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DECONSTRUCTION

WHAT IS
DECONSTRUCTION?

• Jacques Derrida
• Explained as a strategy “Rules for
reading, interpretation and writing.”
HISTORY OF
DECONSTRUCTION
• Rene Descartes (1596-1650) and
Fredrick Nietzsche (1844-1900) were
pioneers in deconstruction.
• They began to question the objective
truth of language.
• This is also known as Poststructuralist,
this criticism came after structuralism.
STRUCTURALISM
• This is the prelude to Deconstruction.
• It is a science that seeks to
understand how a system works, In
this case, Language.
• The structure of language comes from
the human mind.
FERDINAND DE SAUSSURE
• Looked at
language
Diachronically.
• He traced words
over time looking
for the changes in
sounds and
meanings.
RULES OF LANGUAGE
• These rules of language were developed by
Ferdinand de Saussure.
• Langue - Language is made of a set of rules, known
as this.
• Parole - General rules of language applied by
members of a specific community.
• Signs – He depicted language as a set of signs, that
came in two parts the Signifier and the Signified
SIGNIFIED AND SIGNIFIER IN
DECONSTRUCTION

• Signifier – The written and sound


construction that makes up a word
• Signified – The meaning of the word.
• Deconstruction looks at the ambiguities
in signifiers, and states that there can
be many different signified meanings
for a single signifier
BINARY OPPOSITIONS
The most important part of
Deconstruction.
This literary criticism uses
Binary Oppositions to look at
what is not in a story.
Of the two parts of binary
oppositions, There is a
dominant and a oppressed or
non-dominant.
OTHERS INVOLVED
Roland Barthes(1915-1980) – French Theorist whom worked on the
development of structuralism and Deconstruction.

Vladamir Propp(1895-1970) – Russian scholar that worked on folk


tales.

Jonathan Culler(1944-Today) – Worked at Cornell University; Worked


on Structuralism.
IMPACT OF
DECONSTRUCTION
Takes away from the text
because you are looking for
what's not there.
Makes literature seem like
―Word Play‖
Humanists view it as a ―wedge
between life and literature‖
Looks for the Ideologies that
are in our language.
DECONSTRUCTION IN
PRACTICE
In deconstruction the signified and the
signifier are unstable, and can take on
multiple meanings.
We live in a logo centric world – We want
to believe that everything is grounded.
In Deconstruction, this is the opposite of
the logo centric view.
DECONSTRUCTIVE
ANALYSIS
In a Deconstructive analysis you are looking to
reverse the dominant and non-dominant binary
oppositions.
Giving the privileged status to the oppressed of
the two Binary opposites.
Tries to find blind spots in the literature.
Derrida derived this method because ―By
deconstructing constraints, he tried to open new
ways of thinking and knowing‖(Dobie)
Snow • Look at Symbolism of snow to
By Frederick Seidel
extract the opposite:
• White
Snow is what it does. • Cold
It falls and it stays and it goes. • Winter
It melts and it is here
• Usually symbolizing death so
somewhere.
We all will get there. the opposite could be life.

Source: Poetry (September 2012). • This poem then could be


talking about the Rebirth of
humans in religion.
SIX LINES FOR LOUISE BOGAN

Six Lines for Louise Bogan • This poem almost deconstructs


itself.
By Michael Collier
• Notice that there are 2 parts to
All that has tamed me I have learned each sentence, making 4 in each
to love
and lost that wildness that was line.
once beloved.
• This poem tells of each opposite
All that was loved I’ve learned to tame in itself.
and lost the beloved that once
was wild. • Tamed
• Love
All that is wild is tamed by love—
and the beloved (wildness) that • Wildness
once was loved. • Beloved
Source: Poetry (April 2012).
CREDITS AND CITATIONS
Dobie, Ann B. Theory into Practice. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning,
2012. Paperback.

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