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Roland Barthes' " Myth Today"
Alex Wu
October 2, 2000
Another outline by Kate Liu
Thesis statement: In our daily life, we can always see some literal or visual signs.  At bottom, when there are people, there are signs. In Roland Barthes' " Myth Today", we can see how a world is established under the influence of the process of signification.  He tells us the forming of a myth, the working of a myth, and the way to look at myth.

I.Myth is type of speech

A.Myth= system of communication

B.Not defined by the object of it but by the way in which it utters

II.Myth as a semiological system

A. Semiology= a theory to research the science of ___

1.History--- ideology

2.Science--- semiology

B.Signified (form)

C.Signifier (concept)

D.Correlation= sign( the process of signification)

E.Comparing with Freud¡¦s theory

F.Language-object/ metalanguage

III.The form and the concept


1.Constant game of hid and seek defines myth

2.Not suppressing the meaning but impoverishing it


C.Material scale

IV.The signification

A.To distort not to disappear (obliteration)

B.The idea of alibi

C.The idea about "Arrest"

D.The mythical signification is never arbitrary¡Xshould be motivated

V.Reading and deciphering myth

A.To act like a Journalist

B.To act like a Mythologist

C.To act like a Myth Reader

VI.Myth as a stolen language

A.Language- robbery

B.Nothing is safe under the threatening of my

1.Zero degree


3.Poetic language: from form into meaning

VII.The bourgeoisie as joint- stock company

A. Transform the reality of the world into the image of the world, history into nature

B.Example: wedding a church

VIII. Myth is de-politicized speech

A.Marx: the most natural object contains a political trace

B.Myth: to clarify, naturalize, and to fabricate

IX.Myth on the left

A.Revolution vs. myth


C.Poverty-stricken: fixity¡Xlack the variety of signifier

D.Fatal problem: p. 148 

X.Myth on the left

A.The principle figures

1.The inoculation

2.The privation of history



5.Neither- Norism

6.The quantification of quality

7.The statement of fact

B.Two categories

1.The Essence--- to commonize

2.The Scales--- to estimate