Understanding Poststructuralism-At Least I Think

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-From “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences” by Jacques Derrida in Donald Keesey’s Contexts for Criticism, page 355


“Where and how does this decentering, this notion of the structurality of structure, occur?”


This quote from Derrida’s essay has helped me to understand Deconstructivism and Poststructuralism.  Basically, according to Derrida, Poststructuralism deals with looking at the “structurality of structure” (355).  In other words, Poststructuralist critics go one step further than the structuralists who examine works based on basic structure, looking at all of the possible meanings of each word and how these work with one another.  For instance, the relationship between Snow White and her step mother is one of a kind, young, innocent girl and an cruel, jealous, older, woman.  Structuralists could further break this down into good versus evil.  However, I think that the Poststructuralists would go further to examine all of the meaning of good and evil and how these apply to the structures of this comparison.  


See what others have to say about Derrida’s essay.


Greta Carroll said:

Erica, good example with Snow White. I think a poststructuralist would further examine the idea of good and evil. Poststructuralists would point out all the ambiguities of what is good and what is evil. Can one truly be good? Can one truly be evil? They would look at these ideas and break them down till there is no black and white, but only shades of gray.

Erica, I think you have a good understanding of the post-structuralist method Derrida proposes for evaluating a text. And, Greta, great explanation, again. You both seem to have a good understanding of what Derrida was trying to point out in his essay, which is not easy to do. Props to you! So, uh...wanna help me with my presentation...jk:)

Erica Gearhartg said:

I so glad this could help you Ellen!

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