Structuralism is a activity that provides importance to the main structure of an literary wording. It compensates great importance to the structural similarities within various text messages, whereas the individual work content are neglected. This school of thought sees the planet in two important levels. Firstly as noticeable or a surface trend for example activities and things of each day life. Second, Structuralist start to see the world as invisible where there are buildings root all the phenomena to make understanding of the world. For an example, weddings, alternatives of lovers and the focus of bearing children are the key structure inside a marriage and will not change even though the surface components (love or set up marriages) fluctuate. Furthermore in Structuralist theory, a words is free from context, history, readers interpretation and isolated from the writer itself. Meaning of any wording then solely originates from rules and underlying system which governs it. " Whatever we see on the top will be the traces of the deeper record;only by excavating beneath the surface will we discover the geological strata or the bottom planes which provide true explanations of that which we see above" ( Selden 69). Structuralist also see vocabulary as clinical where sign is constructed of both signifier and the signified. " Words aren't symbols which match referents, but rather are signs or symptoms which are made of two parts : a mark either written or spoken, called the signifier and a thought called signified" (Selden 53).
When we take a look at the poems "To MY PARTNER" by Phillip Larkin, "Sonnets are packed with love. . . " by Religious Rossetti and "Not at the first sight. . . " by Sir Phillip Sidney using Structuralism, the individual interpretation and authorial intent of each of these sonnets are not considered. For a structuralist critic, they are sonnets and sonnets have set ups and system of their own which contributes indicating for the readers. Underlying structure is important because " A framework is both such as a skeleton and like a genetic code"(Rivkin and Ryan 53) which results in stability and interpretation to a literary work. Structuralist Roland Barthes for instance believes that it's the"anterior terminology" (Ames 91) which supports the understanding of communication and books and " his matter is not with the message but with what system or structure makes note available"(Ames 91). So for a good example we can get that sonnets have fourteen lines and provides rhythmic impact which pleases the audience. In addition sonnets are expected to own certain repeating rhyme system which we understand contributes to the wonder of the entire sonnets. "To MY PARTNER" for illustration has the rhyme program of a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d -e-f-g-h-f-e, "Not at the first eyesight. . . " has a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a-c-d-c-e-f-f and "Sonnets are filled with love. . . " has a-b-b-a-b-a-b-a-c-d-a-a-e-d. " Certain characteristics common to the sonnet as a form should be observed. The pretty much set rhyme habits taking place regularly within the brief space of fourteen lines manage a pleasant influence on the ear canal of the audience, and can Create truly musical results. The rigidity of the proper execution precludes a too great current economic climate or too great prodigality of words. Emphasis is positioned on exactness and perfection of expression" ( writing. upenn. edu). For me, structure will bring familiarity and make viewers have enough knowledge, capacity and understanding in a literary work (literary competence). Platform of sonnets then becomes a guideline to help viewers grasp the meanings within sonnets. Therefore it is evident that set ups within sonnets help present meaning with their readers.
Nevertheless in my own opinion there is a flaw of the structuralist principle which was explained above. One must not forget that there surely is not only one kind of sonnets. The principal type of sonnets are Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet, Occitan sonnet, British (Shakespearean) sonnet and Spenserian sonnet. Yet there are many other types too, such as the modern, and twentieth century sonnets. Therefore taking the stance that by realizing the structure together for a sonnet might not be sufficient to grasp the sonnet. Each kind of sonnet vary just a little from the other. For example, Shakespearean sonnets have couplet in the end which symbolizes a twist in the meaning of the sonnets and a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g would be the rhyme scheme. In comparison with the twentieth century sonnets, there are no couplets or perfect rhyming design either. Since buildings of all sonnets are not the same, therefore constructions cannot entirely give indicating to sonnets.
Next, all three sonnets from a structuralist point of view have love as their underlying theme. Therefore these sonnets then have similarities in their tones. Emotional words are available throughout these sonnets which then contribute to the sentimental build for love sonnets. Words such as love, bleed, go through and wound are a few of the samples that are found within every one of the three sonnets, "To MY PARTNER", "Sonnets are full of love. . . " and "Not at the first view. . . ". Therefore whenever a audience is given a love sonnet for example, she or he will know very well what to anticipate. However structuralist do not bother about the individual interpretation of the sonnets. Structuralist theory also forgoes the author and historical background of every sonnets. All that counts to a Structuralist is that the similarities and underneath series theme of love which governs these sonnets. " Interpretation is no more determined by the individual but by the system which governs the average person" ( Selden 69). For example regarding to Vladimir Propp inHis Morphology of the Folk-Tale (1927), individual content of any folktale is not the main issue. He thinks that there is something that binds them which make folk tales similar in structure. "Propp is main Structuralists for the reason that he desired to delineate the innate order that been around in a disparate body of text messages. Such as a scientist searching for the one regulation that binds a variety of, physically different phenomena mutually and makes up about their similarities, Propp studied hundreds of Russian folk-tales or oral stories and came to the conclusion that they all followed the same style" (Rivkin and Ryan 72). Therefore the recurring of the pattern regarding these sonnets, love then becomes a useful tool in understanding the given sonnets. However, for me, love maybe the primary theme of most three sonnets, but by universalizing meaning of love can be problematic. It is because love in "To My Wife" is directed to a wife and "Sonnets are packed with love. . . " is aimed on the poets mother. Whereas "Not at the first eyesight. . . " was written for a lover. For structuralist Saussure, "Words are indications in that they consist of two faces or attributes -the signifier, which is the phonic component, and the signified, which is the ideational element. A phrase is both a audio and an idea or image of its referent"(Ryan and Rivkin 54). Therefore,
In the truth of these sonnets however, the term love has a lot of meanings and worth into it. By just having one so this means for the term love, the wonder and the concept intended to be passed on through these sonnets will meet inability. Essence of these sonnets becomes mistakenly recognized by the viewers. For a good example, in the sonnet "Sonnets are full of love. . . " which was meant or directed towards a mom then becomes an incestuous poem or may create a sense of disapproval and uncomfortableness within the readers as well. Words can have a great deal of signifier mounted on it, and signifiers attached to multiple signifieds. Thus varieties chains of signifieds and signifiers and there is no linear form to it as advised by structuralists. " In other words, there is absolutely no one-to-one website link between signifier and signified but rather an "aftereffect of signified" generated by the movements in one signifier to some other"(Ryan and Rivkin 342).
In conclusion, I really do agree to an degree that the structuralism theory helps in providing meanings to the sonnets, "To MY PARTNER" by Phillip Larkin, "Sonnets are full of love. . . " by Christian Rossetti and "Not at the first vision. . . " by Sir Phillip Sidney. However I favor the last mentioned part of structuralism which is the post structuralism theory, since it takes into account of the public context. Text regarding to Post Structuralism cannot escape discourses that happen to be destined to ideology and terms. I assume that the context all around us which really is a major contributor to this is of sonnets which Structuralism neglect to take account of. Furthermore the sonnets are differentiated or known as according to the era these were written and vary in their way own ways too. For instance Renaissance sonnets (Shakespearean and Italian sonnets) were written during 13th century till 16th century and were loaded with words courtly tradition words likened modern sonnets which are not. " Renaissance sonnet traditions a trend as richly assorted as designated by an obedience to conventions, Courtly Platonic and Christian love elements mingle and coalesced as the rhetoric of amor courtois was adapted to praise the sonneteer's mistress as the earthly manifestation of heavenly virtue" (Tucker 353). Whereas twentieth century sonnets uses words and phrases to describe love and enthusiast in a far more down to earth and simplistic vocabulary such as "Matchless potential", "my first love" and "blessed glow".
Selden, Raman. A Reader's Guide To Modern Literary Theory. Kentucky: The College or university Press of Kentucky, 1985. 52-66. Print.
Rivkin, Julie, and Michael Ryan, eds. Literary Theory: An Anthology. Second ed. Australia: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. 72-89. Print out.
Sonnet. british. upenn. edu, 18 July 2007. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. .
Scribner Ames, Sanford. "Structuralism, Words, and Books. " The Journal of Looks and Art Criticism 32. 1 (1973): 89-94. Web. 16 Feb. 2011.
Tucker, Cynthia G. "Meredith's Broken Laurel: "Modern Love" and the Renaissance Sonnet Custom. " Victorian Poetry 10. 4 (1972): 351-65. Web. 18 Feb. 2011. .