- Deconstruction is defined as a way of analyzing literature that assumes that text cannot have a fixed meaning.
An example of deconstruction is reading a novel twice, 20 years apart, and seeing how it has a different meaning each time.
deconstruction definition by Webster's New World
a method of literary analysis originated in France in the mid-20th cent. and based on a theory that, by the very nature of language and usage, no text can have a fixed, coherent meaning
Origin: French déconstruction
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- deconstructionist noun, adjective
deconstruction definition by American Heritage Dictionary
A philosophical movement and theory of literary criticism that questions traditional assumptions about certainty, identity, and truth; asserts that words can only refer to other words; and attempts to demonstrate how statements about any text subvert their own meanings: “In deconstruction, the critic claims there is no meaning to be found in the actual text, but only in the various, often mutually irreconcilable, ‘virtual texts’ constructed by readers in their search for meaning” (Rebecca Goldstein).
- deˌcon·strucˈtive adjective
- deˌcon·strucˈtion·ism noun
- deˌcon·strucˈtion·ist noun & adj.