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Critical Approaches to Literature HUMA 3300.001

by: Nicholas Notetaker

Critical Approaches to Literature HUMA 3300.001 HUMA 3300.001 (Ming Dong Gu)

Marketplace > University of Texas at Dallas > Arts and Humanities > HUMA 3300.001 (Ming Dong Gu) > Critical Approaches to Literature HUMA 3300 001
Nicholas Notetaker
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Summary of Chapter 5: Literature and Linguistics approach, Deconstructive approach, Everyday Use analysis, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn brief analysis
Critical Approaches to Literature
Dr. Ming Dong Gu
Class Notes
Literature and Linguistics approach, Deconstructive approach, Everyday Use analysis, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn brief analysis
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicholas Notetaker on Tuesday April 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HUMA 3300.001 (Ming Dong Gu) at University of Texas at Dallas taught by Dr. Ming Dong Gu in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 202 views. For similar materials see Critical Approaches to Literature in Arts and Humanities at University of Texas at Dallas.


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Date Created: 04/05/16
Critical Approaches to Literature February 11th-23rd, 2016 Chapter 5 Literature and Linguistics Major points  Structuralism and post-structuralism, including deconstruction  Structuralism: Contexts and Definitions Structuralists identify structures, the systems of relationships, which endow signs (words) with meanings The Linguistic Model:  Ferdinand de Saussure's course in general linguistics distinguishes between la langue (language possessed by the community) and La parole (a speech-event or application of language in writing). La langue is the source of grammar and syntax. In la parole, semantic signs occur which join the signifier (word) with the signification (meaning).  Ferdinand de Saussure is the father of linguistics Saussure's theory of the sign:  Erroneous conception of language: naming process Adam names animals in the bible Saussure defined a sign as being composed of:  A signifier- the form which the sign takes; and  The signified- the concept it represents  Sign= signified/signifier The relationship between the signifier and the signified is referred to as signification and this is represented in the Saussurean diagram by the arrow. The horizontal line marking the two elements of the sign is referred to as the bar. A sign must have both signifier and signified. It cannot have a very meaningless signifier or a completely formless signified How does language function?  Through syntagms tic and association relations Sang  Paradigmatic Axis Boy  Died The  Man  Cried Syntagmatic axis Later Revision: paradigms and syntagms  Saussure emphasized that meaning arises from the differences between signifiers; these differences are of two kings: syntagmatic (concerning positioning) and paradigmatic (concerning substitution). Saussure called the latter associative relations, but roman jakobson's communicative  model and functions:  Sender -> context, message, channel, code -> Receiver Russian formalism: extending Saussure  Moscow scholars after WWI: Propp and Shklovsky used sturdy list to study; many phenomenon a, such as folk tales. Shklovsky defined literature tendencies to estrangement and de familiarization to move readers away from habitual responses to ordinary experience he also distinguished between story and plot Propp (folktales):  Based on his study of Russian folktales, he views folktales as structural units that together constitute a limited number of types of characters and action. The functions recur and thus constitute in their unity the grammar or rules for such tales. In terms of Saussure's model, the entire group of functions is the langue; the individual characters are parole? Character set:  hero, rival or opponent, villain, helper, princess and so on Action type:  The arrival and departure of the hero, the unmasking of the villain, sets of adventure, and the return and reward of the hero. Shklovsky (poetry as defamiliarization):  Narrative - story + plot, literature is the equivalent of la langue; individual literature work is the equivalent of parole French structuralism: Coding and Decoding  Sometimes called the "school of Paris," includes Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Foucault, and Todorov. They followed Saussure and argued that narrative is a kind of analogy to the sentence: the text, like the sentence, expresses the writer's mind and is a whole composed of distinguishable parts.  They use the terms histoire (sequence of events from beginning to end) and discours (discourse, that is the narrative rearranged for aesthetic effects). Historie: story and discours- plot Advocacy:  By dissolving the fixed binary oppositions of Structuralism thought, including that between language and Meta language- and thus between literature and criticism, it advocates a non- hierarchical plurality or 'free play' of meanings, stressing the indeterminacy of texts. Common ground:  Both retain the Structuralist belief that all cultural system can be represented as coded systems of meaning rather than direct transactions with reality. Major difference:  Structuralists focus on the monolithic structure that is the system of meaning and how it functions. poststructuralists focus on the reader/speaker who is operating within and without the structure Deconstructive approach:  Deconstruction involves the close reading of texts in order to demonstrate that, rather than being a unified completely, any given text has irreconcilably contradictory meanings.  Deconstruction defines text as something whose meaning is known only through difference. Language is arbitrary; truth claims and intentions of a text are undermined by its own contradictions; meaning is finally indeterminate Two basic idea of deconstruction: 1. Deconstruction as a philosophical idea; 2. Deconstruction as a strategy of reading. Dialogues  Dialogues is the key term used in the narrative theory of Mikahail Bakhtin, who saw all language as addressed to someone, especially as it appears in the polyphonic novel, and hence meaning is to be found not in its structure as a system but in the relationship between partners in dialogue.  A subject is not an object of address but a dialogic partner.  The language of dialogue is often poemic but it is also humanistic, because addressing someone promotes human connection and community  Monologue vs. dialogic  Single-voiced vs. polyphonic discourse  Heteroglossia (discourse of different tongues) describes the ability to speak in the multiple language of public discourse  The novel best exemplifies the importance of language as dialogic. Bakhtin studied Fyodor Dostoevsky as a master of such polyphonic discourse in contrast to monologic tone in Leo Tolstoi's novels. He privileges such forms as multiple genres, parody, and satire He identified polyphony as a special property of the novel and traced it back to its carnivalistic sources in classical, medieval and renaissance cultures. Together with the grotesque, carnivalization serves as a mean s of social rebellion Carnivalization:  Marxist and Christian influences out of primordial roots of the carnival tradition in folk culture, arises the many-voiced novel of modern times Role of the grotesque:  the people of a community express both their sense of being victims of power and their own power to subvert institutions Everyday Use analysis:  Which is positively meant: use value/ emotional value, or artistic value/commercial value?  Who is more sympathetically portrayed: Dee, Maggie?  Dee is more sympathetically portrayed, for if every AA was like Maggie or mom then the civil rights movement would not have began and all minority groups would be discriminated against  "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" Looking at The adventures of Huckleberry Finn novel vs. movie (Elijah Woods)Differences between the movie and the book:  In the movie, the relationship between Huckleberry and Jim was more  No Tom Sawyer in the movie, Tom Sawyer gets shot in the book not Huck  Jim was sold back into slavery at the Phelps farm and then sent to prison Huckleberry Finn themes:  Theme is the underline idea that governs a riding where motif is the ideas and patterns Theme:  Education  Bildungsroman style: narrative of a coming of age story.  slavery and religion  Anti-slavery  Freedom from slavery, civilization and personal slavery  Huck's freedom from his father; parental and personal, he is also trying to escape a social slavery  Jim's freedom from slavery; social and political  hypocritical civilization  North and south vs. west  Huck's slavery is psychological and physical  River represents the highway to freedom for Jim from slavery and Huck from his father and the rules and restrictions of St. Petersburg Missouri  Even though the river offers safety, it exchanges one bad situation for another Deus ex machina: paper signed by Widow Douglas that frees Jim from slavery


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