Consider the following sentence:
"This sentence serves no logical purpose."
Discuss how the sentence above illustrates postmodernism.
Postmodernism is quickly taking hold in today's world and is becoming a popular way of thinking. This new way of thinking presents a new way of analyzing everything for truth and validity. Postmodernism, some people believe, will be the popular way of thinking for many humans in the years to come. Most likely, Postmodernism will continue to gain popularity just as many similar movements such as modernism have in the past. This paper will first attempt to define Postmoderism clearly so that it may better be understood. The sentence, "This sentence serves no logical purpose" is, in a nutshell, a perfect illustration of Postmodernism and will be used to illustrate it in this paper. The ultimate goal will be to somewhat understand Postmodernism.
First, an attempt will be made to
define Postmodernism. Merriam Webster states this as the definition: "A. of, relating to, or being any of
various movements in reaction to modernism that are typically characterized by
a return to traditional materials and forms (as in architecture) or by ironic
self-reference and absurdity (as in literature). B. of, relating to, or being a theory that involves a radical
reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history, or language."
Merriam Webster also states that the first use of postmodernism was in 1925
To help make Postmodernism even clearer, an example can be used. The sentence "This sentence serves no logical purpose," is such an illustration. This sentence can be treated two ways. One is for the reader to read the sentence, see that it states that it serves no purpose, and move on with life without considering it. The other way to look at this sentence is through the prism of Postmodernism. When looked at this way, the sentence is quite ironic because it states an absolute truth, which Postmodernism attempts to do away with. This doesn't work in a Postmodern environment. A Postmodern person would look at the sentence and even though it states an absolute truth declaring it purposeless, he or she might perceive that it does serve a purpose, thus judging the sentence as a lie. Because a Postmodern person most likely doesn't believe in absolute truth, it makes sense to them to deem the sentence a lie. One person takes at face value as an absolute truth, the other, the Postmodernist, adds their own meaning to it by saying it has the purpose of stating that is has no purpose. Postmodernism basically attempts to take an idea, inject a localized person's truth into it, and then take meaning from it. Postmodern thinkers try to stay away from saying that absolute truth is obsolete or meaningless, but a truth cannot be absolute if someone's own personal interpretation is used to change its meaning.
One other interesting face to point out is that the statement "There is no absolute truth," is actually an absolute truth. This is where the problem of Postmodernism comes. It can be extremely difficult to make a statement like this one without violating what is trying to be said. This is why Postmodernism can be controversial as well as downright contradicting.
In summary, Postmodernism can be best understood by defining it clearly and using illustrations such as the sentence "This sentence has no logical purpose," to illustrate it. Postmodernism appears to be the next movement that is going to be popular for many people; in fact, it may already be more popular than is seen by just the author. Postmodernism is a difficult concept for a person to wrap his or her head around. Also, since there are so many different takes on Postmodernism, it may be good in one respect, but if it is taken to extremes, Postmodernism may be quite detrimental to our current way of thinking.
Leffel, Jim. Xenos Christian Fellowship. 24 9 2010 <www.xenos.org>.
Merriam-Webster. 24 9 2010 <http://www.merriam-webster.com/>.