A reaction to the formulaic system of Structuralism, post-structuralism sees the collective works of literature as an interconnected network of derived meanings. Some key players in the development of post-structuralism: He sought to challenge the logocentrist structure and patterns of western thinking, claiming that there could be no universal source of logic and meaning.
Contact Author Disclaimer I considered devoting part of this blog to a summary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but I feel like that is probably unnecessary for anyone who chose to read this blog, which provides a theoretically distinct reading of the novel. For some background info on the novel, or for a refresher, there are a variety of articles on the novel be sure to read articles on the actual novel by Mary Shelley and not one written about an adaptation of Frankenstein.
As a disclaimer, I think that this article will be of more interest to those who are very familiar with the novel. This article is relatively short, but I wanted to share regardless for anyone who is interested in the academic discussions surrounding Shelley's Frankenstein.
The term "deconstruction" is derived from Jacques Derrida's work "Of Grammatology" The Structuralism reading of frankenstein of Deconstructionism This article is actually based on a paper I wrote for one of my grad classes after an exercise done in class, which I found to be really interesting.
The assignment was to choose an essay from the back of our Johanna M.
Reading Between the Lines: An analysis of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus, using Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto as an example of male discourse about women Louise Othello Knudsen . But Freudian psychoanalysis can help us to uncover yet another layer of significance in Shelley's endlessly layered and rich text. Her creature represents human nature at its darkest. Note, though, that the creature is inherently dark. Victor Frankenstein, for his part, clearly suffers from a massive guilt complex. But psychoanalysis can help us to be just a little easier on him, too. He is, after all, only human.
Smith edition of Frankenstein, and each essay was a different theoretical reading of the novel. We then acted as a mouthpiece for that specific literary theory. I decided to focus on an essay by Fred Botting, which actually combined multiple contemporary critical theories, but mainly Deconstructive Theory, because Deconstructionism is a movement I always struggled with a bit in school.
It is a complex movement that often appears contradictory because contradiction is at the heart of its philosophy. Deconstructionism is a philosophical movement and theory of literary criticism that calls into questions all claims of absolute truth, meaning and identity.
According to Deconstructionists, there can be no absolute truth for the following reason: These signs only exist in relation to other signs. Words only have meaning because of their contrasting relationship with other words. For example, we may assign meaning to the word "blue", but that meaning essentially is that "blue" is not "red", "yellow," or "green," etc.
When we attempt to define words, we do so by contrasting it with other words. So Deconstructionists refuse absolute truth and meaning of any word because that word only exists in relation to something else, not as an absolute truth on its own.
Therefore, Deconstructionists view language as a system of oppositional pairs: Everything can be paired with an opposite. Further as if this idea isn't complex enoughDeconstructionists assign a hierarchy to these binary oppositional pairs.
One of the two binaries is given a position of higher value than the other, as they believe human nature instinctively separates things into a hierarchical system. The general rule of thumb for assigning one binary the higher position over the other is to determine which term represents "presence" and which term represents an "absence.
Good is valued over bad because bad is the absence of good. Traditionally, male is seen as dominant over female. This is the simplest way I could explain the theory of Deconstruction, and there is plenty more to it if anyone is interested, but for the purpose of my work with the theory applied to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, this definition is inclusive enough it really is an exhausting theory.
Blurred Lines of Opposition The focus of my paper is on the binary pair creation and deconstruction. It seems safe to assume that when faced with the binary pair, creation and destruction, creation seen as "presence" would be placed above the concept of destruction seen as "absence" in a hierarchy of the two binaries.
In the beginning of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the concept of creation is glorified. His particular creation of a living human being composed of deceased bodies using electric currents is exalted as a wondrous and advanced scientific undertaking.
The result of his creation though is disastrous. As creation becomes a monstrous concept, it is no longer situated in the higher tier of the binary opposition; or rather it is no longer viewed with the absolute certainty of meaning and value as it would traditionally be viewed.
In Shelley's novel, the meaning of creation is unclear. The traditional line that separates creation and destruction is made less clear, less distinctive. Deconstructive theory then adequately explains Frankenstein, in that absolute meaning is indeterminable, but it also fails in that the binary oppositions that deconstructive thinkers would apply to the novel are broken down and reversed.
Shelley's novel contradicts traditional thinking, which seems appropriate considering the grotesque, monstrous nature and subject of the novel.Frankenstein has so overshadowed Mary Shelley's other pretations of the novel, beginning with Ellen Moers's landmark reading in Literary Women Frankenstein, feminism, and literary theory "discourse systems" that control how ideologies are disseminated.
Feminists. Frankenstein Application Essay, Writing Assignment 5 Can science go too far when it equips man with tools to manipulate life?
Some of the underlying ethical dilemmas presented in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are similar to ones we struggle with today, such as selective abortion. Frankenstein: Deconstruction Criticism Thesis In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, deconstruction can be utilized in numerous instances to expose the hidden truths.
Example One Example Two There is no formal name for the monster The monster is an extension of Frankenstein. Example: Frankenstein finding Henry's body on the shore .
pretations of the novel, beginning with Ellen Moers's landmark reading in Literary Women and strategies of post-structuralist criticism, especially deconstruction.
Frankenstein, feminism, and literary theory "discourse systems" that control how ideologies are disseminated. Feminists. Feb 02, · An Exercise in Literary Deconstruction: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley By Christopher Conway Deconstruction in literary studies assumes that meaning and representation are a function of displacement, contradiction, multiplicity and deferral.
- Evaluation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Form, Structure and Plot Frankenstein, an epistolary novel by Mary Shelley, deals with epistemology, is divided into three volumes, each taking place at a distinct time.