Literary Theory: An Introduction - Chapter 4, Post-Structuralism Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 4, Post-Structuralism Summary and Analysis

Structuralist linguistics relied on the notion that the significance of a sign was determined by the fact that it was not any other sign; for example, "cat" has significance and meaning precisely because it is not "cap". In this way, Saussure believed that a kind of perfect correspondence between exactly one sign and one signified thing could be established. However, this perfect correspondence is not possible, since "cat" is not only what it is because it is not "cap"; it is also not "hat" or "mat". In other words, there is an infinite complexity to the meaning of the word "cat" and, as such, its exact meaning cannot be fully grasped. Moreover, the meaning of a word is wholly depend upon its context and existence among other words in a sentence. At the same time as its meaning is...

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This section contains 1,670 words
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Buy the Literary Theory: An Introduction Study Guide
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