, Decision making, Departure, Informing, The first giving function, Hero's reaction, Hard work, Trick, Evil, Complicity, Hero's location, Conflict, Pursuit, Liberation, Punishment, and Deformation of the hero.
To interpret how these functions are presented in the story, it can be said that the arrangement of the characters' functions in this story is very different from their arrangement in fairy tales. As in this story, several functions occur in common. For example, the functions of "violation of prohibition, connecting moment, decision-making, departure", "deception, evil, complicity" and "liberation, punishment" are intertwined due to the structural feature of the story. Moreover, the order of most of these functions is not in accordance with Propp's intended functions, and sometimes one function is manifested earlier and sometimes later than the other functions. The ending of the story is also different from fairy tales; the hero marries at the end of the fairy tale as a result of trying to do something difficult. However, the protagonist in the story of Beirut not only remains unmarried but also thinks of realizing his intellectual and political beliefs.
In the analysis of the story, the second research question to answer was on how the seven roles of the character considered by Propp in the story. According to the course of events in the story, only three roles of "hero, villain and helper" match Propp's criteria. These three roles actually contribute to the realization of those nineteen functions.
Conclusion: According to the results obtained from the analysis of the story of Beirut based on Propp's approach, the line of the story development can be summarized as follows: He is disturbed by the hero and his encounter with the villain. Then, at the end of the story, the original balance returns and the protagonist achieves self-consciousness by defeating the evil, finds his destiny and becomes a steady revolutionary. Therefore, in this story as well, according to Propp, the change of situation or event appears as a fundamental element in the narrative.