ARTSask

ARTSask

Information and images related to Saskatchewan art and artists; organized thematically; teacher suggestions provided.

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Deconstructing Metaphor and Lines from Dracula

DECONSTRUCTION

Name:_________                                                                                           Ms. Fisher/ELA A10

Deconstruction is a strategy for revealing the alternate meaning in a text that was pushed away in order for the text to take its actual form. Texts include resources that will go against the author’s intentions.

  • o   ‘Constructs’ do not exist naturally; they are products of our manipulation.
  • o   We need to realize that there is something wrong or incomplete or dishonest or unintended with how the text is put together.
  • o   Stories are written by everyday people and have unresolved conflicts and contradictory emotions. These tensions and contradictions may reveal what the story is really trying to say.
  • o   Some readers may derive one surface level message from a text, but those who see through that initial disguise will find various meanings in a text.

1. Unpacking metaphors:

Under each, please write the obvious surface meaning, and an unintended meaning that may lie beneath the surface.

“Love is a rose.”

Intended

Unintended

“You are the sunshine of my life.”

Intended

Unintended

 

 

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Intended

Unintended

2. Deconstructing a text:

“Seward: I’m sure you would, my boy. You love her with the warm blood of youth, but don’t forget I love my daughter, too.”

Intended

Unintended

 

“Seward: Yes, he thinks that by absorbing lives he can prolong his own life.”

Intended

 

Unintended

“Renfield: Professor Van Helsing, can you tell me why that one great spider lived for centuries in the tower of the old Spanish church—and grew and grew? He never ate, but he drank, and he drank.”

Intended

 

Unintended

 

“Van Helsing: Ah, Seward, let me remind you that the superstitions of today are the scientific facts of tomorrow.”

Intended

 

Unintended

 

3. Reconsider a reading:

Now, think of Dracula and how it cannot be taken at face value, and maybe reveal internal inconsistencies or unintended conflict. It may have a mixed message or an unintended meaning. On your own or with a partner, please complete the following sentences about Act 1. Hand in this booklet when you are finished. Put your name on the front of the booklet.

When I deconstruct this text, here’s what happen. I think the main idea the author was trying to construct was:

 

But this construct really doesn’t work. The idea falls apart. The language and construction of the text isn’t able to convey what the authors meant to convey. There are placed in the text where it just doesn’t work. For example:

 

So in the end, even though the author meant the work to say:

 

It really said:

 

[Optional] I’d also like to say that: