Deconstruction and the Concept of Creation

Better Essays
One of the first things that has always caught my attention with the concepts of Deconstruction has to do with the representation of reality and truth through language. Since we learned via Saussere's structuralist linguistics that the word as we know it is arbitrary and dependent on signification for meaning, how can we be assured that the signification and contexts we are using are the right ones to convey reality? The readings this week of Jacques Derrida, Jonathan Culler, and others shed light upon how the process of deconstruction works to identify the structural assumptions we make when deriving meaning, and how those can be exposed through the deconstructive process to critically examine what represents experience and reality.

One of the more interesting concepts is the "Chain of signifiers", in which the signifier itself points not to the signified, or concept, but rather points to another set of signifiers, which each point to another set of signifiers, ad infinitum. It is this idea that "the word...never reaches the point when it refers to a signified" (Tyson 252) that positions language as nonreferential, with no end-game where a signified is met and all the supplements provided by the signifiers are resolves. There is no point at which language "refer[s] to things in the world" (252) instead relying on how we, through our own structures of signification, view concepts. Each chain of signifiers is dependent upon the structure that acts upon the creation of meaning and experience, and no longer dependent on the signified itself. For instance, a text never reaches the point where it relays the disparate ideas that formulated the text in the mind of the author - it instead is formulated of supplements that point to poten...

... middle of paper ...

...tor's needs as his father did. In this case, we can see not only did the creator fail to provide support, but the entire immersive environment which brought Victor to where he stood at the end of the novel, driven by revenge and hatred of his creation, which really is a representation of his own neglect at the hands of his creators.

Works Cited

Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. 5th ed. New York: Longman, 2011. Print.

Culler, Jonathan. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print.

Johnson, Barbara. "My Monster/My Self" Frankenstein. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. 1st ed. New York: Norton, 1996. Print.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Ed. Paul Hunter. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2011. Print.

Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User Friendly Guide. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.
Get Access