The Dual Narrative in Daniel Defoe’s Roxana: Sign and Representation


  • Dr. Ikram Arfi Dep. of HumanitiesCarthage University Tunisia


Sign/representation, ethic/aesthetic, genesis/etho


Defoe’s Roxana corresponds to the spatial-temporal reality of the beginning of the eighteenth century. Nevertheless, Defoe’s novels have a more complex vision towards the wor(l)d than it appears at first sight. Daniel Chandler contends that through studying semiotics we learn that: “we live in a world of signs and we have no way of understanding anything except through signs and the codes into which they are organized.”

[1] The aim of this paper is to map different strategies through which the narrator on behalf of the author appropriates a myriad of signs articulated by a female protagonist. The exploration of the ethic and the aesthetic patterns in Roxana accounts for a postmodern reading of the sign. This dual narrative of the sign is scrutinized through its representation of a real life-experience in a world of fiction. It suggests an elusive and an ambiguous relationship between the sign and its representation, between the sign genesis and its ethos. Though the sign seem to be predetermined by the cultural norms, it is re-appropriated to deconstruct its constructed referent. This crystallization of the rapport between the sign and its representation probes on how their conception and reception are intertwined


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How to Cite

Arfi, D. I. (2017). The Dual Narrative in Daniel Defoe’s Roxana: Sign and Representation. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 4(3), 18. Retrieved from