Application of structuralism in English literature essay sample



Structuralism gave a rise to the improved literary criticism. The linguistic methodology which perceives a text as a system with a certain structure allows finding hidden connection between the individual, the social, and the unconscious constituents of the text. In fact, under the term “text” structuralists mean the whole world as any document or piece of art can be analyzed like a text with perfectly coordinated components. As a basis of semiotics, structuralism deals with decoding of the meanings of separate signs which make up a cultural construction of an object which automatically transforms into text.

It is quite possible to assume that literary criticism benefited from the structuralists practices and semiotic analysis. Because of the structuralists’ contribution, the importance of the genre and the reader for the literary analysis became clear. Every genre constructs ramifications which make the pattern for text analysis, for example, different texts require a different level of seriousness from the narration. Readers, in their turn, construct the literature no less than writers. It is a common situation that present-day readers do not understand the literature which was designed for its contemporaries. For example, if we try to understand texts of modernism today, we shall first learn how to read them.

The structuralist approach is broadly used to analyze literature depending on the epoch when it was created, its target audience, and genre to which it belongs. Literary studies, therefore, provide a better understanding of the symbols and codes hidden in every piece of literature which makes it accessible to a broader readership.

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