What to do:
Read chapter 7 in Critical Theory Today.
Below are a series of questions taken from your textbook that a Structuralist critic might ask about a text. In response to one of these questions, post a statement about a novel.
1. Using a specific structuralist framework (such as the ones we examined by
Frye and Scholes), how should the text be classified in terms of its genre?
2. Using a specific structuralist framework (such as that of Greimas, Todo‑
rov, or Genette), analyze the text’s narrative operations. Can you speculate
about the relationship between the text’s “grammar” and that of similar
texts? Can you speculate about the relationship between the text’s gram‑
mar and the culture from which the text emerged?
3. Using Culler’s theory of literary competence, what rules or codes of
interpretation must be internalized in order to “make sense” of the text?
Depending on the text in question, it might be necessary to identify codes
in addition to those specified by Culler. (In other words, what does a given
text contribute to our knowledge of literary competence?)
4. What are the semiotics of a given category of cultural phenomena, or
“texts,” such as high school football games, television and/or magazine ads
for a particular brand of perfume (or any other consumer product), or even
media coverage of a historical event, such as Operation Desert Storm, an
important legal case, or a presidential election campaign? In other words,
analyze the nonverbal messages sent by the “texts” in question, as well
as the semiotic implications of such verbal “tags” as “Desert Storm” or
“White Diamonds” (a brand of perfume). What is being communicated,
and how exactly is it being communicated?