The Text Through Saussure And Whorf's Respective Theories

1778 Words Sep 6th, 2015 8 Pages
By ‘harassing’ the text through Saussure and Whorf’s respective theories, Structuralism has exposed the power of political discourse to structure our perception of the world. Additionally, it has helped to identify the political conditions from which the binaries of ‘war/peace’ and ‘freedom/slavery’ have emerged.

Evaluating the text from a Structuralist perspective reveals language as the primary source of political discourse and hegemony. In 1984, language is both an instrument and an effect of power. Michel Foucault’s discursive practices suggest that discourse “transmits and produces power” (Foucault, 1980). It has the capacity to govern social interactions, limit the parameters of human thought and endorse political ideologies. Structuralist Jonathan Culler corroborates Foucault’s dissertation in his book, Structuralist Poetics: Structuralism, Linguistics and the Study of Literature, by asserting that language “governs the individual and determines meaning” (Culler, 1968). He elaborates on this notion by construing that the linguistic-structuralist model can assist in “formulating the rules of particular systems of convention rather than simply affirm their existence" (Culler, 1968). When Winston has lunch with a Party member named Syme, who is producing the newest edition of the Newspeak dictionary, Syme explains how Newspeak narrows the range of thought, thus reducing the concept of what it means to be human:

“Thoughtcrime will be literally impossible, because…
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