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Showing posts from March, 2008

An Overview of Structuralist Criticism in Literature

A typical American middle class home is built from a few basic ingredients: wood, nails, miscellaneous wires, pipes, and tubing, wrapped in layers of plaster and paint. But a student of Architecture wouldn't necessarily be interested in how these ingredients are combined to make one single house. Such a student is more likely to study how these ingredients were used in similar houses within one historical period. In a similar manner, a student of Structural criticism would be interested in the basic ingredients of many stories within the same period, and the similar ways in which these ingredients were used. However, where Structuralist criticism breaks from this comparison is in use of the term "structure". A Structuralist isn't interested in literary structures as physical entities, but will study conceptual frameworks used to organize and understand physical entities. The rules of grammar would be one such conceptual framework; this sort of structure exists to orga