The Literary Theory Of Structuralism

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The literary theory of Structuralism attempts to explain the connections between concepts, images, and people. Particularly, the French Structuralists utilize the concept of binary comparisons in order to explain how everything relates to each other. This theory argues that people comprehend the world around them by the understanding the differences between objects or ideas and other objects or ideas, e.g. understanding the dark because it is not light. Children learn the concept of opposites so that they can describe things; they discover the difference between big and small before they understand the notions themselves. Therefore, by using the literary theory of French Structuralism, readers can establish the binary differences between the two sets of lovers in Much Ado about Nothing, explaining how the use of contrasting characters reveals the complexity of love, and comments on society’s conventions in Shakespeare’s day.
A leading Structuralist Ferdinand de Saussure ascertains in “Course in General Linguistics” that “in language there are only differences” (70). These differences make up the world, and comparing them allows readers to have a deeper understanding of life. However, binaries must play off each other within a context in order to have meaning. Gregory Castle offers the goal of Structuralism: “Functional Structuralism is primarily concerned with language as it is manifested in social contexts” (186). The social context is the construct that illuminates
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