Mikhail Bakhtin Questions and Answers

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Assess how Bakhtin treats language.

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I tend to think that any discussion of Bakhtin is going to be complex and intricate.  In true Bakhtin form, there is little that is simple and direct.  Rather, much of his thinking is divergent and nuanced.  His view of language fits this classification.  For Bakhtin, language is the result of a polyphonic state of being in the world.  There can be little chance of pure isolation, or the ability to fully construct a verbal means of recognition without a sense of interdependence on others.  For Bakhtin, language and linguistic construction is the result of polyphony.  Bakhtin's analysis of Dostoyevsky's work demonstrates this.  For Bakhtin, Dostoyevsky's work reveals characters who demonstrate a sense of "unfinalizability," reflecting the fluid and dynamic nature of language and the state of being associated with it.  Language becomes a reflection of individual being, intersecting others' and reflecting a constant state of interdependence and independence.  Language is not something that is static that can be overcome and pue of individual construction.  Rather, it is one that feeds into others.  In this, the polyphony of language becomes evident in Bakhtin's world.

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