• Jacques Derrida
• Explained as a strategy “Rules for
reading, interpretation and writing.”
• 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.
• 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
• He traced words
over time looking
for the changes in
RULES OF LANGUAGE
• These rules of language were developed by
Ferdinand de Saussure.
• Langue - Language is made of a set of rules, known
• 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
• 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
The most important part of
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
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
Jonathan Culler(1944-Today) – Worked at Cornell University; Worked
Takes away from the text
because you are looking for
what's not there.
Makes literature seem like
Humanists view it as a ―wedge
between life and literature‖
Looks for the Ideologies that
are in our language.
In deconstruction the signified and the
signifier are unstable, and can take on
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.
In a Deconstructive analysis you are looking to
reverse the dominant and non-dominant binary
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)
• Look at Symbolism of snow to
extract the opposite:
• Usually symbolizing death so
the opposite could be life.
• This poem then could be
talking about the Rebirth of
humans in religion.
By Frederick Seidel
Snow is what it does.
It falls and it stays and it goes.
It melts and it is here
We all will get there.
Source: Poetry (September 2012).
SIX LINES FOR LOUISE BOGAN
• This poem almost deconstructs
• Notice that there are 2 parts to
each sentence, making 4 in each
• This poem tells of each opposite
Six Lines for Louise Bogan
By Michael Collier
All that has tamed me I have learned
and lost that wildness that was
All that was loved I’ve learned to tame
and lost the beloved that once
All that is wild is tamed by love—
and the beloved (wildness) that
once was loved.
Source: Poetry (April 2012).
CREDITS AND CITATIONS
Dobie, Ann B. Theory into Practice. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning,
Slide 2: http://xkcd.com/451/
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