Structuralism was a literary movement that rose in France during the early 1960s and it was propagated especially by Claude Levi-Strauss as a result of the need to understand how language works. This understanding was to be developed in the context of showing how language works…
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egan as an attempt by Levi-Strauss in his work The Savage Mind to force Jean-Paul Sarte, the leading French philosopher during that period, into an argument concerning his stance on language which the latter did not reply. It made intellects in the country come to believe that Sarte could not reply and they essentially moved to Levi-Strauss’ position that would develop into structuralism. Therefore, through the influence of Levi-Strauss, structuralism developed in such a manner that it became popular beyond his native France and this movement in turn came to produce post-structuralism which was favoured by such intellects as Derrida.
In order to answer the question concerning whether language was a means of developing meaning, Levi-Strauss made an attempt to study it in its form (Levi-Strauss 1966, p.112). This was done with stress being put on its being studied scientifically and it ensured that not only was language studied in its form, but also in its original meaning. Through the influence of Levi-Strauss, language came to be thought of as a type of science so that it was considered to be a collection of units that by themselves had no meaning unless they were articulated in a developed system. This way, language came to be considered as units whose articulation relied on the differences that had been developed within larger linguistic and social contexts that ensured that they provided meaning to the users. Furthermore, literary works, as one of the primary concerns of structuralists, came to be considered, not according to the meanings that were developed by present readers, but according to those who read them when the works were developed. It is through the influence of structuralists that language came to have a higher meaning, not just as a means of communication, but also as a basic component of developing meaning. The language system was a means through which different units of language, which were essentially arbitrary in nature and did not have any
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