Dao1

Name MINH DAO ENG 200 Ms. Winters September 17, 2012 Deconstruction Literary Theory is considered an essential part of literary education. In fact, Literary Theory is a useful companion of students of literature because it helps us study a text effectively and examine the text’s function, grammar, and value by answering such questions as what does it do? Why is it written in that way? How does it contribute to the understanding of human culture? One of the most important literary approaches is deconstruction. This paper is a summary of deconstruction literary theory in terms of its definition, its functions and its contribution to the study of literature. What is “deconstruction”? Deconstruction is a complicated term that was first proposed by a French philosopher Jacques Derrida. It is “the careful teasing out of the warring forces of signification with the text itself” (Klages 59). There are two basic concepts with respect to the understanding of deconstruction: binary oppositions and the center. First, it is believed that structural components are classified into binary pairs, which consist two terms that are closely related to each other. These terms are opposites in their meaning –one is what the other is not. Furthermore, the first term has more value compared to the second and often holds positive meaning (Klages 54). Second, all structures are supposed to have a center, which creates and regulates elements that belong to it. Center has an important role in maintaining the structure and

They not only play with words so that words can have multiple meanings but also throw into these rigid words a new soul (Klages 61-62). what will happen if the center malfunctions and binary oppositions do not stay where they should be? Deconstruction enables us to examine this phenomenon. deconstruction proposes that we as readers should examine a text within the text itself and look for its inconsistences. However. deconstruction inspires creativity in literature field in the way that it enables literature scholars to reach out the extreme of their imagination. In fact. which is impossible. we can deal with these instabilities in two ways: we can either build a new system that is absolutely constant. a method called “bricolage” –understanding meaning as something temporary and ever-changing (Klages 61). In sum.Dao2 keeping two different sides of the system in their proper place (Klages 55-56). and we are no longer able to define its binary oppositions. Deconstruction is a reading strategy that involves reading the text itself and investigating the text’s structure to find out its inconsistencies. There would be time when the structure within the text gets collapsed. Deconstruction asserts that a text is not always immutable and stable (Klages 60). or keep using the structure and acknowledge its incoherence. deconstruction is a valuable literary theory that contributes to the understanding and the study of literature. . By showing that the center of a system may fail to keep its components in a proper order and there exists inconsistences within a structure. It creates a new way of thinking about systems and structures: indeterminacy and flexibility within a text can contribute to the variety of its literary meanings. Deconstruction has an important effect on the study of literature. Once we are able to indicate holes and unsteady parts which are contrary to the stable meanings that the text means to establish.

2006. . Print.Dao3 Works Cited Kalges. New York: Continuum. Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed. Mary. 55-62.

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