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What is Structure?


“The task or structure analysis is to formulate the underlying systems of convention which evaluate cultural objects to have meaning for us? “(Culler 289).

“Structural literary critics seek not explication of unique texts, but an account of the modes of literary discourse and their operation” (Harmon & Hugh 501).

“The special interest here is on the organization and function of distinctively literary elements, on how meaning is conveyed rather than what meaning is conveyed, on how a literary device or even genre functions rather than how it imitates an external reality or expresses an internal feeling” (Harmon & Hugh 502).


Structuralism isn’t about what is being said. It is how, as Harmon & Hugh explain.

For example, literature can be placed into various genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fable, Legend, Fairy Tale, Folk Talke, Hisktorical, Drama, Mystery, Mythi, Suspense, Horror, Tall Talke, etc. How the story unfolds, the plot pattern goes along depends on which here one writes in. A subject such as a cat escaping bad luck because she has nine lives is what is being said. How the story is told depends on what genre is chosen.


Normally for analyzing prose, but now its beginning to be applied to poetry. “First flowering in the 1960’s” (Harmon & Hugh 502).

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