Learning the Lenses

At the end of chapter 7 on Structuralist criticism, Tyson writes that “This analysis has thus attempted to illustrate two aspects of structuralism that sometimes seem in conflict: its reliance on formulaic description, which derives its commitment to the kind of objectivity associated with mathematics and its philosophical grounding as a science of humanity…” I admit that I haven’t reached the point of being able to identify how this lens is conflicted, because I am still trying to understand it! I can’t wait to see what my classmates present on this lens, as I find this to be the hardest criticism to personally understand so far. I get bits and pieces of it, but bringing it together all the components and understanding the diagrams has been troublesome for me, so I am going to revisit this chapter over the weekend.

I am much more interested and able to comprehend Deconstructive criticism, which suggests that language is unreliable. I like this lens, because I can see how it relates to social constructs, which I love learning about and discussing. I particularly got thinking on page 258 of Tyson when I was reading the section entitled Deconstructing literature. These three main points really help me to grasp the concepts that inform this lens. The whole idea of language being unreliable and a reflection of the larger ideologies within society is fascinating. I began thinking about our news stations, and how they especially promote certain ideologies. For example, as readers and citizens, we have to consider who owns particular news stations, huge forms of media text. There will be a difference in what news and how the news is relayed depending on the owner, and if s/he is some bigwig in cahoots with Bush vs. someone who is not. I don’t think I was ever introduced to this lens, even briefly, before my senior year of college. Was anyone else?

-Mandy

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