The Sign and the Question of Interpretation of a Literary Work: A Study of Adichie's Purple Hibiscus
The field of linguistics opens up several possibilities for the study of literature. One of such possibilities is the study of literature as a linguistic construct. Ferdinand de Saussure made a fundamental proposition about the nature of language: the sign does not unite sense and reference. The point is that in a
semiotic set, a sign is made up of the signifier and the signified, that the meaning relation that holds between the entities is arbitrary in nature and as such differential. In terms of Literary studies, the implications of Saussure's proposition is that meaning is always a displacement, that is, the fullness or presence of meaning is always postponed, deferred or put back. That is to say that words contain only traces of meaning.