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Post­Structuralism/Deconstruction

. slippery. tension exists between denotation and connotation Because language has this quality. it can be contradictory. meanings change. language is imperfect.Post-Structuralist Tenets A reaction against the perceived authoritarianism of Structuralism Language itself is an issue: our tool for making meaning is ambiguous and arbitrary.

" .Because authors cannot control their language. Deconstructionists are interested in what is below the surface of the text: the subtext. texts reveal more than their authors are aware of. They want to peer behind the text's "disguises.

but really it is about….• "The text seems to be about…." .

and New Historicist critics.Deconstructionists are interested in the world outside the text and its influence on the text. Feminist. . This interest provides common ground with Marxist.

but rather meanings to be actively created by the reader. and ambiguities (as a Formalist would). Rather than resolving a text's contradictions.  These inconsistencies may expose what appears to be the dominant "reading" and actually undermine it. . Deconstructionists use those facets to show there is no single. authoritative reading. paradoxes.

 he asserts that the  meaning of all texts is  undecidable. 1930): As  a response to Structuralism and  Formalism.• Jacques Derrida (b. .

Derrida  attacks Structuralism's dependence on binary oppositions. asserts that in a binary opposition. upset the dominance of one term in a binary opposition . "heterosexual/homosexual")  aims to destabilize hierarchies. one is always privileged over the other (examples: "black/white". "man/woman".

.  One who looks for a single meaning in a text is "imprisoned" by it. Texts can contain contradictory meanings.