Structuralism is the principle that a culture is made up of different meanings in which any change will create changes. Claude Lévi-Strauss was a French anthropologist who was known for his structural anthropology. According to Claude Lévi-Strauss, as well as other Structuralist theorists in linguistics, anthropology, and other disciplines, culture structured to function in certain ways. It controls the way we think and work, no matter what discipline is being used, how we live, or the language that we speak. Levi-Strauss believed that there is a close relationship between culture and language. By looking at a culture or at a language one can determine the structure and the meaning of that particular culture or language. He was curious as to why there are similarities and differences within cultures. Levi-Strauss believes that there are a number of elements that can be used to show the form or meaning of a culture but both cannot be done at the same time. He looked at myths and how they were related to the structure of understanding a culture. As he looked at myths he noticed that everything has an opposite. These oppositions create the structure of a culture. Instead of looking at the meaning of a culture, Levi-Strauss looked at the structure of a culture noticing the patterns within a culture or a language and the changes that occur through time-structural analysis. For this paper I plan on doing a structural analysis of Thanksgiving. .
Thanksgiving is a holiday that started in 1621 when the Pilgrims and Indians gathered together to celebrate and rejoice their first harvest. The pilgrims had overcome a hard winter. They were able to build homes and harvest enough food to last them the winter. There were only a few women that had survived the harsh winter; they were most likely the ones that cooked all the food. During this gathering the people ate tons of food, including duck, geese, deer, wild turkey, which was most likely cooked over a fire, and other vegetables they had grown.