When I first read the chapter on the structural study of myth I thought that it seemed like an interesting experiment but that it would be unlikely that many stories would fall into such perfect paradigms. However after reading the chapter which applies this theory to the Epic of Gilgamesh and especially after doing the structural chart for the Genesis myth in class this theory seemed to be much more realistic than I’d first thought.
Therefore, I was keen to try it out on my own as my part of the group project. I was quite surprised to find that it was much harder to create a short list of plot points than it was to find common themes among them. Though a structuralist chart seems a bit abstract, in the end it also makes a lot of sense. Any theme in any narrative will repeated many times in different ways, otherwise it won’t be a main theme because it isn’t discussed enough. So it really isn’t that hard to find multiple events that can fall neatly into categories. I was also surprised that my categories weren’t what I’d originally thought they would be, my chart brought out elements which I hadn’t thought to be nearly as central to the story as my chart told me they were. All in all I’ve been quite impressed with Structuralism. It’s also quite fun to crawl all over the floor moving around cue cards in a giant chart…though I don’t think my roommate was quite so impressed 😛