An introduction to the approaches to modern literary theories

Structuralism and Semiotics Structuralism Structuralism is a way of thinking about the world which is predominantly concerned with the perceptions and description of structures.

An introduction to the approaches to modern literary theories

Structuralism and Semiotics Structuralism Structuralism is a way of thinking about the world which is predominantly concerned with the perceptions and description of structures. At its simplest, structuralism claims that the nature of every element in any given situation has no significance by itself, and in fact is determined by all the other elements involved in that situation.

The full significance of any entity cannot be perceived unless and until it is integrated into the structure of which it forms a part Hawkes, p. Structuralists believe that all human activity is constructed, not natural or "essential.

Semiology Semiotics, simply put, is the science of signs. Semiology proposes that a great diversity of our human action and productions--our bodily postures and gestures, the the social rituals we perform, the clothes we wear, the meals we serve, the buildings we inhabit--all convey "shared" meanings to members of a particular culture, and so can be analyzed as signs which function in diverse kinds of signifying systems.

Linguistics the study of verbal signs and structures is only one branch of semiotics but supplies the basic methods and terms which are used in the study of all other social sign systems Abrams, p.

Binary Opposition - "pairs of mutually-exclusive signifiers in a paradigm set representing categories which are logically opposed and which together define a complete universe of discourse relevant ontological domaine. In such oppositions each term necessarily implies its opposite and there is no middle term" Daniel Chandler.

Symbol - According to Saussure, "words are not symbols which correspond to referents, but rather are 'signs' which are made up of two parts like two sides of a sheet of paper: The distinction is important because Saussure contended that the relationship between signifier and signified is arbitrary; the only way we can distinguish meaning is by difference one sign or word differs from another.

Instead, meaning--the interpretation of a sign--can exist only in relationship with other signs. Selden and Widdowson use the sign system of traffic lights as an example. The color red, in that system, signifies "stop," even though "there is no natural bond between red and stop" Meaning is derived entirely through difference, "a system of opposites and contrasts," e.

Structuralist narratology - "a form of structuralism espoused by Vladimir Propp, Tzvetan Todorov, Roland Barthes, and Gerard Genette that illustrates how a story's meaning develops from its overall structure its langue rather than from each individual story's isolated theme.

To ascertain a text's meaning, narratologists emphasize grammatical elements such as verb tenses and the relationships and configurations of figures of speech within the story" Bressler - see General Resources below. Northwestern UP, Hill and Wang, The Pleasure of the Text.

Structuralism, Linguistics, and the Study of Literature. U of California P, Jefferson, Anne and David Robey. Revolution in Poetic Language and Desire in Language:Introduction to Modern Literary Theory.

Literary Trends and Influences* The information below is meant merely as a guide or introduction to modern literary theories and trends. A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. Lentricchia, Frank.

There are many literary theories, or frameworks, available to address and analyze a given text. These approaches range from Marxist to psychoanalytic to feminist and beyond. Queer theory, a recent addition to the field, looks at literature through the prism of sex, gender, and identity.

An introduction to the approaches to modern literary theories

Peter Barry's introduction to literary and cultural. How can we understand the full force of that "post" without understanding not only the modern but also the premodern? The Social History of the Western Subject JEAN BAUDRILLARDis the sobering critical counter-voice to Hutcheon's theories.

Felluga, Dino. "General Introduction to Postmodernism." Introductory Guide to Critical. This interpretive shift, new in the history of literary criticism - that we just want to say, 'Eh, I don't care about the author' - basically paves the way for the development of modern theory in.

"Literary theory" is the body of ideas and methods we use in the practical reading of literature. By literary theory we refer not to the meaning of a work of literature but to the theories that reveal what literature can mean. Literary theory is a description of the underlying principles, one might say the tools, by which we attempt to understand literature.

The Saylor Foundation 5 An Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory Before we begin our examination and study of literary theory, it is important that we.

General Introduction to Postmodernism