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LIT 2020 EXAM 2 STUDY GUIDEDeconstructionism - Saussure:-Structuralism refers to the analysis of language and culture derived from the linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussure. He argued that all communication can be analyzed for the underlying structures that produce meaning. He developed "semiotics," or the science of signs, in which he studied how signs function to produce meaning within a society. Saussure states that language is composed of signs, and that each sign is composed of a signifier and a signified (S=s+s).- A sign is a unit of symbolic communication; it has two parts, signifier (symbol) and signified (concept)."t-r-e-e" would be the signifier (symbol)"green leafy thing outside" would be the signified (concept)signifier and signified together make the sign: "t-r-e-e" (green leafy thing outside)- Saussure holds that these signs are arranged in stable chains of signification where each sign refers to one other sign in an orderly sequence of mental associations. -Derrida:-Poststructuralism takes the ideas of structuralism, but argues that sign systems are more unstable. -This theory argues that the process of signification can be infinite, can produce multiple meanings, and causes instability over meaning. To demonstrate this, Jacques Derrida coined the term “différance,” and posited the idea of “infinite play.” -Différance = differs / defers − All language differs because human beings’ first recourse of definition is to say what something is not.− All language also defers, because one definition leads to another (words are defined with other words). -Infinite play = the endless slippages in language through which meaning is sought, but never found. -Derrida's theory of deconstruction grows out of poststructuralism and is a specific technique for demonstrating how Western philosophical thought is based on binary oppositions, and how these binary oppositions break down and contradict themselves.-To deconstruct a text:1. find a binary opposition2. find which side is favored3. find evidence that contradicts that favoring4. draw a conclusion: textual instability, multiple meanings, a marginalized or subordinated meaning is still present, etc.Marxism-Based on Karl Marx’s (1818-1883) idealism -Was created during the Mid- Late Nineteenth Century -Britain which had problems such as:-Unrest and protest – Chartism-Long hours, low pay-Periodic unemployment-No Welfare State-No universal right to vote-France had its revolution in 1848-Europe was in turmoil-Marx believed that it was all about the money -The ones that have it are the capitalists (bourgeoisie)-The ones that do not are the workers (proletariat) -Both capitalists and workers are thrown into worker relationships and they do not get along well-Capitalists (Bourgeoisie) want the HIGHEST profit for the LOWEST cost-Workers (Proletariat) want the HIGHEST wages for the LOWEST amount of work-These two sides are at a constant fight while the successful capitalists get richer and the failed capitalist are dropped to the working class-The workers meanwhile are more and more exploited by the remaining capitalists they get poorer and poorer-Marx said that eventually the workers will rise up in revolution against the capitalist class and thus a new communist society will be created-Marx’s theory-Base- The base is like the foundations of a building. Marxists say the economy (the means of production) is the base-Superstructure- The superstructure is the rest of the building, which is built on the foundations - The superstructure means all the other parts of society – culture, the state, education- The economic base determines (shapes) the superstructure-Social Control in capitalist society is achieved through ideology - ruling class ideology- The working class may suffer from false consciousness – not understanding their true class position - It’s not all about money – this is economically reductionist-What about religion, culture, etc?- Marxism makes people appear to be dominated by structures- Gender and Race blind-The only social groupings it seems to recognise are classesBlack African-American Criticism-What is African Amrican Criticism?- A sense that black writing comes out of a sociological, political, ideological and cultural situation marked by oppression and marginalization. - An awareness that black experience is historical and cultural- Have ties to African language, cultural practices and attitudes- Formed through the experience of slavery and violence, - Has endured a long and troubled negotiation with white culture- Black aesthetic production in white cultures is marked by white culture positively and negatively. -An attempt to recognize and celebrate that which is distinctively and positively black in black art, that is, which owes its meaning and expression to the particular expressions and traditions of black culture and experience. The most influential black aesthetic contribution, jazz, forms for many a model or metonym for black aesthetics and culture. - Why do we have to analyze it differently? -A struggle over the relation of race, reading and critical theory, similar in some respects to that of feminist theory: who 'speaks for' blacks?; can only blacks 'read' black literature?; can black literature be read with the tools of contemporary criticism or does it demand a more basic, moral and ideological commitment-What is Race?-An attempt to come to terms with the whole issue of what 'race' is. Historically race has been seen as something essential. That race is inherent, a matter of 'blood'.Feminist Literary Criticism MAJOR FIGURES- Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929)-Discusses women’s need for social and economic freedom in order to write good fiction - “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” - “It would have been impossible, completely and entirely, for any woman to have written the plays of Shakespeare in the age of Shakespeare”- Argues to forgo women as the traditional mirror for man’s ability - “Women have served all these centuries as looking- glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man as twice its natural size” - Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949) - Argues that there is no “natural” distinction between the sexes and that woman is a social construction - “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman” - “If the definition provided

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FSU LIT 2020 - Deconstructionism

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