Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Meaning, Interpretation, and Tension in Literature Essay -- Literary A
Iraqi Head Seeks Arms. (Pinker, p. 69) Quiproquo, double entendre, pun. These are instances of finding more than than one possible meaning to an event, roughly often a phrase. We cant read Shakespeare, or Molire, or the works of legion(predicate) other authors if we dont believe that some affaire can grow more than one meaning. There is no topic in philosophy that has received more attention than meaning, in its multifarious manifestations. (Dennett, p. 401) Meaning is one of our most intimate bedfellows it is always in our minds. In Websters Third unused International Dictionary, meaning is defined as follows 1meaning 1a The thing one intends to convey by an flake or esp. by language b the thing that is conveyed or signified esp. by language the sense in which something (as a statement) is understood 2 The thing that is meant or intended INTENT, PURPOSE, AIM, OBJECT It is especially interesting that there is a difference between 1a and 1b in this definition, because this impl ies that there can be at least two meanings for a given event or utterance what the meaner intends, and what the witness understands the meaning to be. The number of possible meanings grows when we consider that there may be many different meanings, or levels of meanings of the meaner. There could also be many witnesses to the event, each with her own interpretation. Each of these situations is like a different context, which could reveal a new(a) sense.One area in which the possibility of the existence of more than one meaning or interpretation creates tension is literature. Intention, text, context, reader what determines meaning? Now the truly fact that arguments are made for all four factors shows that meaning is complex and elusive, not something once and f... ...case, especially if we concede that certain things from which we derive meaning were created without determination or purpose. Perhaps our concept of meaning is a manifestation of our tendency to make up stories t o explain things, or desire as humans to hire emptiness and to expand. We certainly dont have all the puzzle pieces yet hopefully our understanding will evolve and expand as more information becomes available. full treatment CitedCarle, Eric. The Very Hungry Caterpillar. New York Philomel. 1969.Culler, Jonathon. Literary Theory. New York Oxford. 1997.Dennett, Daniel. Darwins Dangerous Idea. New York Touchstone, 1995.Hofstadter, Douglas R. Gdel, Escher, Bach an Eternal Golden Braid. New York Basic Books. 1979Mayr, Ernst. What Evolution Is. New York Basic Books, 2001.Pinker, Steven. The Language Instinct. New York HarperCollins, 1994.