Kennedy on the same day - one of her relatives might be in this city at that day, but apparently, none of them wanted to go to Dallas , and she didn't bother to order her predictions or explain them in detail. On the other hand, she uses her power to successfully Write Back to the Future and also to avoid people responsible for delivering her message to snoop , and since she can predict everything , this includes knowing when Anathema will read a specific prophecy - so it always fits.
Count and Countess is perhaps a deconstruction of the vampire romance genre—specifically, why it would just plain suck to fall in love with someone predisposed to bloodlust. Animorphs is one huge deconstruction of Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World , as the five later six heroes discover that War Is Hell and how badly it's messed them up. The series focuses on deconstructing tropes about heroes and morality, as the characters begin to do whatever they have to do to win, becoming more and more morally ambiguous and less and less heroic.
Kid Hero : It's obvious from the get-go that the kids, having no sort of military knowledge or practical connections whatsoever, are pretty much just making it up as they go and doing the best they can with what they have, and they're closer to Child Soldiers than anything else. The Good Guys Always Win : Not a full deconstruction, as the kids actually do manage to save their home planet, but the fact that they're massively outgunned is a major element in the story, and the kids comment from time to time that only rarely are their missions actually successful.
One of the major messages of the series is that, despite idealistic platitudes, victory ultimately goes to those who are ruthless and desperate enough to take the most extreme measures, not to the morally superior. Violence Is the Only Option : Initially, what with this being an invasion and occupation, the kids consider armed resistance to be their only option. But it quickly becomes apparent that Yeerks are Not So Different from the Animorphs themselves, capable of being reasoned and negotiated with, and at times a pacifistic and diplomatic solutions work out.
What Measure Is a Non-Human? However, by the end of the series, it's obvious that despite outward differences, the three species actually have much more in common with humankind than is apparent at first glance. Puppeteer Parasite gets it twice over: starting in the early books, the Yeerks are presented as unambiguously evil, and the series plays up how horrifying it would be for a host to be fully-conscious but unable to control themselves, forced to do horrible things to help the invasion.
However, around book 18 the author starts to question if any species can be Always Chaotic Evil , and incidentally, what is it like to be a blind, slug-like creature who can never really interact with the world, except by making other beings its slave? A major part of the conflict in the last few books is not just fighting the Yeerks' open invasion , but making sure that the Andalites don't decide to quarantine Earth and "cleanse" it of the Yeerk plague.
Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet books are deconstructive in showing the implications of incredibly powerful magic in a society, versus those who don't have it. The "Andat" as created by the Khaiem cities are literally the embodiment of ideas into humanoid form, such as "Removing-the-part-that-continues" nicknamed "Seedless". Seedless, for example, can cause the seeds in cotton blooms to all spontaneously fall out of them or cause all the seeds in an enemy nation's crops to fall out before the appropriate time, or even cause all of their pregnant women to miscarry.
This plays out as you would realistically expected, with technological advancement in the Khaiem cities curbed because they have the Andat as a source of wealth and power, and all the Khaiem cities being monarchies because the most important criteria for rule is whether you control the "poet" who controls the Andat. It's contrasted throughout the series with the Galt, a nation without Andat that instead had to rely on technology for power and prosperity, and is more advanced in many ways than the Khaiem - they have steam engines, for example.
In J R R Tolkien's own introduction to The Lord of the Rings , he states that if the novel were a real life one, the Free People would have tried to create their own version of Sauron's ring, and that both sides would have held hobbits in contempt! Rather, that's Professor Tolkien's response to the idea that his story is allegorical. He despised allegory as a rule, and did not take kindly to people trying to equate the War of the Ring with World War II. Thus this statement is actually a Take That!
Roald Dahl 's Revolting Rhymes is a morbid deconstruction of famous fairy tales. Goldilocks is eaten by the bears as they would do in real life , the wolf decides to blow up the third pig's brick house with dynamite, the seven dwarfs steal the magic mirror from the Queen to predict the outcome of horse races, Among other things, Snow White's husband turned out to be a necrophiliac, Hansel was The Load , and after living in a castle where servants did everything for her, Cinderella came to regard her stepmother as her new best friend.
The Giver is a deconstruction of utopias and their necessary maintenance. In the slow revelation of the underlying rules The Community is built upon, it becomes apparent that played realistically utopias may become dystopias of their own. George R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series heavily deconstructs a ton of tropes: A Child Shall Lead Them is a trope that results in inexperienced teenagers leading nations to war, or having other, more ambitious underlings undermine them at every turn.
The Knight in Shining Armor is just a rich man that can afford armor and weapons and more often than not act like thugs. Nobility abuses the law and their power to avoid the consequences of their actions. There are loyal men, honest and brave, but these are far outnumbered by a massive number of scumbags that are simply there for power.
And the knightly order that protects the rest of the world from a horrific threat? Millennia after the first appearance of that threat no one believes that they're real anymore, and instead there are only a tenth as many as there should be, and many of them are criminals or men that are there because they have no other choice. There's no such thing as the USA anymore and the government is basically just the post office and the FBI everything else has been privatised, including the military ; all that's left is just a collection of motley city-states run by various corporations.
Pizza delivery is very dangerous work, and not just because your boss will put a bullet in the back of your skull if the pizza arrives cold. The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh deconstructs many tropes inherent to the Police Procedural : The crime itself takes up very little of the book, with the rest devoted to buildup and the ensuing trial.
There is no mystery as to what happened or who committed the crime, but the case is dragged out over months anyway. One of the defendants is innocent, save as an unwilling accomplice who made multiple escape attempts from his partner but he is never portrayed as a good person and he is actually guilty of many more crimes, though nothing approaching murder. Rather than try to land the fairest sentence for each defendant, the prosecution wants—and gets—the death penalty for both, though both are overturned when California abolishes the death penalty several years later. Instead of eloquent, soulful arguments about why their clients deserve to live, the defense attorneys use underhanded methods that border on badgering both judge and witness.
Prosecuting attorneys are driven from their profession in disgust. The star witness, a police officer, is very nearly Driven to Suicide by both PTSD and some fellow officers who blame either him or his deceased partner for not doing enough to prevent their own kidnapping. Closure comes not when the defendants are sent to prison, but when the trial is finally over and everyone involved is able to move on with their lives. Understandable, as the crime in question took place in Real Life. Hogfather deconstructs several Christmas tropes, and in particular heavily critiques both The Little Match Girl and the story of Wenceslas.
In the former, Albert explains that the match girl's death serves to make others grateful for what little they have because at least they're not freezing to death in the snow. Death is having none of it and uses Loophole Abuse to bring her back to life before leaving her in the safe hands of the Watch. In the latter, the king is trying to give food to a man who already has a meal and would just have to throw the king's gift away. It's pointed out that the king is only being charitable to make himself feel better and that one night of charity doesn't make up for being a neglectful ruler the rest of the year.
On the surface, the world of the Geometers is a perfect utopia of what humanity might one day achieve: Crystal Spires and Togas , advanced technology, post-scarcity to the point where they can waste resources on making their continents look like geometric shapes, hence the name for their race , everyone happily working towards the common good and enjoying life, the goal towards universal Friendship with other races. Then you dig deeper and find out that kids are taken from their parents at a young age and raised in boarding schools, anyone who starts doubting the wisdom of the Mentors or the philosophy of Friendship is deemed sick and placed in "sanatoriums" basically, forced labor camps, who maintain those geometrically shaped coastlines , most of the food and drink on the planet is laced with tranquilizers to keep violence and base emotions down.
Oh, and their current state of society was achieved after they have wiped out another sentient species on their planet but they feel really bad about it, honest. And how do they turn non-friends they don't have a word for "enemy" into friends? They send in agents to regress an alien culture to a more primitive state, then appear as emissaries from the heavens and offer their help to the primitives. As always, they believe that Utopia Justifies the Means. The Guns of the South deconstructs a few tropes.
Deliberate Values Dissonance : The racism presented by the Confederates is a product of its time , where they believe that slavery is the only way that whites and blacks can peacefully co-exist. The members of the AWB , meanwhile, are fanatical, reactionary, and virulently racist. Once the Confederate leaders see books from the 21st century, they're absolutely horrified that the AWB lied to them, seeing that they won't be Vindicated by History , and Robert E.
Deconstruction of destruction stories: narrative, inequality, and disasters
Lee pushes even harder for abolition. This, of course, causes the AWB to turn on them and the two sides go to war. This Is My Boomstick : The AWB present many future devices to the Confederates, but until explanations start coming out much of it is accepted as simply an advanced part of their own world; this produces a funny moment early on, for example, when Rhoodie is somewhat disconcerted at Lee's matter-of-fact reaction to seeing an MRE Lee notes that he's familiar with the Union practice of desiccating vegetables for army use but hadn't been aware that the Federals had extended it to entire meals.
It is not until Rhoodie explicitly states that he is from the future that Lee even begins to suspect such an event. Something the time travelers don't anticipate though is the Army's interest in field rations and instant coffee. Giving Radio to the Romans : The AWB come to equipped with modern guns, mortars, barbed wire, and landmines, as well as modern medical tools such as nitroglycerin pills. During their stay in the past, they also transform the small town of Rivington, North Carolina, into a veritable fortress. Once the AWB and Confederates go to war, their modern technology doesn't stand up to Confederates' superior tactics.
After their time machine is destroyed, a few stranded Afrikaners promise to help rebuild 21st century technology for the Confederates, ensuring they will remain the most advanced nation in the world. The plan also has the unintended consequence of the Union and presumably other nations acquiring and replicating the same weapons.
The Re-Construction and Deconstruction of a Family Narrative: Eva Menasse’s Vienna
Some readers feel it fails though, since the "villains" are not so bad, with the "heroes" having very nasty sides in some cases. The men in the story are quick to resort to Disproportionate Retribution over perceived affronts to each others' manhoods and their feuding leads to a Vicious Cycle of offence, destruction and prolonged bloodshed. For example, at one point a hard-won legal settlement breaks down because a beardless man is offended by a silk garment sent as a gift; it's not even clear if the sender actually intended to slight him.
It is made clear throughout that much of the death and destruction in the story could have been avoided if these viking men weren't so pathetically thin-skinned and lacking in self-control. This example is Older Than Print. Live-Action TV. Some reality shows , game shows and documentaries deconstruct fiction genres, or fiction tropes, by playing them out in real life. Survivor deconstructs the Robinsonade.
Mythbusters deconstructs several tropes by testing their mostly scientific accuracy. The final few episodes of the 8th season of 24 end up being a deconstruction of several of the series' own tropes, turning much of the show's formula on its head. Jack's usual employment of the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique ends up providing nothing for him, as despite giving the receiving mook one of the most brutal, gruesome torture sequences in the entire series, the man has been conditioned so well that he refuses to talk and tell Jack what he wants to know, forcing him to look for alternate means to gather information.
Jack's entire shtick of ignoring the law and trying to carry out justice deconstructs just how much "good" he truly accomplishes by doing so. Not only does he end up leaving a nasty trail of death and destruction but his endgame involves assassinating the President of Russia, and regardless of his hand on the conspiracy he's still a the president of a foreign superpower. Successfully carrying it out could end up inciting a third world war - meaning Jack would end up making things worse than even the terrorists of the season were trying to.
Jack's Cowboy Cop behavior is deconstructed over the course of his rampage, and as his acts get more ruthless and dangerous the show quits painting it in any sort of glorious light, showing that anyone carrying out some sort of vigilante killing spree would have to be pretty unhinged to do so regardless of whether the victims deserved it or not, ultimately barely being any better than those they're going after.
This gets made most evident during one scene where we see the aftermath of a roomful of henchman that Jack slaughtered offscreen. It's not portrayed as any sort of awesome moment of Jack laying down a Curbstomp Battle against a bunch of minions; instead shown being as horrifying as it would be in real life. Jack killing those behind the death of his friends and loved ones in revenge gets deconstructed involves murdering the man who ordered the death of Renee Walker, and though he succeeds in killing him the man is also a high-ranking member of the Russian government. This ends up ultimately ruining his life for good, as not only does it leave him a fugitive but it ends up having tragic repercussions come Day 9.
Finally, Jack's ability to withstand untold amounts of punishment is deconstructed in the final episode when he's taken hostage by a squad of hitmen. Despite being caught in a car crash, getting shot multiple times, and receiving a nasty stab wound, Jack still attempts to fight his captors off.
They overpower him with little to no difficulty, as three trained men in peak condition can easily handle a man who's been so battered he can barely stand, leaving him at their mercy, and it's only through the timely arrival of his friends to call off the hit that he narrowly avoids getting executed. Abed pulls a paraphrasing of Ben Affleck's "the best part of my day" speech from Good Will Hunting on Troy, to try to get him to 'use his gift' and become a plumber. The next day, Abed turns to find that Troy is no longer sitting next to him in class Turns out, that would actually be a really horrible and offensive thing to say to a friend, no matter how gifted.
Abed's main problem is that he doesn't explain WHY he thinks this would be good for Troy, unlike Affleck's character. Continuum deconstructs everything about time travel in season three. In one episode, Liber 8 learned that in their attempts to prevent their future from happening, they ended up helping to create an even worse one!
Not only that, the fact that multiple people kept time-travelling to prevent multiple futures from happening left them wondering if anything they did in the present really mattered. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a deconstruction of the Psycho Ex-Girlfriend and Stalker with a Crush tropes: Rebecca Bunch is a highly successful lawyer in New York, but she is also completely miserable, suffering from anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
After accidentally running into her old ex-boyfriend Josh Chan, she remembers a time when she was truly happy Rebecca has legitimate mental problems, however, and that isn't helped with her throwing away her medication, as well as lying to herself about why she moved to West Covina. Doctor Who : "Aliens of London" deconstructs the Doctor's usual MO, in the classic series, of recruiting a young woman as a companion and taking her on adventures. Rose leaves her loved ones without saying goodbye, as usual. Only this time, it means that Rose has been missing for a year, her ex-boyfriend the only person who knew she'd left with the Doctor suspected of murdering her, and her mother left distraught.
The Doctor also has to explain to a police officer that his relationship with Rose isn't sexual. No one believes him when he says his name is "John Smith". The passengers treat Ten's "normal" eccentricities and mannerisms with scorn and suspicion, so once it becomes clear that the Monster of the Week has possessed one of the passengers, he's immediately suspected as the host. The Doctor is completely unable to identify the monster.
It turns literally all of his usual tactics against him, and literally the only reason the monster is foiled is by a last second Deus ex Machina. And we don't even know if the monster is actually dead. Glee was once "Deconstruction: The Show". For example, musicals were deconstructed with most of the musical numbers in the show taking place either as a stage performance or in somebody's imagination, and random "bursting into song" rarely turned out well. However, as the show has gone on, the creators have largely abandoned these rules, and on the contrary, "solve it through singing about it!
In addition, the show used to pride itself on its mockery of the Very Special Episode and various high school stereotypes; now, the acclaim its received for its pro-LGBT storylines has led it to take being a "message" show more seriously with varying levels of success. It is so biting with how Reality Ensues that it is a main reason why the Grand Finale was so controversial, all along the irony of the episode name "Last Forever. There is also significant foreshadowing in retrospect that their relationship will not end well, with them riding off the belief that just because they love each other it will work out.
Most weddings tend to be amazing but the success rate remains the same. After they divorce, Barney goes back to his womanizing ways and it is fully depicted as pathetic. His excuse for reverting after so much Character Development is THE SAME excuse after his first relationship with Robin, that if he couldn't make it work with her there was no one else who could make it work.
It also runs on the precept that characters can grow but they are still fundamentally the same person, changing that makes them someone else entirely. Him eventually fathering a child is the most logical end point for a man who has had as many sexual partners as he has. After they divorce, Robin's job takes her away from the city for long periods of time and whenever she visits the old gang, all she sees is her ex-husband picking up random skanks and two sets of friends being Happily Married with their own families. Seeing Ted with Tracy, Robin feels that choosing Barney over him was a mistake and missed out on real happiness by rejecting Ted.
She spent several years estranged from the group before reconciling during Ted and Tracy's marriage. Marshall passes on a prestigious judgeship offer to give Lily a chance to fulfill her dream of working in the artistic field. He justifies it saying things will work out eventually. They do, but it takes several years and he had to suffer as a corporate lawyer once more before things start going their way. Lily appreciates the sacrifice but regrets being a part of why he is miserable now. Plus she takes Robin leaving the group the hardest, being one of her closest female friends.
Ted meets Tracy, the love of his life and the mother of his children. They were absolutely perfect for each other, but their history isn't exactly a fairy tale as their engagement lasted years because of Ted being a stickler for the perfect wedding and Tracy getting pregnant with their daughter Penny around the same time of their first wedding date, with Luke following soon after.
Tracy ended up dying from an unspecified illness, leaving this perfect couple only able to be together for 11 years. True love and a happy relationship don't always last forever. The final shot of the series is Ted reconsidering his love for Robin, as despite everything he went through to be happy with Tracy that doesn't mean he doesn't still love Robin in some way. At the end the group just drifts apart. It's a sad reality that many people have encountered in real life and is a harsh truth nobody wants to face, that life is unpredictable, everyone has a different path, and people do grow up and change.
Nothing will ever be the same again. Except the monsters have no loyalty to their masters and will eat them, should the contract card be destroyed. The same thing would occur if the monsters aren't well-fed, meaning you must continue fighting to feed your mons, even if you want to quit — and the more mons you have, the harder it is to feed them. Oh, there's another way to get around this; the mons also eat humans. At least one Rider is more than happy to lets his mon eat random people.
It also deconstructs the idea of Kamen Riders being phlebotinum rebels , since the Big Bad arranging the Riders to fight always has the upper hand, either by sending his overtly powered Kamen Rider to hunt down the rebels, or in a special movie, rally all the Riders who want to fight to kill the Riders who want to end the war. Given the concept of the show , the former greatly outweigh the latter. Kamen Rider Gaim also deconstructs the Mons genre with its Invess, as it is made clear that the Invess are dangerous monsters and it's very easy to lose control of them.
Reality Ensues when it turns out that creatures from another world carry diseases totally unknown to the human immune system, which in turn leads to the protagonists being alienated by the public for their participation in the Invess Game. And this in turn leads to another deconstruction of just what happens when you give teenagers superpowers, as one Rider actually sets Invess on the public after they call him out and a group of teens use them to rob banks because they might as well with all the bad rap going on.
A villainous Rider deconstructs the entire premise of Kamen Rider by delivering the following line after killing a monster who was actually a human transformed by the fruit of Helheim. I destroyed a monster that was attacking our civilians. Bloodline : It is a rare popular Manhua that deconstructs the conflict of Abrahamic Good vs. The family of "Bloodline" are a set of vampires who have trouble adjusting to the human society and keeping their identities hidden.
One problem is how they get food since they can only drink blood , and they have similar moral values that make them very sympathetic. They're willing to kill and torture people who defect or just get in the way. Furthermore, as it transforms into a Fighting Series , it shows how dangerous and sudden their fights can be. The male protagonist Ye Ren even points out that it's nothing like the popular novels.
He only sees a flash of Lilo's first fight and he couldn't tell if it was blood or weapon fire. Tabletop Games. While much of Warhammer 40, is indeed based around Cool vs. Awesome armies fighting in fantastically improbable situations, there's more than a few sources that depict the 40k universe in a deconstructed manner. For example, the short-story "What It's Like. Other works like "The Last Church" deconstruct the ideals and motives behind The Emperor of Mankind 's actions, who is generally thought to be the best, last hope for humanity, and shows just how petty , ignorant , and ultimately egocentric he was.
A Streetcar Named Desire did not deconstruct any genre in particular, but it did deconstruct gender roles, physical relationships, and the American system of social classes in a rather harsh way. A common theory is that it was a direct response to Gone with the Wind , subverting the heroine, her marriage, and how she handles it in the face of a failing South. Euripides ' Trojan Women and Hecuba portrayed The Trojan War as a human tragedy rather than a sweeping epic tale of martial valor in the Homeric tradition.
In general, his tragedies are regarded as more "modern" than those of his predecessors because of their morally ambiguous protagonists, pervasive sense of anxiety and despair , religious skepticism and overall portrayal of mythological subjects and characters as real people. Butterfly is a no-holds-barred deconstruction of the " Oriental woman submissive to her white man " trope that Madame Butterfly codified, with a male Chinese spy disguised as a woman deliberately invoking this trope to get a French diplomat to fall in love with him and pointing out that Asian women are generally no more modest or demure than other women in real life.
The Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen became famous and controversal for not bending over to the standards of drama back then. Instead, he made people take a good hard look at them and asked, "Is this what you really want? The main character, Nora, is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who thinks that her husband will take care of everything in life. However, she realizes that what was between the two wasn't real love.
The ending shows her setting out to find who she really is, with "the door slam that has reverberated around the world". Brigadoon shows what happens to the people of the Vanishing Village. The most tragic examples are stuck in a village surrounded by people whom they have no connection to except a low-level mutual loathing, and have to watch their true love marry someone else, and can't go off to do something else or try to get away.
Person X makes wish Y. Wish Y is granted to person X. Wish Y then manages to have sufficiently negative unintended consequences on person X's life that wish Y now looks like a ridiculous thing to wish for. Thus, Wish Y is deconstructed. Video Games. Spec Ops: The Line deconstructs the modern shooter game and the limited binary "moral choices" of video games in general.
Or do we merely represent the last vestige of self-awareness in his increasingly damaged mind as he railroads us into committing atrocities , and our distrust and fear of him grows in parallel to that of the men in his command as he weakly tries to rationalize to both them and us until we feel as disconnected from him as the rest of reality and Those were good days. Visual Novels. Archer : There is nothing at the end of saving people. Web Animation. How It Should Have Ended sometimes actually deconstructs Stating the Simple Solution by showing that the outcomes are not always great.
This is best demonstrated with the Inside Out episode where Joy actually utilized how the Forgetters use to send memory back to headquarters. Sure, it eases the problem that Joy and Sadness will encounter in the move and prevents Bing Bong's death. But Joy didn't learn Sadness's purpose and Bing Bong ended up going to Riley's mind, tell her about what happened, and destroyed her psyche.
This turns Riley into a Womanchild still living in her parents' house with the emotions unable to control her. Red vs. Blue : The Blood Gulch Chronicles takes many first person shooter tropes and twists them. Everything from capture the flag, to why there are two bases in the middle of a box canyon with no strategic value, and Respawn.
Interestingly, the new series called Reconstruction is a deconstruction of the parodic nature of The Blood Gulch Chronicles. Caboose is tied up in the brig due to his self destructive tendencies. Grif and Simmons face the firing squad after selling all the ammo to the Blue team. The reason that all the red and blue conflicts were pointless squabbling over an equally pointless flag and base is revealed to be a conspiracy by command.
However, since that is a deconstruction of a deconstruction, arguably that makes it a Reconstruction as all the video game tropes are being put back together. RWBY : While Qrow's chronic alcoholism was played for laughs at first, it takes a dark, realistic turn once he learns about Salem's aforementioned Complete Immortality and that the man he dedicated his life to has been lying to him since day one. Suddenly, his "quirky" alcoholism becomes the desperate coping mechanism of a bitter, broken man struggling to come to terms with the fact that his whole life has been a lie.
Going even further, Qrow's alcoholism starts to become an outright liability, as it renders him useless against the Apathy Grimm and all but shatters Ruby's previously ironclad faith in him. The Most Popular Girls in School became struck with realism ever since the creators finished making a Deconstructive Parody series called Dr. Havoc's Diary.
Cameron is ultimately, someone sad and pathetic who is just getting fucked by teachers and college students without ever actually accomplishing anything meaningful in her life and that is probably stuck in this loop until something can break her out of it, which includes the opportunity given by the competition. After the speech, there seems to be a brief moment where Cameron realizes her life really is awful and that she isn't really enjoying it.
In Episode 75, we have one of the fashion industry, as Jeannie Halverstad mentions, is based on creating unrealistic standards of beauty that forces people with low self esteem to buy clothes that they hope will make them look better, even though it won't really help that much. Kickthe Football Chuck deconstructs Peanuts and its gags and sets them to the tone of Charlie Brown's cancer. The Pixel Art Comic Kid Radd , while largely light in tone, presents a "video game characters living in video-land" scenario where it's a very real problem that many inhabitants are innately armed and know nothing but killing.
They know why they were created, and they don't like it. The player character Radd goes from slacker to Determinator because he always had the latter's mindset, but started his days in a game under the player's control, so he had to learn initiative completely from the ground up. Upon being freed, Radd needed instructions to walk independently. It's Walky! Joe and Transformers. Sure it features a unique special forces group, SEMME who were initially based on GI Joe with an eccentric line up of operatives, who routinely foil the insane schemes of a Harmless Villain , but the eccentric operatives are soon revealed to be a bunch of dysfunctional screw-ups, and the Villain is in fact a Not-So-Harmless Villain.
VG Cats deconstructs the cartoon violence of Tom and Jerry in this strip , showing the Real Life consequences of Jerry whacking Tom on the head with a mallet, as pictured above. Far from being amusing , it leaves Tom with severe brain damage and Jerry in prison for assault. Misfile deconstructs every Gender Bender trope. It portrays goblins not as monsters but as people who live and love.
It shows us that what Player Characters see as just an XP haul isn't so fun when you're the one they're killing to level up. It lends a whole new perspective to the storyline of the prequel trilogy. The entire mess on Naboo was the result of the Player Characters epically ruining a delicate, carefully constructed plan by going Off the Rails , and engaging in all the sins of The Real Man , The Munchkin , and The Loonie. Palpatine is actually a good guy overthrowing a corrupt regime, and trying to bring a semblance of stability to the republic.
Darth Maul was just a Chaotic Neutral Hired Gun who was only trying to work with the player characters, before they attacked him. To top it all off, some of the most bizarre and unrealistic plot points, such as Naboo being governed by a 14 year old Queen , exist because Jar Jar Binks is being played by a little girl. Strong Female Protagonist deconstructs the superhero genre, and asks what good superheroes can achieve when they're not facing immediate and palpable threats.
In Chapter 26 of the Spanish webcomic 5 Elementos , the author show the effects of a civil war in a world habited by lots and lots of people with superpowers. MS Paint Adventures is Andrew Hussie 's deconstructive love letter to a multitude of series, genres, concepts and tropes , including deconstruction itself. In its darker arcs Roommates deconstructs Medium Awareness.
How do you cope with being a fictional being? Your fate is literally written or filmed, printed, uploaded on the internet etc. There is a reason why it has a support group for the canonically dead, no matter how silly this sounds. The Order of the Stick has a lot of Genre Savvy characters, but Tarquin carries it to the point where he sees the other characters as nothing more than plot devices and tropes.
When he kills Nale, his own son one of the reasons he gives is that he has no place in the narrative anymore. Even Tarquin's allies are getting fed up with his meme obsession. When Tarquin's good son Elan points out that heroes always take down evil empires like his, Tarquin notes that for heroes to take them down, they must first exist, generally for decades or longer.
Sure, he might get violently killed in the end, but he'll rule for years, and it'll make a great story for future dictators to take inspiration from when Elan himself overthrows him.
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Elan is so freaked out to hear his beloved tropes twisted this way that he has a full-fledged panic attack. Luckily he figures out a counter-deconstruction to tick his father off: if 'liberating' the empire will cause chaos and corruption anyway, why not ignore it entirely and let it rot itself over time from its Fascist, but Inefficient policies?
It's a boring, anticlimactic ending that has about as many casualties as barging in and killing anyone guarding the tyrant, now with reduced inspiration. Slightly Damned The demon's berserk form deconstructs Hulking Out , they grow several times their original size and can even gain new appendages but the transformation puts so much strain on their bodies that if they stay that way for too long they will die of over-exertion.
Also, most of them lose their minds in the process, making them liabilities to their former allies. The series also deconstructs a Forever War ; the forces of heaven originally went to war with hell to defend Medius but after generations of fighting and dying and the disappearance of their goddess they went from all-loving hippies to fascists with strict caste laws and a code of genocide against demonic children. There's also the fact that hundreds of years of war have severely reduced the populations of both sides and now there aren't that many angels or demons left, prompting those in power to secretly forge a desperate alliance and attack a neutral party, Medius itself, for certain "resources".
Web Original. Aitor Molina vs. Sailor Nothing loves showing just how jarringly, horrifically, nightmarishly different the characters' lives are from Magical Girl anime. Several of them even watch an exaggerated, stereotypical version of such shows; the main character actually watches it to escape her life. Mario: Game Over. A remarkable deconstruction of Super Mario Bros. Smash King has this as a heavy Overarching Theme of the series, such as with someone renowned as a villain like Bowser being a villain and showing how despite his reputation, he desires something other than a life of villainy.
One even more notable example that this trope especially works well on is Link, on how the pressure of being a designated hero can really turn for the worse. With Link it also works as a subtle Take That! Furry Fandom works frequently portray a world as furry. I Wish I Was Furry! The main character is even a human furry fan, like is typical for transformation stories. A furryized world, as it happens, is dark and brutal. Sonny Gets Mad Scienced is the "humorous" type of deconstruction. It revolves around two central ideas; telling a Mad Scientist story from the perspective of one of the nameless subjects experimented on, and being Genre Savvy doesn't always help.
It mostly involves sitting around and waiting, when you're not going on pointless, tedious missions, suffering from homesickness or getting randomly killed. Single player gameplay clocks in at 17, hours. For the superhero scene, there's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. A detailed description of the webseries can be found in its WMG page.
In an effort to make Creepypasta less frightening, some internet users have taken to providing reasons why they exist, such as Jeff the Killer being abused by his family , forcing him into homicide, resulting in his murderous tendencies. It is mostly played for laughs but there is a disturbing point about half-way through where Pikachu is bleeding as he's strangled by a Bulbasaur. If you've ever been mildly bothered by the cockfighting similarities, you will be really distressed by this video.
Dance of the Manwhore and Quest of the Manwhore deconstructs the " manly seducer " character found in a modern dance pop. The video shows that this same kind of character, looked at a little differently, can come across as creepy, even dangerous, and that his superficial lifestyle may be hiding all kinds of personal issues, like drug addiction, and parental abandonment. Accidentally done in WrestleCrap 's Gooker Award winner to its own website.
Not only did RD regret even putting the incident as a nomination, knowing that it would be hard to write up its induction, but he pointed out that the website's tagline was "The Very Worst in Wrestling" and the "Eddiesploitation" was just that. The result is neglect of civil rights, excessive nuclear proliferation, complete economic collapse, reduction of civil liberties, and environmental damage. A Funny or Die video by Casey Wilson and Scott Aukerman deconstructed the Frank Loesser song "Baby It's Cold Outside" in such a way that the situation Casey wants to go home and Scott wants to have sex with her is presented as a date rape: he slips a roofie into her drink, they fight, and he ties her to a chair with duct tape.
In the end, she knocks him out with a shovel. What's disturbing is that they sing the song without changing any of the words , and everything they do is entirely appopriate to what they're singing about.
Daniel Punday, Narrative After Deconstruction - PhilPapers
Reddit's coaxedintoasnafu subreddit deconstructs many of the site's memes and trends. The Candy Hair saga written by phantomrose96, of "It's Not Gay If He's Dead" fame tears into Anime Hair and similar fashion-related tropes by depicting a world where people with unnatural hair and eye colors are forced to become protagonists in their own anime adventures.
The main characters are a group of background characters who are sick of getting passed over due to their relative plainness and so start dying and styling their hair, among other things. However, they can't keep up this facade for various reasons the rich rival, for example, is only considered one by the universe because of his dyed platinum blonde hair and fancy suit, and happens to be in trouble with a number of debtors and credit card companies because he's desperately trying to support his lifestyle.
The villain is a girl born with pink hair who absolutely loathes the protagonist lifestyle because it cost her so much including her amnesiac best friend, the saga's protagonist , and is under the belief that, by shaving and re-dying everyone's hair, she's giving them better lives. Western Animation. Adventure Time is a deconstruction of fantasy elements applied in a positive way. Characters go through trouble, the world is in danger every day, and very few people have good values.
The American Dad! However, people react to it by fleeing the mall as if there was a crazed gunman on the loose, there is a considerable amount of property damage and several people end up getting killed. It's gotten to the point where the police gave Stan an ultimatum: one more rampage and she goes to jail forever. One being that a show doesn't acknowledge an episode is the last episode, so kids keep watching and hoping for new episodes, and the other rule being a show doesn't break the fourth wall. However, a recording of the actors reading the script exists online.
This episode, even only as an audio, is one of the most unique deconstructions ever made.
Derrida's initial work in philosophy was largely phenomenological, and his early training as a philosopher was done largely through the lens of Husserl. Other important inspirations on his early thought include Nietzsche , Heidegger , Saussure, Levinas and Freud. Derrida acknowledges his indebtedness to all of these thinkers in the development of his approach to texts, which has come to be known as 'deconstruction'. It was in that Derrida really arrived as a philosopher of world importance.
All of these works have been influential for different reasons, but it is Of Grammatology that remains his most famous work it is analysed in some detail in this article. In Of Grammatology , Derrida reveals and then undermines the speech-writing opposition that he argues has been such an influential factor in Western thought. His preoccupation with language in this text is typical of much of his early work, and since the publication of these and other major texts including Dissemination , Glas , The Postcard , Spectres of Marx , The Gift of Death , and Politics of Friendship , deconstruction has gradually moved from occupying a major role in continental Europe, to also becoming a significant player in the Anglo-American philosophical context.
This is particularly so in the areas of literary criticism, and cultural studies, where deconstruction's method of textual analysis has inspired theorists like Paul de Man. He has also had lecturing positions at various universities, the world over. Derrida died in Deconstruction has frequently been the subject of some controversy.
When Derrida was awarded an honorary doctorate at Cambridge in , there were howls of protest from many 'analytic' philosophers. However, what is clear from the antipathy of such thinkers is that deconstruction challenges traditional philosophy in several important ways, and the remainder of this article will highlight why this is so. Derrida, like many other contemporary European theorists, is preoccupied with undermining the oppositional tendencies that have befallen much of the Western philosophical tradition.
In fact, dualisms are the staple diet of deconstruction, for without these hierarchies and orders of subordination it would be left with nowhere to intervene. Deconstruction is parasitic in that rather than espousing yet another grand narrative, or theory about the nature of the world in which we partake, it restricts itself to distorting already existing narratives, and to revealing the dualistic hierarchies they conceal. While Derrida's claims to being someone who speaks solely in the margins of philosophy can be contested, it is important to take these claims into account.
Deconstruction is, somewhat infamously, the philosophy that says nothing. To the extent that it can be suggested that Derrida's concerns are often philosophical, they are clearly not phenomenological he assures us that his work is to be read specifically against Husserl , Sartre and Merleau-Ponty and nor are they ontological.
Deconstruction, and particularly early deconstruction, functions by engaging in sustained analyses of particular texts.
It is committed to the rigorous analysis of the literal meaning of a text, and yet also to finding within that meaning, perhaps in the neglected corners of the text including the footnotes , internal problems that actually point towards alternative meanings. Deconstruction must hence establish a methodology that pays close attention to these apparently contradictory imperatives sameness and difference and a reading of any Derridean text can only reaffirm this dual aspect.
Derrida speaks of the first aspect of this deconstructive strategy as being akin to a fidelity and a "desire to be faithful to the themes and audacities of a thinking" WD At the same time, however, deconstruction also famously borrows from Martin Heidegger's conception of a 'destructive retrieve' and seeks to open texts up to alternative and usually repressed meanings that reside at least partly outside of the metaphysical tradition although always also partly betrothed to it. This more violent and transgressive aspect of deconstruction is illustrated by Derrida's consistent exhortation to "invent in your own language if you can or want to hear mine; invent if you can or want to give my language to be understood" MO In suggesting that a faithful interpretation of him is one that goes beyond him, Derrida installs invention as a vitally important aspect of any deconstructive reading.
He is prone to making enigmatic suggestions like "go there where you cannot go, to the impossible, it is indeed the only way of coming or going" ON 75 , and ultimately, the merit of a deconstructive reading consists in this creative contact with another text that cannot be characterised as either mere fidelity or as an absolute transgression, but rather which oscillates between these dual demands. The intriguing thing about deconstruction, however, is that despite the fact that Derrida's own interpretations of specific texts are quite radical, it is often difficult to pinpoint where the explanatory exegesis of a text ends and where the more violent aspect of deconstruction begins.
This is partly because it is even problematic to speak of a 'work' of deconstruction, since deconstruction only highlights what was already revealed in the text itself. All of the elements of a deconstructive intervention reside in the "neglected cornerstones" of an already existing system MDM 72 , and this equation is not altered in any significant way whether that 'system' be conceived of as metaphysics generally, which must contain its non-metaphysical track, or the writings of a specific thinker, which must also always testify to that which they are attempting to exclude MDM These are, of course, themes reflected upon at length by Derrida, and they have an immediate consequence on the meta-theoretical level.
To the minimal extent that we can refer to Derrida's own arguments, it must be recognised that they are always intertwined with the arguments of whomever, or whatever, he seeks to deconstruct. This is why he argues that his work occupies a place in the margins of philosophy, rather than simply being philosophy per se. Deconstruction contends that in any text, there are inevitably points of equivocation and 'undecidability' that betray any stable meaning that an author might seek to impose upon his or her text.
The process of writing always reveals that which has been suppressed, covers over that which has been disclosed, and more generally breaches the very oppositions that are thought to sustain it. This also ensures that any attempt to describe what deconstruction is, must be careful. Nothing would be more antithetical to deconstruction's stated intent than this attempt at defining it through the decidedly metaphysical question "what is deconstruction?
That said, certain defining features of deconstruction can be noticed. For example, Derrida's entire enterprise is predicated upon the conviction that dualisms are irrevocably present in the various philosophers and artisans that he considers. While some philosophers argue that he is a little reductive when he talks about the Western philosophical tradition, it is his understanding of this tradition that informs and provides the tools for a deconstructive response. Because of this, it is worth briefly considering the target of Derridean deconstruction - the metaphysics of presence, or somewhat synonymously, logocentrism.
There are many different terms that Derrida employs to describe what he considers to be the fundamental way s of thinking of the Western philosophical tradition. These include: logocentrism, phallogocentrism, and perhaps most famously, the metaphysics of presence, but also often simply 'metaphysics'.
These terms all have slightly different meanings. Logocentrism emphasises the privileged role that logos , or speech, has been accorded in the Western tradition see Section 3. Phallogocentrism points towards the patriarchal significance of this privileging. Derrida's enduring references to the metaphysics of presence borrows heavily from the work of Heidegger. Heidegger insists that Western philosophy has consistently privileged that which is , or that which appears, and has forgotten to pay any attention to the condition for that appearance.
In other words, presence itself is privileged, rather than that which allows presence to be possible at all - and also impossible, for Derrida see Section 4 , for more on the metaphysics of presence. All of these terms of denigration, however, are united under the broad rubric of the term 'metaphysics'. What, then, does Derrida mean by metaphysics? In the 'Afterword' to Limited Inc.
All metaphysicians, from Plato to Rousseau, Descartes to Husserl, have proceeded in this way, conceiving good to be before evil, the positive before the negative, the pure before the impure, the simple before the complex, the essential before the accidental, the imitated before the imitation, etc. And this is not just one metaphysical gesture among others, it is the metaphysical exigency, that which has been the most constant, most profound and most potent" LI According to Derrida then, metaphysics involves installing hierarchies and orders of subordination in the various dualisms that it encounters M Moreover, metaphysical thought prioritises presence and purity at the expense of the contingent and the complicated, which are considered to be merely aberrations that are not important for philosophical analysis.
Basically then, metaphysical thought always privileges one side of an opposition, and ignores or marginalises the alternative term of that opposition. Deconstruction cannot limit itself or proceed immediately to neutralisation: it must, by means of a double gesture, a double science, a double writing, practise an overturning of the classical opposition, and a general displacement of the system.
It is on that condition alone that deconstruction will provide the means of intervening in the field of oppositions it criticises" M Derrida's terms change in every text that he writes. This is part of his deconstructive strategy. He focuses on particular themes or words in a text, which on account of their ambiguity undermine the more explicit intention of that text.
It is not possible for all of these to be addressed Derrida has published in the vicinity of 60 texts in English , so this article focused on some of the most pivotal terms and neologisms from his early thought. The most prominent opposition with which Derrida's earlier work is concerned is that between speech and writing. According to Derrida, thinkers as different as Plato, Rousseau, Saussure, and Levi-Strauss, have all denigrated the written word and valorised speech, by contrast, as some type of pure conduit of meaning.
Their argument is that while spoken words are the symbols of mental experience, written words are the symbols of that already existing symbol. As representations of speech, they are doubly derivative and doubly far from a unity with one's own thought. Without going into detail regarding the ways in which these thinkers have set about justifying this type of hierarchical opposition, it is important to remember that the first strategy of deconstruction is to reverse existing oppositions. In Of Grammatology perhaps his most famous work , Derrida hence attempts to illustrate that the structure of writing and grammatology are more important and even 'older' than the supposedly pure structure of presence-to-self that is characterised as typical of speech.
For example, in an entire chapter of his Course in General Linguistics , Ferdinand de Saussure tries to restrict the science of linguistics to the phonetic and audible word only In the course of his inquiry, Saussure goes as far as to argue that "language and writing are two distinct systems of signs: the second exists for the sole purpose of representing the first". Language, Saussure insists, has an oral tradition that is independent of writing, and it is this independence that makes a pure science of speech possible.
Derrida vehemently disagrees with this hierarchy and instead argues that all that can be claimed of writing - eg. But as well as criticising such a position for certain unjustifiable presuppositions, including the idea that we are self-identical with ourselves in 'hearing' ourselves think, Derrida also makes explicit the manner in which such a hierarchy is rendered untenable from within Saussure's own text.
Most famously, Saussure is the proponent of the thesis that is commonly referred to as "the arbitrariness of the sign", and this asserts, to simplify matters considerably, that the signifier bears no necessary relationship to that which is signified. Saussure derives numerous consequences from this position, but as Derrida points out, this notion of arbitrariness and of "unmotivated institutions" of signs, would seem to deny the possibility of any natural attachment OG After all, if the sign is arbitrary and eschews any foundational reference to reality, it would seem that a certain type of sign ie.
However, it is precisely this idea of a natural attachment that Saussure relies upon to argue for our "natural bond" with sound 25 , and his suggestion that sounds are more intimately related to our thoughts than the written word hence runs counter to his fundamental principle regarding the arbitrariness of the sign. In Of Grammatology and elsewhere, Derrida argues that signification, broadly conceived, always refers to other signs, and that one can never reach a sign that refers only to itself.
He suggests that "writing is not a sign of a sign, except if one says it of all signs, which would be more profoundly true" OG 43 , and this process of infinite referral, of never arriving at meaning itself, is the notion of 'writing' that he wants to emphasise. This is not writing narrowly conceived, as in a literal inscription upon a page, but what he terms 'arche-writing'. Arche-writing refers to a more generalised notion of writing that insists that the breach that the written introduces between what is intended to be conveyed and what is actually conveyed, is typical of an originary breach that afflicts everything one might wish to keep sacrosanct, including the notion of self-presence.
This originary breach that arche-writing refers to can be separated out to reveal two claims regarding spatial differing and temporal deferring. To explicate the first of these claims, Derrida's emphasis upon how writing differs from itself is simply to suggest that writing, and by extension all repetition, is split differed by the absence that makes it necessary. One example of this might be that we write something down because we may soon forget it, or to communicate something to someone who is not with us. According to Derrida, all writing, in order to be what it is, must be able to function in the absence of every empirically determined addressee M Derrida also considers deferral to be typical of the written and this is to reinforce that the meaning of a certain text is never present, never entirely captured by a critic's attempt to pin it down.
The meaning of a text is constantly subject to the whims of the future, but when that so-called future is itself 'present' if we try and circumscribe the future by reference to a specific date or event its meaning is equally not realised, but subject to yet another future that can also never be present.
The key to a text is never even present to the author themselves, for the written always defers its meaning. As a consequence we cannot simply ask Derrida to explain exactly what he meant by propounding that enigmatic sentiment that has been translated as "there is nothing outside of the text" OG Any explanatory words that Derrida may offer would themselves require further explanation.
So, Derrida's more generalised notion of writing, arche-writing, refers to the way in which the written is possible only on account of this 'originary' deferral of meaning that ensures that meaning can never be definitively present. This problematises efforts like Saussure's, which as well as attempting to keep speech and writing apart, also suggest that writing is an almost unnecessary addition to speech.
If the spoken word requires the written to function properly, then the spoken is itself always at a distance from any supposed clarity of consciousness. The widespread conviction that the sign literally represents something, which even if not actually present, could be potentially present, is rendered impossible by arche-writing, which insists that signs always refer to yet more signs ad infinitum , and that there is no ultimate referent or foundation.
This reversal of the subordinated term of an opposition accomplishes the first of deconstruction's dual strategic intents. Rather than being criticised for being derivative or secondary, for Derrida, writing, or at least the processes that characterise writing ie. Just as a piece of writing has no self-present subject to explain what every particular word means and this ensures that what is written must partly elude any individual's attempt to control it , this is equally typical of the spoken. Utilising the same structure of repetition, nothing guarantees that another person will endow the words I use with the particular meaning that I attribute to them.
Even the conception of an internal monologue and the idea that we can intimately 'hear' our own thoughts in a non-contingent way is misguided, as it ignores the way that arche-writing privileges difference and a non-coincidence with oneself SP In this respect, it needs to be pointed out that all of deconstruction's reversals arche-writing included are partly captured by the edifice that they seek to overthrow.
For Derrida, "one always inhabits, and all the more when one does not suspect it" OG 24 , and it is important to recognise that the mere reversal of an existing metaphysical opposition might not also challenge the governing framework and presuppositions that are attempting to be reversed WD Deconstruction hence cannot rest content with merely prioritising writing over speech, but must also accomplish the second major aspect of deconstruction's dual strategies, that being to corrupt and contaminate the opposition itself. Derrida must highlight that the categories that sustain and safeguard any dualism are always already disrupted and displaced.
To effect this second aspect of deconstruction's strategic intents, Derrida usually coins a new term, or reworks an old one, to permanently disrupt the structure into which he has intervened - examples of this include his discussion of the pharmakon in Plato drug or tincture, salutary or maleficent , and the supplement in Rousseau, which will be considered towards the end of this section. To phrase the problem in slightly different terms, Derrida's argument is that in examining a binary opposition, deconstruction manages to expose a trace. This is not a trace of the oppositions that have since been deconstructed - on the contrary, the trace is a rupture within metaphysics, a pattern of incongruities where the metaphysical rubs up against the non-metaphysical, that it is deconstruction's job to juxtapose as best as it can.
The trace does not appear as such OG 65 , but the logic of its path in a text can be mimed by a deconstructive intervention and hence brought to the fore. The logic of the supplement is also an important aspect of Of Grammatology. Writing is itself an example of this structure, for as Derrida points out, "if supplementarity is a necessarily indefinite process, writing is the supplement par excellence since it proposes itself as the supplement of the supplement, sign of a sign, taking the place of a speech already significant" OG Another example of the supplement might be masturbation, as Derrida suggests OG , or even the use of birth control precautions.
What is notable about both of these examples is an ambiguity that ensures that what is supplementary can always be interpreted in two ways. For example, our society's use of birth control precautions might be interpreted as suggesting that our natural way is lacking and that the contraceptive pill, or condom, etc. On the other hand, it might also be argued that such precautions merely add on to, and enrich our natural way. It is always ambiguous, or more accurately 'undecidable', whether the supplement adds itself and "is a plenitude enriching another plenitude, the fullest measure of presence", or whether "the supplement supplements… adds only to replace… represents and makes an image… its place is assigned in the structure by the mark of an emptiness" OG Ultimately, Derrida suggests that the supplement is both of these things, accretion and substitution OG , which means that the supplement is "not a signified more than a signifier, a representer than a presence, a writing than a speech" OG It comes before all such modalities.
This is not just some rhetorical suggestion that has no concrete significance in deconstruction. Indeed, while Rousseau consistently laments the frequency of his masturbation in his book, The Confessions , Derrida argues that "it has never been possible to desire the presence 'in person', before this play of substitution and the symbolic experience of auto-affection" OG By this, Derrida means that this supplementary masturbation that 'plays' between presence and absence eg.
In a sense, masturbation is 'originary', and according to Derrida, this situation applies to all sexual relations. All erotic relations have their own supplementary aspect in which we are never present to some ephemeral 'meaning' of sexual relations, but always involved in some form of representation. Even if this does not literally take the form of imagining another in the place of, or supplementing the 'presence' that is currently with us, and even if we are not always acting out a certain role, or faking certain pleasures, for Derrida, such representations and images are the very conditions of desire and of enjoyment OG Despite this complexity, two main aspects of Derrida's thinking regarding phenomenology remain clear.
Firstly, he thinks that the phenomenological emphasis upon the immediacy of experience is the new transcendental illusion, and secondly, he argues that despite its best intents, phenomenology cannot be anything other than a metaphysics SP 75, In this context, Derrida defines metaphysics as the science of presence, as for him as for Heidegger , all metaphysics privileges presence, or that which is.
While they are presented schematically here, these inter-related claims constitute Derrida's major arguments against phenomenology. According to Derrida, phenomenology is a metaphysics of presence because it unwittingly relies upon the notion of an indivisible self-presence, or in the case of Husserl, the possibility of an exact internal adequation with oneself SP In various texts, Derrida contests this valorisation of an undivided subjectivity, as well as the primacy that such a position accords to the 'now', or to some other kind of temporal immediacy.
For instance, in Speech and Phenomena , Derrida argues that if a 'now' moment is conceived of as exhausting itself in that experience, it could not actually be experienced, for there would be nothing to juxtapose itself against in order to illuminate that very 'now'. Phenomenology is hence envisaged as nostalgically seeking the impossible: that is, coinciding with oneself in an immediate and pre-reflective spontaneity. Following this refutation of Husserlian temporality, Derrida remarks that "in the last analysis, what is at stake is Instead of emphasising the presence of a subject to themselves ie.
Every time you try to stabilise the meaning of a thing, try to fix it in its missionary position, the thing itself, if there is anything at all to it, slips away" cf. SP , Caputo DN To put Derrida's point simplistically, it might be suggested that the meaning of a particular object, or a particular word, is never stable, but always in the process of change eg.
Moreover, the significance of that past change can only be appreciated from the future and, of course, that 'future' is itself implicated in a similar process of transformation were it ever to be capable of becoming 'present'. The future that Derrida is referring to is hence not just a future that will become present, but the future that makes all 'presence' possible and also impossible.
For Derrida, there can be no presence-to-self, or self-contained identity, because the 'nature' of our temporal existence is for this type of experience to elude us. Our predominant mode of being is what he will eventually term the messianic see Section 6 , in that experience is about the wait, or more aptly, experience is only when it is deferred. Derrida's work offers many important temporal contributions of this quasi-transcendental variety.
In its first and most famous instantiation, undecidability is one of Derrida's most important attempts to trouble dualisms, or more accurately, to reveal how they are always already troubled. An undecidable, and there are many of them in deconstruction eg. For example, the figure of a ghost seems to neither present or absent, or alternatively it is both present and absent at the same time SM.
However, Derrida has a recurring tendency to resuscitate terms in different contexts, and the term undecidability also returns in later deconstruction. Indeed, to complicate matters, undecidability returns in two discernible forms. In his recent work, Derrida often insists that the condition of the possibility of mourning, giving, forgiving, and hospitality, to cite some of his most famous examples, is at once also the condition of their impossibility see section 7.
In his explorations of these "possible-impossible" aporias, it becomes undecidable whether genuine giving, for example, is either a possible or an impossible ideal. Derrida's later philosophy is also united by his analysis of a similar type of undecidability that is involved in the concept of the decision itself. In this respect, Derrida regularly suggests that a decision cannot be wise, or posed even more provocatively, that the instant of the decision must actually be mad DPJ 26, GD Drawing on Kierkegaard, Derrida tells us that a decision requires an undecidable leap beyond all prior preparations for that decision GD 77 , and according to him, this applies to all decisions and not just those regarding the conversion to religious faith that preoccupies Kierkegaard.
To pose the problem in inverse fashion, it might be suggested that for Derrida, all decisions are a faith and a tenuous faith at that, since were faith and the decision not tenuous, they would cease to be a faith or a decision at all cf. GD This description of the decision as a moment of madness that must move beyond rationality and calculative reasoning may seem paradoxical, but it might nevertheless be agreed that a decision requires a 'leap of faith' beyond the sum total of the facts. A theory of the subject is incapable of accounting for the slightest decision PF , because, as he rhetorically asks, "would we not be justified in seeing here the unfolding of an egological immanence, the autonomic and automatic deployment of predicates or possibilities proper to a subject, without the tearing rupture that should occur in every decision we call free?
In other words, if a decision is envisaged as simply following from certain character attributes, then it would not genuinely be a decision. Derrida is hence once more insisting upon the necessity of a leap beyond calculative reasoning, and beyond the resources of some self-contained subject reflecting upon the matter at hand. A decision must invoke that which is outside of the subject's control. If a decision is an example of a concept that is simultaneously impossible within its own internal logic and yet nevertheless necessary, then not only is our reticence to decide rendered philosophically cogent, but it is perhaps even privileged.
Moreover, in his early essay "Violence and Metaphysics", Derrida also suggests that a successful deconstructive reading is conditional upon the suspension of choice: on hesitating between the ethical opening and the logocentric totality WD The problem of undecidability is also evident in more recent texts including The Gift of Death.
In this text, Derrida seems to support the sacrificing of a certain notion of ethics and universality for a conception of radical singularity not unlike that evinced by the "hyper-ethical" sacrifice that Abraham makes of his son upon Mt Moriah, according to both the Judaic and Christian religions alike GD To represent Derrida's position more precisely, true responsibility consists in oscillating between the demands of that which is wholly other in Abraham's case, God, but also any particular other and the more general demands of a community see Section 6.
Responsibility is enduring this trial of the undecidable decision, where attending to the call of a particular other will inevitably demand an estrangement from the "other others" and their communal needs. Whatever decision one may take, according to Derrida, it can never be wholly justified GD Of course, Derrida's emphasis upon the undecidability inherent in all decision-making does not want to convey inactivity or a quietism of despair, and he has insisted that the madness of the decision also demands urgency and precipitation DPJ Nevertheless, what is undergone is described as the "trial of undecidability" LI and what is involved in enduring this trial would seem to be a relatively anguished being.
In an interview with Richard Beardsworth, Derrida characterises the problem of undecidability as follows: "However careful one is in the theoretical preparation of a decision, the instant of the decision, if there is to be a decision, must be heterogeneous to the accumulation of knowledge. Otherwise, there is no responsibility. In this sense not only must the person taking the decision not know everything This suggestion that the decision cannot anticipate the future is undoubtedly somewhat counter-intuitive, but Derrida's rejection of anticipation is not only a rejection of the traditional idea of deciding on the basis of weighing-up and internally representing certain options.
By suggesting that anticipation is not possible, he means to make the more general point that no matter how we may anticipate any decision must always rupture those anticipatory frameworks. A decision must be fundamentally different from any prior preparations for it. As Derrida suggests in Politics of Friendship , the decision must "surprise the very subjectivity of the subject" PF 68 , and it is in making this leap away from calculative reasoning that Derrida argues that responsibility consists PF Perhaps the most obvious aspect of Derrida's later philosophy is his advocation of the tout autre , the wholly other, and The Gift of Death will be our main focus in explaining what this exaltation of the wholly other might mean.
Any attempt to sum up this short but difficult text would have to involve the recognition of a certain incommensurability between the particular and the universal, and the dual demands placed upon anybody intending to behave responsibly. For Derrida, the paradox of responsible behaviour means that there is always a question of being responsible before a singular other eg. Derrida insists that this type of aporia, or problem, is too often ignored by the "knights of responsibility" who presume that accountability and responsibility in all aspects of life - whether that be guilt before the human law, or even before the divine will of God - is quite easily established GD These are the same people who insist that concrete ethical guidelines should be provided by any philosopher worth his or her 'salt' GD 67 and who ignore the difficulties involved in a notion like responsibility, which demands something importantly different from merely behaving dutifully GD In places, Derrida even verges on suggesting that this more common notion of responsibility, which insists that one should behave according to a general principle that is capable of being rationally validated and justified in the public realm GD 60 , should be replaced with something closer to an Abrahamian individuality where the demands of a singular other eg.
God are importantly distinct from the ethical demands of our society GD 61, Derrida equivocates regarding just how far he wants to endorse such a conception of responsibility, and also on the entire issue of whether Abraham's willingness to murder is an act of faith, or simply an unforgivable transgression. As he says, "Abraham is at the same time, the most moral and the most immoral, the most responsible and the most irresponsible" GD This equivocation is, of course, a defining trait of deconstruction, which has been variously pilloried and praised for this refusal to propound anything that the tradition could deem to be a thesis.
Nevertheless, it is relatively clear that in The Gift of Death , Derrida intends to free us from the common assumption that responsibility is to be associated with behaviour that accords with general principles capable of justification in the public realm ie.