Structuralism Developed by Ferdinand de Saussure Essays

Structuralism Developed by Ferdinand de Saussure Essays

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Structuralism was developed by Ferdinand de Saussure in the mid-twentieth century (Cuddon and Preston 923). This creation was brought on, in part, by the French existentialism period and is often combined with the semiotic theory of literary criticism; both are the source of development for other literary criticisms from the formalist schools of thought. As the name suggests, structuralism examines the structure of the work, investigating the ramifications of the organizations of literatures (McManus, 1998). As an image to portray this idea is examining the structure of a building and comparing it to the structures of other buildings in its surroundings, and then subsequently comparing the common features of those buildings to buildings from other cultures and what those architectural discrepancies represent (Brizee and Tompkins, 2011).
Structuralism employs terms to help in the understanding of one of the most complex literary theories (McManus, 1998; Brizee and Tompkins, 2011). All words in any given language are either classified as parole or langue (McManus, 1998). Barbara McManus is an expert on literary criticism, has authored two books on the subject, is a retired professor of Classics Emerita, including the topics of Feminism and general literary criticism courses, from College of New Rochelle who defines the two terms as “any particular meaningful use of spoken or written language (also called ‘performance’)” and “the underlying system of sounds, forms, and rules of combination of a language which make meaningful communication possible (a speaker's implicit knowledge of this system is called ‘competence’),” respectively (McManus, 2003; McManus, 1998). McManus later states that “[Structuralists are] interested in langu...


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...ll D. Moyers. The Power of Myth. New York: Doubleday, 1988. Print.
"Cormac McCarthy on James Joyce and Punctuation." Interview by Oprah Winfrey.Oprah.com. OPRAH, 01 June 2008. Web. 05 Feb. 2014. .
Cuddon, J. A., and Claire Preston. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. London: Penguin, 1999. Print.
McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Print.
McManus, Barbara F. "Barbara McManus Home Page." CNR.com. College of New Rochelle, July 2003. Web. 4 Feb. 2014.
McManus, Barbara F. "Structuralist Approaches." Structuralist Approaches. The College of New Rochelle, Oct. 1998. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.
Murfin, Ross, and Supryia M. Ray. "VirtuaLit: Critical Approaches." VirtuaLit: Critical Approaches. Bedford/St. Martin's, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.

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