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Structuralism

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Emily Alvey

on 16 February 2011

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Transcript of Structuralism

Structuralism A literary criticism developed by linguists. A theory of humankind in which all elements of human culture, including literature, are thought to be parts of a system of signs. A structuralist reads to identify and understand fundamental structures in absolutely anything by seeing a text as part of an even larger system. Important Figures Claude Levi-Strauss
"Father of Structuralism" Michel Foucault Jacques Lacan Roman Jakobson Roland Barthes Examples Frankenstein "The Sun Also Rises" and "The Great Gatsby" "The Sun Also Rises" and "The Great Gatsby" share a common structure. Both novels are about a man who comes home damaged from World War I. However "The Great Gatsby" is much more romantically structured than "The Sun Also Rises." In "Frankenstein," structuralists find parallels in the many quests:
Victor seeking the secrets of life
Walton seeking the North Pole (external narrative)
Monster seeking love, parents, companionship "The Flea" by: John Donne In "The Flea," Donne compares the similar structures of a flea sucking a man and woman's blood and sexual intercourse. "The Catcher in the Rye" and "A Separate Peace" "The Catcher in the Rye" and "A Separate Peace's" structures are similar in some ways and different in others. They are both about teenage boys, living in the United States during or right after WWII, attending prep schools. However "A Separate Peace" is structured with a relective, grown up narrator, while "The Catcher in the Rye's" narrator is still a teenager. Semiology: The Science of Signs Key Terms Binary Opposition A pair of terms or concepts that are theoretical opposites. Mythemes A term developed by Claude Levi-Strauss, mythemes are the smallest component parts of a myth. By breaking up myths into into mythemes, those structures may be studied chronologically or relationally. Sign vs. Symbol The interpretation of a sign can exist only in relationship with other signs. For example, the color red signifies "stop," even though there is no natural bond between the words red and stop. Structuralist Narratology A form of structuralism that illustrates how a story's meaning develops from its overall structure rather than from each individual story's isolated theme. THE END
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