So That's What I Can Look For

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"What is notable about this kind of analysis is that, like Formalismm it brackets off the actual content of the story and concentrates entirely on the form" (Eagleton 95).

I really liked the paragraph right before this quote that took the example of the short story of the boy falling into the pit and dissected it according to structuralism. However, once I got to this quote, I got a little confused. How is structuralism different from Formalism? Isn't it just a part of Formalism?

I know that later in the chapter, the difference and reason was discussed: "...although Formalism is not exactly a structuralism. It views literary texts 'structurally', and suspends attention to the referent to examine the sign itself, but it is not particularly concerned with meaning as differential or, in much of its work, with the 'deep' laws and structures underlying literary texts" (Eagleton 97,98). However, even after this explanation, I'm still not sure exactly how the two are different.

I thought structuralism was a really interesting form of criticism. I think it really helped me to understand more of what I can look for when I'm reading. I think one of the problems I have when it comes to criticism is that I don't know what to focus on or look for in an observation. When I read someone's essay, I always think how amazing it is that they can pick out so many details and then pin so much meaning to them. With these chapters, I feel that I am slowly learning some observation skills that I can use.

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